Family Theatre’s season begins

Family Theatre at the Mishler’s 2015-2016 season opens Tuesday with ArtsPower’s production of “Dog Loves Books.”

Louise Yates’ New York Times Bestseller comes to life in this new musical about an irresistible dog who loves everything about books.

When he decides to open up his own bookstore and no customers come, the power of imagination takes audiences on a delightful journey.

Back by popular demand, the Altoona Community Theatre cast returns in “Freckleface Strawberry the Musical” on Oct. 20. This girl with bright red hair will do anything to get rid of her freckles – from scrubbing to makeup to wearing a mask to school. This encore performance teaches us to love the skin we’re in and celebrate the differences that make us so special.

The Nov. 3 show, “From the Mixed?Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler,” follows Claudia Kincaid and her brother, Jamie, up the stone steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and right into the middle of an adventure. From the first song to the last bow, this captivating story, based on E.L. Konings-burg’s Newberry Medal-winning classic, is an imaginative romp.

The stage is set to put families in the holiday mood with Theatreworks USA’s Dec. 15 production of “Season’s Greetings.” With music, audience participation and special effects, magicians Robin and Tim Balster will create a world of wonder. The festive production features a magic elf, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, toy soldiers and a magically appearing white dove – all set in a winter wonderland.

On Feb. 27, more than 50 local young people will take on roles in the Missoula Children’s Theatre production, “Peter and Wendy.” In this MCT original adaptation of the story Peter Pan, Captain Hook sends his right-hand man, Smee, on a quest to capture the leader of the lost boys. Mistaken identities, a classy crocodile and a fickle shadow all add to the entertaining mayhem.

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the bravest Chihuahua of them all?

“Skippyjon Jones,” the Siamese cat, who thinks he’s a Mexican Chihuahua!

The season concludes on March 22 with Theatreworks USA’s new musical, “Skippyjon Jones Snow What.” While his sisters listen to “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” Skippy heads off for the real adventure, which is awaiting him in his closet.

The Blair County Arts Foundation has been offering family theater productions for 30 years and, according to executive director Kate Shaffer, more than half of a million children have attended these performances during that

time.

“The BCAF is extremely proud of the Family Theatre at the Mishler program,” Shaffer said.

“From energetic musicals, literary adaptations, and profiles of historical figures and significant events, Family Theatre entertains, enlightens and inspires 15,000 young people annually; creating magical moments that can only be found in live theatre.”

Season subscriptions, offered at a 10 percent discount over single ticket prices, are $44 for adults, $38 for seniors and $30 for children, plus a $5 subscription handling fee, and may be purchased through the Mishler box office, 944-9434, open 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.