A Year with Frog and Toad
book and lyrics by Willie Reale
music by Robert Reale
based on the books by Arnold Lobel
directed by Nick DeGruccio
November 6, 2015 - November 22, 2015

A Year with Frog and Toad

Oh, what fun! Caldecott and Newbery award winner Arnold Lobel’s beguiling stories come to life onstage—complete with foot-tapping music. Frog, Toad and their friends plant a garden, fly kites, swim in the pond (but turn away because Toad looks funny in a bathing suit) and skip rope with a large and terrible frog. Or sometimes they just like to settle down in a warm house and sip a bowl of soup. This song-filled year in the life of two charming woodland characters was a Broadway hit that captivated children, adults—and critics (Variety declared it “delighted young eyes and minds”).

Previews: November 6-13, 2015
Regular Performances: November 14-22, 2015

Recommendation: Grades K-6. Theatre for Young Audiences … and Their Families is just that, a multi-generational experience for all ages (except children under the age of four and babes-in-arms). The only requirement is that each audience member occupies a seat and sits quietly through the performance while having a wonderful time.

Originally presented on Broadway by Bob Boyett, Adrianne Lobel, Michael Gardner, Lawrence Horowitz and Roy Furman
World Premiere at The Children's Theatre Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota

A Year With Frog And Toad is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI).
All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI.
421 West 54th Street, New York, NY 10019
Phone: 212-541-4684 Fax: 212-397-4684

Visit the A Year with Frog and Toad activity page.

Willie Reale (book and lyrics) with his composer/brother, Robert Reale: A Year With Frog and Toad, Children's Theater Company in Minneapolis and Broadway (two Tony nominations for book and lyrics); Once Around The City, New York Stage and Film and Second Stage Theatre; Quark Victory, Williamstown Theatre Festival; and The Dinosaur Musical, Arden Threatre Company in Philadelphia. He is the founder and was artistic director for 18 years of The 52nd Street Project, an organization that brings inner-city children together with professional theater artists to create theater. For the Project, he has written dozens of plays, the lyrics to hundreds of songs and “52 Pick Up,” the Project’s how-to manual. The programs of The 52nd Street Project are currently being replicated at many sites across the country and Europe. In 1994, he was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in recognition of his ingenuity in creating theater and theater education programs for young people. His television credits include “Damages,” “Homicide: Life on the Streets,” “Deadline,” “Mr. Sterling,” “Keen Eddie,” “The Jury" and “Tilt.” He created a series called “Out There” for Sesame Workshop and the BBC, shot in Australia (Australian Film Institute Award, Prix Jeunesse, and Writers’ Guild of America nominations) and served as head writer and co-executive producer on the team that reinvented “The Electric Company,” now airing on PBS. His film work includes Dreamgirls (lyrics to the song “Patience,” Oscar nomination).

Robert Reale composed the Broadway musical A Year With Frog And Toad (Tony nomination) and the off-Broadway musicals Once Around The City (Second Stage) and Quark Victory (Williamstown Theater Festival). His music for plays includes Richard Dresser’s Rounding Third (directed by John Rando) Diva, (WTF) and Salvation’s Moon. His film credits include Ten-13, Passing Over, Wigstock, Dealers Among Dealers and The Victim. His television credits include "PrimeTime," "20/20," "Inside Edition," "Out There" (theme), "Invent This" (theme), "Mugshots," "Crime Stories," "The System," "The Mailman and the Pirhana," "Case Closed," "Beating The Rap" and "The Royals: Dynasty or Disaster?" As composer and record producer he has worked with Julie Andrews, Mel Torme, Sid Caeser and Imogene Coca.

Learn more about the production, cast & creative team with a peek into the program. Read full artist bios, in-depth articles and more.

Justin Michael Duval (Bird/Snail/Lizard/Father Frog/Mole). I am thrilled to be returning to South Coast Repertory and my shell after a half-dozen years away. Six years ago, I played Snail right here! You also may have seen me as one of the not-so-nice guys in The Brand New Kid; I played Peter and also the crazy dog, Doodle the Poodle. I have been acting, singing and dancing from a young age. When there was no stage, a kitchen table, department stores (always a wonderful audience) or the car were also some of my favorite places to showcase my talent. Some of my favorite roles were Potsie Weber in the national tour of Happy Days: The Musical, based on the classic TV show, and part of the ensemble of the world premiere of the Broadway musical, Chaplin. I was able to do a show with Jay Goede (the original Frog from Broadway!), when I played Papa Who in How The Grinch Stole Christmas at The Old Globe in San Diego. Most recently, I have been traveling the world with my wife on cruise ships and performing our own shows. While traveling, I have seen 81 countries in three years. I graduated from California State University, Fullerton, with a BFA in musical theatre. I am so thankful for the support of my wonderful wife Sam. www.samandjay.com

