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Based on the book by Lois Brandt and illustrated by Vin Vogel
Adapted by Anne Negri

Produced by Childsplay 

From Tempe, Arizona

About the Company
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Maddi and Sofia are best friends. They live in the same neighborhood, go to the same school, and play in the park together. Maddi is really good at climbing the rock wall, while Sofia is a fast runner. One day Sofia discovers that Maddi has no food in her fridge at home, but Maddi makes her promise not to tell anyone and to keep it a secret. What should Sofia do?


She sneaks food for Maddi in her bag and discovers that while fish and eggs are good for people, they aren’t very good for backpacks. Despite Sofia’s very best efforts, Maddi’s fridge is still empty.  Can Sofia find a way to keep her word but also help her best friend? Based on the book by Lois Brandt, this play is a thoughtful and funny exploration of friendship, empathy, and doing the right thing. 

Childsplay is also touring THE SNOWY DAY AND OTHER STORIES in 2019-2020 .

Best for Grades: 1st–6th

Audience Size: Medium, Large Venues

Please contact us to watch an archival
full length recording.



Company Background

Past Tours: Tomás and the Library Lady; Go, Dog. Go!; The Cat in the Hat; Schoolhouse Rock Live!; and Rock the Presidents

Since 1977, Childsplay has been committed to its mission: “To create theatre so strikingly original in form, content or both that it instills in young people an enduring awe, love, and respect for the medium, thus preserving imagination and wonder, those hallmarks of childhood that are the keys to the future.” 

Childsplay is a resident professional company of adult actors who teach and perform for young audiences and families. The internationally respected theatre company believes that young people deserve to experience theatre of the highest artistic quality. Childsplay has performed for more than 5 million children and adults and has grown to serve an average annual audience of 250,000 children, teachers and families. Childsplay's recent national tours include Tomás and the Library Lady in the 2007-2008, 2013-2014, and 2018-2019 seasons, Peter and the Wolf in 2009-2010, Ferdinand the Bull in 2010-2011, Rock the Presidents in 2012 – 2013, 2016-2017, Schoolhouse Rock Live in 2014-2015 and Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat in 2015- 2016, 2016 - 2017. 

In addition to Childsplay’s professional productions,  its educational programming has expanded dramatically in response to the needs of school partners. Over 1,500 young people attend classes each year in the Childsplay Theatre Academy and nearly 5,000 students experience drama directly in their classrooms through Childsplay’s Education Outreach programs. These programs emphasize experiential learning, language acquisition and literacy competency – essential precursors to overall academic achievement and long-term success across all subject areas. Childsplay believes that by continuing to create strikingly original theatre and connecting to young people’s learning potential, we can build a generation of creative learners, innovative thinkers and dynamic leaders.

Visit the company's website.

Artistic Team

Artistic Team

Based on the book by Lois Brandt and illustrated by Vin Vogel
Adapted by Anne Negri

Director: Jenny Millinger
Scenic Designer: Holly Windingstad
Costume Designer: Holly Windingstad
Lighting Designer: Kara Ramlow
Sound Designer: Christopher Neumeyer

Puppet Designer:  Liz Ihlenfeld

Critical Acclaim

“As a play that shows us children working out social dilemmas on their own terms, “Maddi’s Fridge” reflects Childsplay’s respect for young audiences and offers a few chuckles along the way.” 

—Kerry Lengel, The Arizona Republic

“Great performance! Great story to share that raises awareness about children and food insecurity!”

—Audience Member

“A great experience with my 7-year-old daughter. Introducing her to theater and she was captivated. Wonderful message and beautifully acted.”

—Audience Member

“This was a wonderful show, presenting an important topic in an excellent way!”

—Audience Member

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Critical Acclaim
Past Productions

Gallery of Past Productions


Curriculum Connections

Curriculum Connections
  • Fine Arts: Performance, Design, Adapting a book into a play

  • Language Arts: Literacy, Reading and Writing, Character, Narrative, Craft and Structure (5.RL.6) Describe how a narrator’s or speaker’s point of view influences how events are described.

  • Social Studies: Childhood Hunger, Food Insecurity in Communities, Poverty

  • Emotional/Social Development: 21st Century Learning - Solve Problems (K-12), Perseverance, Empathy, Friendship, Health -Asking for Help (3-5.S4.C3.PO1) and Helping Others

Sample Study Guides

Sample Study Guides

Minimum Technical Requirements

Minimum Tech
  • Load in: 4 hours

  • Crew Needs: 4 to load in (4 carpenters/electricians), 1 light board op, show crew to strike

  • Min. Stage Size: 25 feet wide by 25 feet deep by 15 feet high

  • Soft goods: 3 sets of legs and borders, 1 cyc US

  • Sound: Sound reinforcement with six (6) available inputs and four (4) minimum outputs, two (2) monitors. Childsplay travels with their own mics.

  • Lighting: Theatrical Lighting required.  Childsplay will provide the plot and gobos

  • Load out: 1 hour


Outreach and Workshops

Stories take you places you could never have imagined. Bringing those stories to life is the actor’s job. Let your class explore the art of object transformation and storytelling with the cast of MADDI'S FRIDGE. This workshop will be 55 minutes and can be done with one classroom at a time, either at the school or in a classroom sized room at the theatre. Workshops will be led by Childsplay cast members either before or after seeing a performance. 

Sensory Friendly Performances

This performance is available as a “sensory friendly” or “relaxed” performance if arranged with the company in advance and with specific direction as to what adjustments are necessary for your venue.

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