This piece brings to life Munro Leaf's story about a young bull who does not like to fight. Emphasizing values of non-violence and tolerance for individual differences, this story encourages us all to accept and celebrate individuality not only in others, but in ourselves as well.
Children are transported to Ferdinand's meadow in Spain - a beautiful spot presided over by the "cork" tree who serves as our touchstone throughout the story; we meet Ferdinand, a young bull who likes to make up stories and imagine things, who enjoys nature and a peaceful afternoon smelling the flowers. A bull who does not wish to fight. Added to this adaptation is the character of Sammy, a young cow who dreams of traveling to Madrid to participate in the bullfights, even though she is a girl. We watch as Ferdinand's mother struggles between her love for her son and her desire that he fit in. And finally, after his fateful encounter with the bee, we travel with Ferdinand to the bullfights in beautiful Madrid where PoPo the Picador and BamBam the Bandelliero learn that not all bulls fight! In the end, Ferdinand journeys home having stayed true to his nature and rejoins his meadow, his flowers, and his dear friends Sammy and the tree.
Audience members participate from the moment they arrive, working with the actors before the show to make pipe-cleaner flowers that are thrown into the ring during the bullfight. Volunteers become the other young bulls of the meadow as well as the Men from Madrid who are looking for bulls to fight. All are invited to help Ferdinand create stories using their imagination and one youngster even becomes the Matador!
"Creative PlayGround…scores high marks for its disarming little production of Ferdinand the Bull...Key to the company's success are actors who can perform comfortably while the audience sits no more than a few feet away, surrounding the performing space...here, as in past shows, in no time the actors establish a comfort level that has adults as well as children enjoying the action."
Los Angeles Times
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