By Y York
Based on the novel by Newbery Award-winning author Jerry Spinelli
Directed by Rita Giomi
Crash Coogan seems to have it all – good grades, natural athleticism, popular friends. But what he can’t seem to get is the attention of his preoccupied father and the new girl in town, Jane. Despite being the target of Crash’s bullying, Penn Webb, his unconventional neighbor, enjoys a happy life with a pet turtle, strong family support and Jane’s friendship. Penn wants to earn a coveted spot on the Penn Relays team to honor his great grandfather. Crash wants to win that spot just to prove he can. Things change when his grandfather suffers a stroke and Crash realizes finishing first isn’t the most important thing. This production shares important insights and demonstrates author Jerry Spinelli’s appeal to older elementary students.
ASL Interpreted Dates:
Public - May 11 @ 2pm
Schools - May 8 @ 10:30am
Ages 8 and up - This story of middle school taunting and cynicism, combined with the grandfather’s medical emergency might not be appropriate for younger children. Crash also has insightful moments where he appears to talk to himself which may be confusing to kids under eight years of age.
Curriculum Connections: Loyalty, Competition, Family, Environmentalism, Aging, Track, Football, Reading, Adaptation, Bullying, Social Hierarchy in Schools, Friendship
Running Time: TBD
John “Crash” Coogan has a lot of positive attributes. He’s a successful football player, gets all As in middle school and seems to ooze self-confidence. But he’s a bit of a bully. When he meets the new kid, Mike Deluca, they immediately bond over their collective accomplishments and their “better than others” attitude. Crash is the star of his own story, but unfortunately, his parents seem too busy to notice.
On the periphery of Crash’s world, his environmentalist sister and his unconventional neighbor, Penn Webb, are protesting development of green space. Penn views everything at face value, treasuring his pet turtle, Thomas, and the logic of second-hand clothes. Though constantly dismissed by Crash and picked on by others, Penn remains undaunted and true to his highly unusual nature. The new girl, Jane, takes a liking to Penn’s honesty and defends him even when he doesn’t realize he’s being teased. Penn is determined to win the seventh-grade spot on the Penn Relays team as a way to honor his great grandfather. True to his competitive nature, Crash plans to win that spot to prove he can’t be beat and get his father’s attention.
Crash starts to rethink his attitude after Jane rebuffs him, his coach notes his unsportsmanlike conduct and his grandfather, Scooter, is hospitalized. By the time the Penn Relays trial takes place, Crash is confused about his priorities and how he has treated Penn.
|Emily Chisholm (Abby) is thrilled to return to Seattle Children’s Theatre. Previous productions include The Borrowers, Bluenose, In the Northern Lands: Nordic Myths, The Neverending Story and Peter Pan. She recently completed Pullman Porter Blues with Seattle Repertory Theatre and Arena Stage in Washington, DC, which earned the Helen Hayes Nomination for Outstanding Ensemble. Other recent credits include This Wide Night with Seattle Public Theatre (co-production with The If Project and Footlight Award recipient), Twelfth Night with Seattle Shakespeare Company/Wooden O, and Torso with Printer’s Devil Theatre. Emily has appeared at Washington Ensemble Theatre, Strawberry Theatre Workshop, Capitol Hill Arts Center and with the educational tour for Intiman and Book-It Repertory Theatre. Emily is a former member of Washington Ensemble Theatre and Implied Violence. She appears regularly in Ian Bell’s quarterly Seattle Confidential at ACT and is a graduate of Cornish College of the Arts.|
|Rio Codda (Penn Webb) is ecstatic to be working with such an inspiring company again, having previously appeared at SCT in The Borrowers. You may have seen Rio in other shows such as The Comedy of Errors (Greenstage), Hard Laughter (Theater Ensemble), Plainsong (Book-It), and Macbeth (Wooden O Theater).|
|Peter Crook (Dad/Understudy) has performed in over a dozen shows at Seattle Children’s Theatre, and was most recently seen in The Wizard of Oz. Recent performances at ACT Theatre include The Seagull, Celebration and No Man’s Land.He was Doctor Larch in Book-It Repertory Theater’s 20th Anniversary production of The Cider House Rules. Other favorite Seattle credits include Mary Stuart, Rock’N’Roll, Stuff Happens, A Number (ACT); The Fever, The Designated Mourner (New City Theatre); Frozen (Empty Space); Buddy (5th Ave); Richard II (Seattle Shakespeare Co); Angels in America (Intiman); and Clybourne Park, The Notebooks of Leonardo and The Beard of Avon (Seattle Rep; and a company member for two seasons). Regional credits include Old Globe Theatre and New York Shakespeare Festival. On Broadway and on tour he was Mozart in Amadeus. Television and film credits include “Designing Women”, “Max Headroom”, “Chaplin”, and “Snow Falling on Cedars”. He is a graduate of PCPA and The Juilliard School and currently a member of The Seagull Project.|
