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Based on the books by Ezra Jack Keats
Adapted by Jerome Hairston

Produced by Childsplay 

From Tempe, Arizona

About the Company
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Follow Peter and his friends through winter, spring, summer and fall as they romp and play, start snow ball fights and make snow angels, journey in space and under the sea, and more, all in this imaginative musical play. Using innovative shadow puppetry, THE SNOWY DAY celebrates the magic and boundless possibilities of childhood and the challenges of growing up.


Keats’ treasured characters come to life in this humorous and fun adaptation of the collected stories: "Whistle for Willie", "Goggles!", "A Letter to Amy", and "The Snowy Day." A classic since its publication in 1962 and winner of the Caldecott Medal, "The Snowy Day" was one of the first picture books for young people to feature an African American protagonist and is still beloved today.

Childsplay is also touring MADDI'S FRIDGE
in 2019-2020 .

Best for Grades: Pre K–3rd

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,  it’s 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 books by Ezra Jack Keats
Adapted by Jerome Hairston
Music by Victor Zupanc
Director: Katie McFadzen
Costume Design: Gail Wolfenden-Steib
Scenic Design: Douglas Clarke
Lighting Design: John D. Alexander
Music Director: Thomas Strawser
Puppet Design: Liz Ihlenfeld
Sound Design: Christopher Neumeyer

Critical Acclaim

“It’s the heart and affection for the material that makes Childsplay’s production work as well as it does….your children will still relate to challenges of childhood as experienced by young Peter. It will stir the imagination and make their lives all the richer.”

—Valley Screen and Stage: David Appleford’s Film and Theatre Reviews

“With a talented cast and playful direction, Childsplay's production uses various theatrical devices to help bring Keats' illustrations and characters beautifully to life on stage in a rich and rewarding way.”

—Gil Benbrook, Talkin’ Broadway Review

“..The play employs music and charming shadow puppetry to hold young theatergoers’ attention. There are lovely moments, many involving Peter’s dog, a wooden dachshund on rollers.”

—Kerry Lengel, The Arizona Republic

“We’ve attended many Childsplay performances in the past. This was by far the most amazing one. The acting was so incredible. The woman who played the mom and Peter’s friends had such a soothing lovely voice… it way surpassed any expectations I had. The set and effects were incredible and I felt like I was in the book. And to hear my 4 year old belly laugh several times was so touching. This was so well done on every level.”

—Family Audience Patron

"We LOVED the performance. You all do such a wonderful job with your plays. I am always thoroughly impressed. The children loved watching the book they had read being brought to life."

—First Grade Teacher

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Critical Acclaim
Past Productions

Gallery of Past Productions


Curriculum Connections

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

  • Language Arts: Literacy, Reading and Writing, Character, Narrative and Structure

  • Science: Weather, Seasons, Properties of Matter, (K.S6.C3.PO 3): Give examples of how the weather affects people’s daily activities. 

  • Early Learning Standard:  Social Emotional Learning (S1.C2): Recognizes and Expresses Feelings of self and others 

  • 21st Century Learning: Life and Career Skills (K-12) Work Independently 

Sample Study Guides

Sample Study Guides

Minimum Technical Requirements

Minimum Tech
  • Load in: 5 hours

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

  • Min. Stage Size: 30 feet wide by 30 feet deep by 20 feet high

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

  • Sound: Sound reinforcement with six (6) available inputs and four (4) minimum outputs, two (2) monitors

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

  • Load out: 1.5 hours


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 The Snowy Day. 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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