Farmer James has lost his bees, there’s only gruel to eat and now the townspeople (the audience) have arrived to protest, chanting “There’s no good food, we’re in a bad mood.” To Bee tells James’ comic, tragic and ultimately hopeful story – complete with puppetry, clowning, dance, live music and lots of audience participation. Piti created the show to raise awareness about the honeybee’s plight and gives children and adults tools for helping bees thrive in their communities. Learn more about the ways some towns turn the show into a “Bee Week” by clicking here.
To Bee is designed for two performers and one musician. This simplicity will facilitate our vision of making the show available to other performance teams in other cities – nationally and internationally. The show is also available in french following the Swiss premiere in November, 2012.
“I really enjoyed the play “To Bee or Not to Bee.” It was an interesting blend of environmental education in a format that worked well for a very wide age range. A day care provider with young children told me “It was a great topic, and the music, dance and puppets captivated my young children. Some of them have a very hard time sitting still, but they were focused the entire time.” I especially enjoyed the music. The keyboard player was great and really added to the show. One of her songs is still stuck in my head three days later.” – Linda Hicks, Children’s Librarian, Montague MA
Northampton, MA singer/songwriter Carrie Ferguson wrote the music and collaborated with Jonathan Mirin on lyrics for the production. She plays the Piano Lady in the show.
10% For the Bees Campaign
One of the major challenges facing honeybees (and many other species around the globe) is loss of habitat. In the words of local beekeeper Dan Conlon of Warm Colors Apiary, honeybees in many parts of the U.S. simply “don’t have enough to eat.” Our 10% For the Bees Campaign will encourage audiences to let nature plant 10% of their lawn – or plant a bee garden. Organic seeds for bee gardens (donated by High Mowing Seeds and Horizon Herbs) will be distributed after every show.
“. . . thanks to the Piti Theatre Company for bringing a top quality arts education program to our community.”
- Aranka Matolscy, Executive Director, Mahoosuc Arts Council, Bethel, Maine
” . . . a great little show packed with lots of information. It had several catchy tunes that students sang for the rest of the day.”
- Marie Hershkovitz, 4th/5th grade teacher, Bridge Street School, Northampton, Mass
Schools can decide if they would like us to work with their classes of 3rd – 5th graders beforehand in preparation to be part of the performance. For example, there could be a half hour rehearsal just before the show or as many as 5 rehearsals leading up to the performance in a residency format where children learn singing, dancing and acting skills in the context of enriching their life science curriculum. The show can also be performed “as is.”
A post-show information sheet with follow-up activities is available to help teachers integrate the show into the curriculum. We provide seed packets for teachers who want to plant flowers that bees like with their classes. Other pre & post-show activities include:
- constructing hives for native bees
- a visit from or to a local beekeeper
- exploring honeybee social structure through theatre
- planting a bee garden
Previous school venues include: Bridge Street School, Northampton; Colrain Central School; Lt. Clayre P. Sullivan School, Holyoke; R.K. Finn Ryan Road School, Florence, Crescent Park Elementary School, Bethel, Maine.
Production Requirements: Minimum 20′ wide by 15′ deep indoor or outdoor playing space – raised stage not required.
Length: 1 hour plus optional pre-performance actor preparation workshop.
2013 Tour Venues
- Northampton Center for the Arts, Northampton MA: Saturday, February 16 at 2 pm
- Amazing Things Arts Center Framingham MA: Saturday, February 23 at 2:30 pm
- SYRUP: One Sweet Performing Arts Festival, Memorial Hall, Shelburne Falls, MA: Saturday, March 9, Afternoon for family audiences begins at 2 pm
- Bethel, Maine: March 29
- Greenfield, MA: Academy of Early Learning, Wed., April 10 at 9:30 am
- Warwick, MA: Warwick Town Hall, Tues., April 16 at 1 pm
- Amherst Sustainability Festival, MA: Amherst Town Common, Sat., April 27 at 10 am
- Cambridge River Festival, MA: Children and Family Stage on the Charles River near Harvard Square, Sat., June 1 at noon
- Neuchâtel, SWITZERLAND: Jardin Botanique, Saturday June 15 at 2 pm and 4:30 pm
THANK YOU SPONSORS!
Franklin Community Cooperative
Greenfield Co-operative Bank
Hope and Olive Restaurant
Northeast Solar Design
Better World Auto Club
Bicycle World, Inc.
Follow the Honey
High Mowing Seeds
South River Miso Company
Trolley Stop Antiques and Collectibles
Warm Colors Apiary
THANK YOU FUNDERS!
The Art Angels
The Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts
The Puffin Foundation
The Amherst, Buckland, Colrain and Montague Cultural Councils*
The Xeric Foundation
*This program is supported in part by grants from the Amherst, Buckland, Colrain and Montague Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.
THANK YOU DONORS!
Kippy Dewey, David Fersh, Susan Kooperstein, Steven Mirin and Margaret McKenna, Jim and Rhoda McManus, Craig Miller, Barry and Karen Oshry, our community, Daniel Stuart, Pamela Swift, Stefan Topolski, M.D.