Emily Eiden (Bird/Mouse/Squirrel/Young Frog/Mole). Hello again! You might remember me from SCR’s Anastasia Krupnik; Ivy + Bean; Junie B. in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells and A Year with Frog and Toad—or your parents may have seen me here in Taking Steps. Acting in great stories like these is my family business. You see, my mom and dad met in a play directed by my grandpa, then my brother and I grew up acting in plays directed by my parents and, eventually, I met my husband in acting class! Now I spend a lot of time reading and acting out books, like Frog and Toad Together, with my darling and hilarious toddler and our dog, Count Timothy the Great. Professionally, I get to bring characters to life in stories on stage, screen and even on your iPod! You can hear me tell stories in audiobooks, like the Whatever After series, Goosebumps: The Ghost Next Door and the Paranormalcy trilogy. You also might recognize my voice in cartoons like Children Make Terrible Pets, Clarence, TripTank and an upcoming top secret series—or in the planetarium shows at Griffith Observatory. Please enjoy our story today!

Alex Miller (Frog). I’m super-excited to be back at SCR, where you may have seen me as the Emperor in The Emperor's New Clothes, the Prince in The Prince and the Pauper and Pør Quinly in The Adventures of Pør Quinly. Originally from cold Chicago, I grew up performing in fun shows like Oliver, Pippin and Mame. I've also been on cool TV shows with my identical twin brother (yes, there're two of me!) like “Pushing Daisies,” “Almost Human” and “Victorious.” Because I am a huge animal lover, I also help furry creatures in need with my animal ambulance business that I run with my sister. Much love to my family and friends, especially the newest additions—Jarvis and Giselle. Enjoy the show and remember...frogs, like humans, love to sing and dance.

Louis Pardo (​Toad). My name is Louis and I am from the desert. I was last seen onstage at SCR in A Light in the Piazza. As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to entertain. When I was a boy, I had a lot of interests like puppetry, magic and playing the trumpet. I went to school at California State University, Fullerton, and after that, I went on tour with a show called Jesus Christ Superstar. Since then, I have worked all over California. A few years ago, I worked for a group that travels to schools around Orange County called The Imagination Machine. Last year, I got to play Iago in Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular at Disney's California Adventure. It is a dream come true to be performing in A Year with Frog and Toad, and I thank you for coming out to join us!

Erika Schindele (Bird/Turtle/Squirrel/Mother Frog/Mole). I am so excited to be spending another year with Frog and Toad. Since I can remember, I’ve loved playing in a world of make-believe. As an actor, I have met people and visited places I could only imagine. I’ve been shipwrecked in Twelfth Night and married to Thomas Jefferson in 1776. At SCR, I have been seen as Belle in A Christmas Carol, and before that, I was a bride on her wedding day chasing after her husband who was trying to find An Italian Straw Hat. Also, I swept the stage floors as Cinderumplestiltskin in The Stinky Cheeseman and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, I showed my stripes in Jane of the Jungle, was a girl with long braids in Sideways Stories, a princess in Junie B. Jones in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells! and Junie B. Jones and a Little Monkey Business, and I made new friends in The Brand New Kid and spent A Year with Frog and Toad. Though I’ve encountered many people in my theatrical journeys who have touched my life, my dad and mom will always be my heroes.
Creative Team

​Nick DeGruccio (Director) is happy to return to South Coast Repertory and A Year with Frog and Toad, which he originally directed in the 2008-09 season. He also directed SCR's Putting It Together and The Emperor’s New Clothes. Elsewhere, he directed the Southern California premiere of First Date (La Mirada Theatre), Sondheim’s Company (Cabrillo Music Theatre) and the L.A. regional premiere of Next to Normal for La Mirada Theatre (eight 2013 Ovation nominations including direction) and for San Diego Music Theatre (San Diego Critics Circle nomination for direction), Truman Capote’s A Christmas Memory (Laguna Playhouse), The Andrews Brothers (Coyote StageWorks; Best Director, Desert League Awards) and the world premiere of The End of It (The Matrix Theatre.) His productions include The Laramie Project (Laguna Playhouse and Colony Theatre; L.A. premiere, Ovation Awards for Best Play, Best Direction, Best Ensemble), Side Show (L.A. premiere, eight Ovation Nominations including direction and voted one of the Top 10 Plays by the Los Angeles Times), Jekyll & Hyde (Cabrillo Music Theatre; Ovation Award for direction, nine Ovation nominations) and 1776 (Musical Theatre West, Performance Riverside,Cabrillo; five L.A. Ovation Awards including direction and Best Musical), the world premiere of Caught (Zephyr Theatre), The Last Five Years (L.A. premiere, Pasadena Playhouse), Cinderella (The Ordway Theatre), My Way (La Mirada Theatre), Man of La Mancha, Rent, west coast premiere of The Andrews Brothers (Musical Theatre West), Guys and Dolls (Cabrillo Music Theatre), The Full Monty (San Diego Music Theatre) and The Fantasticks (Performance Riverside). He is the artistic director of Havok Theatre Company and with them has directed numerous award-winning productions. Nick is the recipient of the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Achievement in Musical Theatre and is an alumnus of the Lincoln Center Theatre Director’s Lab West. www.nickdegruccio.com

