WolfPAC to Perform 'The Velveteen Rabbit' Dec. 9, 10, 11

Friday, December 2, 2016

Special sensory-friendly performance Dec. 10

By Jessica Nicolao for Main Line Media News

Bryn Mawr >> After a young girl becomes ill with scarlet fever, a toy rabbit rounds up his friends to save her. Forced to choose between becoming real and saving the girl, the velveteen rabbit embarks on a remarkable journey, finding out what it truly means to love.

Wolf Performing Arts Center (Wolf PAC)’s The Velveteen Rabbit takes the stage this fall at Rosemont College’s Rotwitt Theater for three consecutive days. Shows are Dec. 9 (7 p.m.), Dec. 10 (11 a.m., 3 p.m., 7 p.m.) and Dec.11 (3 p.m.). Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children, students, and seniors.

Wolf PAC’s production features two unique casts; the ‘Velveteen’ cast and the ‘Rabbit’ cast.

The performance tackles universal themes of acceptance, friendship, and love. Ruthie Cohen, who plays the velveteen rabbit, ‘Rabbit’ cast, feels this role came her way at the perfect time.

“I was so ready for the kind of heartwarming, emotional rollercoaster The Velveteen Rabbit is. I love coming to rehearsal, becoming my character, and feeling so many different things all at once: excitement, elation, heartbreak, and tranquility,” she said.

Haley Garecht, who plays the velveteen rabbit, ‘Velveteen’ cast, thinks the performance has not only impacted her life but will impact the audience’s lives as well.

“The Velveteen Rabbit is a hard-hitting play about a child’s love, and I think it’s hard not to be affected by that. I hope the audience leaves with the thought that love is powerful, more even than death,” she said.

This year, Wolf PAC is offering a sensory-friendly performance of The Velveteen Rabbit on Dec. 10 at 3 p.m. The show is specially designed for audience members who have autism, developmental differences, or other sensory sensitivities.

“Theater is for all children. That’s what it really comes down to,” said Bobbi Wolf, Executive Director of Wolf PAC. “The Velveteen Rabbit shares the message of acceptance, a message which we live by at Wolf Performing Arts Center.”

“I think it’s super great that Wolf PAC is bringing theater to people who don’t usually get to experience it,” said Nina Aagaard, who plays toy soldier cast ‘Velveteen.’ “One of my cast mates informed me that a boy we both knew from camp, who had autism, would be coming to our show. She said his mom had actually started crying when my cast mate told her about this opportunity.”

Sensory accommodations include lower sound and light levels, reduced strobes and lighting focused on the audience, designated “Take a Break” areas in the lobby, additional guidance and sensory supports, trained staff to assist with needs, and flexible house rules.

“I have really been changed by the process of learning to play this character,” said Garecht. “The Velveteen Rabbit can teach everyone so much about learning to love, even if you don’t think you can.”

For tickets call 610 642-0233 or online at wolfperformingartscenter.org.