Play about dogs celebrates childlike simplicity
April 20, 2017
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At a student production on campus, dogs take center stage.
Imagine U is putting on the show “Go, Dog. Go!” which follows a group of dogs creating make-believe days for themselves, including going to work, having parties and playing around.
The show premiered April 14 and will run through April 23. It is based on a 1961 book written by P.D. Eastman and was adapted as a play in 2003.
Director Gina Marie Hayes highlighted the simplicity of the show.
“For me, the whole show is really about the importance of play and of being allowed to play and of play as a healing thing,” Hayes said. “The actual show is geared toward itty-bitty children, although I think it’s enjoyable for everyone, because we were all children once.”
Communication sophomore Daniella Martino, who is performing, said she likes getting to perform in front of an audience with a lot of children.
“It’s great getting to see the world through a kid’s eye, because sometimes as college students we forget a lot of the time about the joy that there is to life,” she said. “Having a reminder of that as a part of this show was really great for me and great for a lot of the people that see the show. Especially as college kids, remembering the little things that make you happy.”
On Sunday, the show will offer a “relaxed performance,” aimed at audience members with autism, learning differences or other sensory needs. It will include changes to light and sound, and audience members will be notified before any potentially triggering moments, Hayes said.
Hayes said they think this is the first time ImagineU has put on this type of performance. Communication junior Andrea Canizares-Fernandez said the relaxed performance aims to help audience members feel comfortable while watching it.
“It’s less of getting through the play in its entirety, and more essentially relaxed in the sense that we can take moments to breath and have the kids feel like they’re a part of the play instead of having it be a performance,” Canizares-Fernandez said. “It’s a little bit more interactive.”
The relaxed performance will also provide a play-by-play guide for children who have anxiety about going into unknown situations before they arrive, Hayes said. It describes exactly what will happen from the moment the child gets out of their car to the moment they leave the theater after the performance.
Ultimately, Hayes said, the story of “Go, Dog. Go!” is simple.
“When you get down to it, it’s about knowing how to play well with others and knowing how to play,” Hayes said.