Deborah Wicks La Puma (Music Director/Arranger) loves working at SCR, where her musical, Jane of the Jungle premiered. Some of her other favorite shows that she has music directed at SCR include The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, James and the Giant Peach, Junie B. Jones and a Little Monkey Business, Imagine and The Only Child. She has been doing shows for kids and grown-ups for more than 20 years, and her favorite thing to do is write musicals, including Elephant and Piggie: We are in a Play! at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.; Einstein is a Dummy at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, Ga.; and Ferdinand the Bull at Imagination Stage, Mass. She started playing piano, singing and writing songs when she was nine, and studied music at Stanford University and New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. She now lives in Irvine with her husband, three daughters and pet cat, Mimi. www.crunchynotes.com.

Fred Kinney (Set Design) builds the models and creates the drawings that the carpenters and painters make into the scenery that you see on stage today. This is Fred’s seventh production at SCR; he also designed The Elephant for The Emperor's New Clothes, New Duck City for Lucky Duck and three worlds and an evil brain for A Wrinkle in Time. When he was just a small boy, he thought he might become a painter, sculptor or an architect. In high school, he started to design the school plays and really enjoyed it, and still does. He is the proud father of Kate and Gigi, who will be enjoying this production with their kindergarten class.

Soojin Lee (Costume Design) is from the beautiful and colorful country of South Korea. Soojin has enjoyed art since she was a little girl and remembers spending most of her childhood just drawing and being inspired to design anything and everything! Following her natural passion, she decided to pursue fine arts and has traveled abroad to study and learn from different cultures. She attended Wimbledon School of the Arts in England and CalArts in the United States and focused her studies in costume design. As a professional costume designer, Soojin has worked on many Shakespearean plays, modern plays, musicals, films and dances. She is here to help you imagine new friends, Frog and Toad!

Karyn Lawrence (Lighting Design) is a Los Angeles-based theatrical lighting designer. She always has loved the art of storytelling and grew up drawing, painting, dancing and acting. She fell in love with lighting design while studying acting at the University of California, Irvine. From magical twinkle lights to flashy rock n’ roll strobes, she loves to paint with light! Karyn has designed the lighting for numerous plays, musicals, operas, dances and events, including SCR’s Theatre for Young Audiences production of The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, as well as for SCR's Theatre Conservatory players productions of Mary Poppins, Peter Pan, Annie and Seussical. One of her favorite designs is lighting the haunted mazes for Universal Studios' Halloween Horror Nights each year. She earned her MFA in lighting from UC Irvine.

Mark Johnson (Sound Design) has been working as a sound design guy for nine years. He originally is from Tucson, Ariz. Mark loves theatre so much that he went to college and got a degree in sound design at CalArts. He works all over Orange County and Los Angeles and even has worked on cruise ships with Nickelodeon, as well as at theme parks like Universal Studios Hollywood. He is very happy that his job is to hit pans together, bounce springs and make so many silly noises for you to hear! Mark also gets to make sure that you folks in the audience can hear the actors and that they sound great. The actors are wearing small microphones hidden on their bodies to help capture their voices so we can make them louder for you to hear, even if you’re sitting in the back. Can you find the mic on your favorite actor?

Jennifer Ellen Butler (Stage Manager) started doing theatre in the fifth grade and she loved it so much that she never stopped. She was an actor and crew member until she learned about the wonders of stage managing! She went to college and got a degree in theatre from the beautiful University of California, Santa Cruz, and now stage-managing is her full-time job. Stage managers don’t get to act crazy on stage, but they still have a lot of fun (yes, organizing and paperwork are fun). During the show, she sits behind you in the back of the theatre in a room called the booth and tells everyone what to do and makes sure the show goes smoothly.

Music Theatre International (MTI) is one of the world's leading theatrical licensing agencies, granting schools as well as amateur and professional theatres from around the world the rights to perform the largest selection of great musicals from Broadway and beyond. MTI works directly with the composers, lyricists and book writers of these shows to provide official scripts, musical materials and dynamic theatrical resources to over 60,000 theatrical organizations in the US and in over 60 countries worldwide. MTI is particularly dedicated to the idea of theatre as education and has created special collections to meet the needs of various types of performers and audiences: The MTI Broadway Junior Collection® features 30 and 60 minute musicals for elementary and middle school-aged performers. MTI School Editions™ showcase musicals that have been annotated for performance by high school students. The Theatre For Young Audiences (TYA) Collection highlights 70-minute musicals desig

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A Year with Frog and Toad Study Guide
Peek into the A Year with Frog and Toad program

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