Press Release - Mr. Popper's Penguins

SCR Kicks Off Theatre for Young Audiences Season with Musical Mr. Popper’s Penguins

COSTA MESA, Calif. (Oct. 24, 2016)—South Coast Repertory opens the 2016-17 Theatre for Young Audiences series with the classic children’s story, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, Nov. 4-20. Six actors and 24 puppets bring this musical adaptation to life in this show directed and choreographed by Art Manke. Tickets are on sale now:

Richard and Florence Atwater’s 1938 book, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, has been a beloved tale for countless young readers. Playwright Robert Kauzlaric knew the story from his own childhood—it was his father’s favorite—and adapted it for the stage in 2015, with music and lyrics by George Howe. 

Mr. and Mrs. Popper’s lives take an adventurous turn when a mysterious box arrives on their doorstep with a penguin inside. Not long after, the local aquarium sends over a female penguin and soon, the Poppers are hearing the patter of 20 little feet (that’s 10 baby penguins, if you’re counting). Music, dancing and puppetry make this great family entertainment for ages 4 and older.

“This is such a delightful and hopeful story,” said Manke, who previously directed The Wind in the Willows and Lucky Duck in the TYA series. “Despite Mr. Popper’s limited financial resources, his rich imagination propels him on a journey across America, an adventure that ends at the South Pole, where he restores the penguins to their natural home. This play teaches us that doing what is morally and ethically correct always is—in the end—the best choice.”

The cast of Mr. Popper’s Penguins includes, Scott McLean Harrison, Marlene Martinez, Alex Miller, A.J. Sclafani, Miles Taber and Nicole Weber.

The design and creative team includes Keith Mitchell, set designer; Angela Balogh Calin, costume designer; Sean T. Cawelti, puppet design and direction; Josh Epstein, lighting designer; Michael K. Hooker, sound designer; Alby Potts, musical director; Joanne DeNaut, CSA, casting; Jackie S. Hill, production manager; and Roxana Khan, stage manager.

Mr. Popper’s Penguins is generously supported by Education Honorary Producer Leona Aronoff-Sadacca and Corporate Honorary Producer Snell & Wilmer Law Offices. The media partner is OC Family magazine. A major grant from the Segerstrom Foundation supports SCR’s three-production young audiences series.

Tickets start at $22 for children ages 4-12; $27 for adults. For complete information, visit

Related information for Mr. Popper’s Penguins

Tickets: May be purchased online at, by phone at (714) 708-5555 or by visiting the box office at 655 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa. Ticket prices start at $22 for children ages 4-12; $27 for adults. Low-priced preview performances run Nov 4-11. Performances run Nov 4-20.

Performance Dates and Times: 


  • Friday, Nov. 4, at 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, Nov. 5, at 4:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, Nov. 6, at 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
  • Friday, Nov. 11, at 7 p.m.

Regular Performances

  • Saturday, Nov. 12, at 11 a.m., 2 p.m., and 4:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, Nov. 13, at 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
  • Friday, Nov. 18, at 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, Nov. 19, at 11 a.m., 2 p.m., and 4:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, Nov. 20, at 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.


  • Saturday, Nov. 19, at 2 p.m., is an American Sign Language-interpreted performance.

Upcoming Family Friendly Productions: A Christmas Carol (Nov. 25-Dec. 24) adapted by Jerry Patch; Flora & Ulysses (Feb. 3-19, 2017) by John Glore, adapted from the book by Kate DiCamillo; and Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing (May 19-June 4, 2017) adapted for the stage by Bruce Mason and based on the book by Judy Blume. Further information is available at

Written by Alyssa Dong.

ABOUT SOUTH COAST REPERTORY: Tony Award-winning South Coast Repertory, founded in 1964 by David Emmes and Martin Benson, is widely recognized as one of the leading professional theatres in the United States. While its productions represent a balance of classic and modern theatre, SCR is renowned for its extensive new-play development program, which includes the nation’s largest commissioning program for emerging and established writers. One-quarter of SCR’s 525 productions have been world premieres. SCR-developed works have garnered two Pulitzer Prizes and eight Pulitzer nominations, several Obie Awards and scores of major new-play awards. Located in Costa Mesa, Calif., SCR is home to the 507-seat Segerstrom Stage, the 336-seat Julianne Argyros Stage and the 94-seat Nicholas Studio.