Dallas Children's Theater
Director - Douglass Burks & Sally Fiorello
Puppet & Properties Design - Sally Fiorello, Ted Kincaid,
Kathy Burks, Beck Schlabach
Scenic Design - Sally Fiorello
Costume Design - Trish Long
Lighting Design - Melissa Cashion
Sound Design - Douglass Burks & B.Wolf
Projection Video Design & Creation - Randel Wright
Merlin - Douglass Burks
Arthur - Sally Fiorello
Kay - John Brumley
Ornithia - Kathy Burks
Mother Dragon - Becky Burks Keenan
Becky Burks Keenan
Reviewed Performance 3/10/2012
Reviewed by Danny Macchietto, Associate Critic for John Garcia's THE COLUMN
Kathy Burks Theatre of Puppetry Arts has been pleasing young audiences now for over four decades, and judging by the abundantly large and eager crowd at the Dallas Children's Theater on a rainy Saturday afternoon it seems well set for a fifth, sixth, and seventh decade to come. The children were poised and hushed to be engaged for a full exciting hour by Young King Arthur.
B. Wolf adapted her version from Geoffrey of Monmouth's oft-inspired History of the Kings of Britain, as well as the Sword and the Stone portion of H.R. White's The Once and Future King. The result, in agreement with the press notes, is just as Ms. Wolf and directors Douglass Burks & Sally Fiorello and their merry band of puppeteers hoped for - an enchanting, reverent tale from medieval folklore that makes it known to the little ones that when it comes to Harry Potter, King Arthur came first.
As told through Japanese Bunraku, where the puppeteers are masked in black to illuminate the intricate puppetry design, the story is a series of life lesson vignettes of Arthur. We see him from birth to the age of 12. Arthur shares many adventures with his foster brother, Kay, as they are lured into a mysterious castle by the mischievous and wise wizard, Merlin. Merlin manipulates several organic situations where Arthur is tested as the future ruler of England, passing the final test inevitably pulling the sword from the famous stone.
There is much technical prowess for a child's eyes to gravitate to: Merlin's miscalculations in levitation, Patricia Long's detailed and colorful costume designs, and an exciting dual between Arthur and a dragon that ends quite humbly for the lad.
The lighting design by Melissa Cashion is the appropriate dimness for projecting that "misty time of long ago". At times it seems the lighting is a bit too dim as my eyes were quite strained towards the end.
The crowd of young theatre goers was very enthusiastic at end of this Arthurian legend. They may even be wishing that Kathy Burks Theatre of Puppetry Arts will continue the adventures of Young King Arthur with further installments.
YOUNG KING ARTHUR
Kathy Burks Theatre of Puppetry Arts
Dallas Children's Theater
14115 Hillcrest Road
Dallas, TX 75254
Runs through April 1st
Saturdays and Sundays at 1:30 pm and 4:30 pm
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday (March 13-16) at 11:30am
Friday, March 16 at 7:30 pm
Tickets are $18-$24 for adults, $16-$22 for children, $16-$20 for seniors.
For tickets visit www.dct.org or call the Box Office at (214) 740-0051