Milwaukee, WI – April 28, 2022 – The final First Stage production of the 2021/22 season will be THE LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET, a play adapted by Gloria Bond Clunie from the Newbery Medal-winning children’s book by Matt de la Peña, with Illustrations by Christian Robinson. Directed by Johamy Morales, this production is part of First Stage’s First Steps Series which introduces younger audiences to live theater. The play is set on a Sunday morning. CJ and his Nana set out in the rain on their weekly bus ride across town. Along the way, CJ wonders why they don’t own a car, or headphones or an iPad like his friends. Most of all he wishes they didn’t have to journey to the scary last stop on Market Street. Their trip through the bustling city becomes an exciting magical adventure which helps CJ solve a mysterious riddle and make unexpected special friends as he discovers a wonderful new way to see the world! Sponsored by PNC. Performance run time is approximately 55 minutes, with no intermission. Suggested for families with young people ages 3 – 7+.
THE LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET runs May 7 – June 12, 2022 at the newly-renovated Goodman Mainstage Hall at the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center, located at 325 W. Walnut Street in downtown Milwaukee. Tickets are $15. Tickets are available online at firststage.org or through the First Stage Box Office at (414) 267-2961.
Director Johamy Morales had these thoughts to share about the play: “The gift of kindness comes with a triple rainbow magic!” Our young people have experienced a very difficult year of isolation and have been quickly exposed to socialization in a world full of uncertainty. Children are having to readapt as they engage with one another, while others have been robbed from learning those fundamental social skills that instill kindness. How do we teach our young people to live in a more kind and understanding world? How do we continue engaging their imagination as they have been conditioned to screens? How do we empower their curiosity in an imperfect world? The answer lies in the individual and how we decide to show up in the world. Our words and actions have consequences, and young people look to us to learn how “to really see” the world around them. This story takes place in an imperfect world as CJ marvels at his grandmother’s ability to find beauty in an imperfect world. “Sometimes when you are surrounded by dirt CJ, you’re a better witness for what’s beautiful.”
“LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET takes place on a summer present day as CJ and his grandmother go on their Sunday routine as they inhabit a variety of environments. They ride the bus from the East side to the West side of the city. As CJ becomes curious he embarks on a magical self-discovery through the act of kindness. Through this production my intent is to honor the wonder of young people’s imagination and bring to life the words of the playwright with delight, wonder and curiosity. The world of the play starts us off in reality and then evolves into rainbow magic through the vehicle of CJ’s imagination. It is important we bring the audience into CJ’s reality and slowly transport them into the magical world.”
So plan your visit and we’ll see you there!!