|Beth DeVries (Mom) recently finished the run of Next to Normal with Balagan/Contemporary Classics, playing the role of Diana, her most difficult and highly rewarding role to date. Other favorites include Eve in Children of Eden (CLO); Sue in Snapshots (Village Theatre and Theatreworks Palo Alto); and Laura in Goblin Market (ACT). Beth has been seen at Seattle Children's Theatre in Time Again in Oz and both productions of The Wizard of Oz. She is honored to be working for the first time under the direction of Rita Giomi.|
|Quinn Franzen (Crash) is thrilled to be making his SCT debut. A company member of the Satori Group, he was last seen onstage in reWilding. He performed as Romeo (R+J) and Frank (Dirty Story) at the Intiman Theatre Festival last summer. He also acted in Satori’s Fabulous Prizes and Artifacts of Consequence. He has trained with Freehold Theatre, Pig Iron, The Market Theatre in Johannesburg, and the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA). Quinn holds a BA in Theatre from Williams College. He has endless gratitude for his parents, Paul Palmore, and his extended non-biological Satori family.|
|Ben McFadden (Understudy) is incredibly grateful to be back working with Seattle Children’s Theatre after making his SCT debut earlier this season as Angelo in Danny, King of the Basement. Ben is a graduate of Cornish College of the Arts where he received his BFA in Theatre. Some of his favorite roles include Mercutio and The Nurse in Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet in Hamlet, and Guiderius in Cymbeline all at Seattle Shakespeare Co., Johnny Wheelwright in A Prayer for Owen Meany (Book-it), and Young Doctor Larch in the award winning production(s) of The Cider House Rules Part 1 & 2 (Book-it). Ben will appear next in The Financial Lives of the Poets at Book-It Repertory in June. Much love to Koala.|
|Todd Jefferson Moore (Scooter) is delighted to return to SCT after recently appearing in this season’s The Wizard of Oz and The Edge of Peace. This role adds to a long list of other SCT characters that include among others a frog, a rat, a dog, an owl, a lion, a tigger, a donkey, a classy lady, several friends, fathers and uncles, Santa Claus and Cyrano. Todd occasionally performs for adults, most recently in The Ramayana at ACT.|
Sara Mountjoy-Pepka (Understudy) This is Sara's first time working with Seattle Children's Theatre and she couldn't be happier! Favorite past local and regional projects include: "Kitty” in Book-It Repertory Theatre's recent adaptation of Anna Karenina; The Trial with New Century Theatre Company; lead roles in the new works A Mouse Who Knows Me and the Gregory-Award-nominated Duel of the Linguist Mages at Annex Theatre; and the blissful summers she has spent outside with Montana Shakespeare in the Parks, Wooden O, and GreenStage. She is a company member of Magic Circle Mime and has performed family programs with symphony orchestras across the U.S., Canada, Spain, and Taiwan. She is also an Unexpected Productions ensemble member and performs the improv-comedy show TheatreSports most weekends at the Market Theater in Pike Place Market.
Adam Standley (Mike/Understudy) is so very excited to be making his Seattle Children's Theatre debut. In Seattle, Adam is proud to have shared stages with award winning casts at Seattle Shakespeare Company, Intiman, and Washington Ensemble Theatre. As a founding member of The Satori Group, his work there comprises the majority of the pride in his life. His girlfriend and puppy take up the rest. Recent Satori credits include: reWilding, Tragedy: a tragedy, Making of a Monster and Winky. Up next: Intiman Summer Theatre Festival.
Kate Sumpter (Jane) is delighted to be in her first show at Seattle Children’s Theatre! A graduate of the University of Washington schools of Drama and International Studies, she was seen recently in reWilding with the Satori Group and Legally Blonde at Seattle Musical Theater. Other credits include performances in The Callers and MilkMilkLemonade at Washington Ensemble Theater, and co-writing and performing in Ithaca I’ll Never See at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Kate will be seen next in Harp Song at On The Boards’ New Works Northwest Festival. She would like to thank her wonderful family and the ever-patient Ashton Hyman for their support!
“Older students will really connect to these characters and their struggles with social hierarchy. It’s a funny, moving story, affirming the simple truth that we must treat all people well.” - SCT Artistic Director Linda Hartzell