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The Magik Theatre Brings Children's Book "Skippyjon Jones" To Life

Tracey Maurer
Cast of Skippyjon Jones

A famous children’s book has been adapted to the local stage. I spoke to the Magik Theatre Artistic Director Dave Morgan, and I had to ask him, "So what the heck is a 'Skippyjon Jones?'"

“'Skippyjon Jones' is a cat that thinks its ears are too big for its head, so he wants to be a Chihuahua. And he loves Chihuahuas," Morgan said.

If you don’t know "Skippyjon Jones," it’s probably because like me, you don’t have young children. The books are wildly popular, and Morgan decided it needed to leap from the pages onto the Magik’s stage.

“I chased the author, bugged her about three years and finally got through," Morgan said. "I spent a lot of time on the phone about the characters to be sure I got it right."

So he wrote the adaptation and now the Magik is running "Skippyjon Jones" through February 22. But there’s something else that’s interesting about this production. It’s technically quite sophisticated.

"We actually pixel-mapped the stage and do some neat effects with projectors from the front" Morgan explained. "He [Skippyjon] walks on a high-wire right at the start of the show. And so it looks like he’s outside even though he’s in his bedroom because he imagines he’s outside."

And then Skippy goes to the circus.

“We follow him into the tent and instead of trying to get actual lions, tigers and bears, we do a shadow play. And some of it’s animated and some of it’s live shadows," Morgan said.

Music is done live, and better yet, composed locally.  

"So if you’re a fan of the book it’s really fun to see it come to life that way" said Morgan. "It’s just a fun day out. And it’s a fun, it’s a fun show for adults as well. We really took that into consideration."

The Magik specializes in theater for young people and their Hemisfair Park facility on South Alamo is a great place to see a production.

For more on the production visit: www.magiktheatre.org

Jack Morgan can be reached at jack@tpr.org and on Twitter at @JackMorganii