TheaterworksUSA’s “Pete the Cat”
Part of the APPlause! K-12 Performing Arts Series
Join Jimmy and Pete on a new adventure of friendship and inspiration! Based on the best-selling Pete the Cat series of books by Kimberly and James Dean, this family-friendly musical by TheaterworksUSA takes audiences on a groovy feline journey that travels all the way to Paris and back in a yellow VW Bus.
About “Pete the Cat”
When Pete the Cat gets caught rocking out after bedtime, the cat-catcher sends him to live with the Biddle family to learn his manners –– and boy are they square! But for the groovy blue cat, life is an adventure no matter where you wind up, so the minute Pete walks in the door, he gets the whole family rocking. The whole family, that is, except for young Jimmy Biddle, the most organized second grader on planet earth.
As the end of second grade approaches, Jimmy has a lot of tests, and the last thing he needs is some groovy cat in his life, changing his family and turning everything upside down. But when Jimmy draws a blank in art class during the last week of school, it turns out Pete is the perfect friend to help him out. Together, they set out on a mission to help Jimmy conquer second grade art, and along the way, they both learn a little something new about inspiration. Join Jimmy and Pete on an adventure of friendship, all the way to Paris and back in a VW Bus!
The mission of TheaterworksUSA is to create, produce, and provide access to professional theatre for young and family audiences nationwide, including disadvantaged youth and under-served communities. Since its founding in 1961, the company has presented more than 90 million children and their families with opportunities to enjoy its theatrical productions in 49 states and Canada.
Each season, three million children, many of whom have no other access to the performing arts, attend TheaterworksUSA’s original productions in venues as varied as local elementary school gymnasiums, regional fine arts centers, and major Broadway-sized theatres. TheaterworksUSA tours approximately 16 shows each season from its repertoire of 133 plays and musicals. In addition, TheaterworksUSA has an extensive multi-cultural roster of guest artists, including storytellers, puppeteers, poets, and magicians. The overarching goals of its programs are to:
- Create literary- and historically-based shows that stimulate reading and discussion on the cultural, historical, and/or social issues and themes represented in each show.
- Foster and nurture the wealth of talent that exists in young writers.
- Encourage young people to tap into their own reservoirs of creativity and talent.
- Present role models and encourage positive values through the shows' content.
- Enhance the theatre experience which children share with their friends and classmates, teachers, and families.
- Develop a life-long appreciation for the arts.
- Build the audiences of the future.
TheaterworksUSA has a distinguished history of not only providing young audiences with their first taste of the performing arts, but also giving young actors, writers, directors, and designers an early opportunity to work in this field. A list of its alumni reads like a veritable "who's who" of theatre: four-time Tony-winning director Jerry Zaks, Robert Jess Roth (Beauty and the Beast), Michael Mayer (Spring Awakening), Gabriel Barre (The Wild Party); writers Marta Kauffman and David Crane (TV's "Friends"), Lynn Ahrens and Steven Flaherty (Ragtime, Once on This Island), Jason Robert Brown (Parade), Larry O'Keefe & Nell Benjamin (Legally Blonde), Two Time-Tony Award winner Robert Lopez (Book of Mormon, Avenue Q); Tony nominee Charles Busch (The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife) Kevin Del Aguila (Altar Boyz); and Tony-winning actors Roger Bart, Chuck Cooper, and John Glover. Esteemed performers F. Murray Abraham, Henry Winkler (Happy Days), Colman Domingo (The Scottsboro Boys), Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family) and Judy Kuhn (Les Miserables) and many other actors also got their start with Theaterworks.
Under the direction of Barbara Pasternack (Artistic Director) and Ken Arthur (Producing Director), TheaterworksUSA is also one of the most honored theatres of its kind. The company is the only children's theatre to receive both a Drama Desk and a Lucille Lortel Award. In addition, TheaterworksUSA was the recipient of a 2001 Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation Award, and in May 2000, The Actors Fund of American bestowed its Medal of Honor upon founders Jay Harnick and Charles Hull.
TheaterworksUSA’s goal is to continue doing what the company has successfully accomplished for more than fifty years: giving America's children their first thrilling day at the theatre!
Run time approximately 60 minutes
- Study guide: TheaterworksUSA’s “Pete the Cat” (PDF 689K)