Kerfuffle is bringing theater for the very young to Chicago’s parks this summer!


HONK HONK! Attention toddlers! Goose is here, and she’s excited to share that Kerfuffle is bringing fun to the parks this summer!

Goose and Gert is a fun, silly and whimsical game specially designed for children aged 2 to 6 that explores friendship, opposites and noise. Founded by Ashley Laverty in 2015, Kerfuffle is one of three theater companies in the United States dedicated to creating plays exclusively for children under the age of 6, and they are proud to produce Goose and Gert in six Chicago’s various parks in July as a part of the Evening Parks in the Chicago Park District. Goose and Gert is a featured event in this year’s new early years series.

At Goose and Gert, Gert seeks peace and quiet. Goose just wants a friend. Created for very young children, the non-verbal piece features live music, found object puppets, and is sure to engage audiences with its physical storytelling and dotted surprises.

The play is written and directed by Ashley Laverty, the founding artistic director of Kerfuffle. The play was originally developed in partnership with The Rose Theater in Omaha, Nebraska in 2019. Kerfuffle seeks to include the very young in the development of their plays, in order to better understand early childhood development and the interests of very young members. audience of the play. Goose and Gert was developed in direct partnership with preschoolers at a Rose-style creative drama summer camp, and information gathered from working with young children fed into the play. Together, Kerfuffle and la Rose co-produced a production workshop in three Omaha parks throughout the month of June 2019.

The Chicago production is a reimagining of the original production, as it features new actors and new music. Additionally, the play explores themes of isolation and how to connect and make friends in a post-pandemic world. Alexis Willis, as Gert, plays the bamboo flute imagining a serene afternoon in the park, while Shea Lee, who plays a perennial Canadian goose, continues to interrupt the peace and quiet! Sophia Vitello accompanies the game with guitar, ukulele, kazoo and other noise makers.

Goose and Gert is featured as part of the Chicago Park District Night Out in the Parks series, supported by the Mayor’s Office and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. Now in its 9th year, the 2021 Night Out in the Parks program features cultural events year round in neighborhood parks across the city. The Chicago Park District, in partnership with more than 100 local artists and organizations, presents engaging events and performances that enhance the quality of life in Chicago and amplify the artistic and cultural vibrancy of each neighborhood. Across multiple disciplines, which include theater, music, film, dance, site work, nature programs and community festivals, the series aims to support Chicago-based artists, facilitate partnerships. and community programs, cultivate civic engagement and ensure equity in access to the arts for all Chicagoans. To further expand the reach of these cultural, artistic and natural experiences, the Chicago Park District has set up a virtual platform to highlight the diversity of Chicago’s artistic offering and provide fair access to some of these performances. for all Chicagoans and visitors. For more information on nightlife in Chicago Park District parks, visit www.nightoutintheparks.

Additionally, Goose and Gert is partially funded by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

Goose and Gert, enjoyed by children under 6 and their families, performs July 10-26, 2021. Performances take place at:

  • West Ridge Nature Preserve Play Space (5801 N Western Ave, 60659)

    • Saturday July 10 at 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.
    • Sunday July 11 at 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.
    • Friday July 16 at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Berger Park (6205 N Sheridan Rd, 60660)
    • Saturday July 17 at 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.
  • Nichols Park (1355 E 53rd St, 60615)

  • West Pullman Park (401 W 123rd St, 60628)

  • Bauler Playlot Park (501 W. Wisconsin St, 60614)

  • Skinner Park (1331 W Adams St, 60607)

  • Rainy dates are planned for July 18 and 25

Admission is free for all. Spectators are encouraged to bring their own blankets or chairs. Seats are allocated on a first come, first served basis, and members of the public will be asked to stand at least 3 feet apart and wear a mask. The play lasts 45 minutes and the cast and crew will wear masks. Children will have the opportunity to meet the actors after the play.


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