A mash-up of Scooby-Doo and Doctor Dolittle? Welcome to this summer’s Occidental Children’s Theater

A performance from a previous season of the Occidental Children’s Theater.

Eagle Rock -- The Children’s Theater at Occidental College will begin its 24th year this week with outdoor productions featuring a new original story and a trio of adventurous adaptations of traditional folktales. 

In about an hour, ​the cast of six current students and alumni will perform four energetic and funny stories at the college's Remsen Bird Hillside Theater without props, sets or special costumes, relying only on their acting and acrobatic skills.

The seven-week long season  features an original story, The Adventures of Christopher Robin Hood, plus three traditional stories that are the troupe's versions of folk tales from India, the Philippines and the Iroquois nation. 

Tumbling, commedia dell'arte (Italian improvisatory comedic theater), and even clowns influence the physical acting style of the troupe, said Jamie Angell, the theater’s founding artistic director. The unconventional material and the absence of props and costumes also force the actors and the audience to rely on their imaginations.

"This is kind of like tightrope walking," he added. "We use our bodies and voices to suggest what the audience's imagination will fill in. We're creating images out of the air."

Summer performances will run Thursday through Saturday, beginning at 10 a.m., July 11 through August 24.

Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for children ages 12-2 (children under 2 are free), and can be ordered online. Questions? Call (323) 259-2771 or email theater@oxy.edu.

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