Childsplay show promises ‘wacky, larger-than-life’ world

“Flora & Ulysses” will be performed on the Tempe Center for the Arts stage on weekends April 22-May 20.

An unlikely superhero is coming to the area as Childsplay Theatre brings Kate DiCamillo’s Newberry Award-winning book “Flora & Ulysses” to the Tempe Center for the Arts stage on weekends April 22-May 20.

After getting sucked up by a vacuum cleaner, the story goes, a (now hairless) squirrel is rescued by Flora Belle Buckman, at 10-year old self-proclaimed cynic.

She names her new friend Ulysses and discovers he has been reborn with super powers of strength, flight and misspelled poetry.

Tickets start at $12 and are on sale at or at the Tempe Center for the Arts Box Office, 480-350-2822, extension. 2.

The play is recommended for ages 6 and up. Tempe Center for the Arts is at 700 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe.

“Audiences are going to laugh. A lot,” director Dwayne Hartford stated in a release. “And they are going to love this little girl, who is brave and creative.”

Ms. DiCamillo has written other books, including “The Tale of Despereaux,” “Because of Winn Dixie” and “The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane,” which Childsplay adapted into a play that premiered in 2013.

“Kate DiCamillo is such a gifted writer. And John Glore’s adaptation captures the world she created,” Mr. Hartford stated. “It’s wacky and larger than life, yet at its core, it’s a story about love and family.”

The 4 p.m. performance Sunday, April 22, is a special $12 Storybook Preview performance, sponsored by The Steele Foundation. Each family that attends this general admission preview performance will receive a free book. The American Sign Language performance is 1 p.m. Saturday, May 12.

Childsplay, Inc. is a nonprofit theater company of professional, adult artists who perform for and teach young audiences and their families.

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