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Detra Payne - DIRECTOR

Hayley E. Wallenfeldt -SCENIC DESIGN


Jessica Van Winkle - COSTUME DESIGN

Photography: Justin Barber &  H. Wallenfeldt

The Snowy Day and Other Stories By Ezra Jack Keats

February- March  2023

Wallis Theater, Northwestern University

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Adapted for the Stage By: Jerome Hairston

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The wonder of a fresh snowfall, the delight of whistling for the first time, being inclusive in one’s friendships, and the awe in finding a special treasure. These pleasures all come to life in The Snowy Day and Other Stories by Ezra Jack Keats; stories and characters that ultimately became an inspiration for Sesame Street! Packed with humor and fun, this Caldecott Winner celebrates the joy in the small moments of a child’s world.

Central to the Snowy Day and all of Ezra Jack Keats work is black joy, specifically the unapologetic joy of black childhood and an urban black childhood. As a child that grew up in a city myself, I wanted the setting of the Snowy Day to feel un-apologetically urban. The grime of the city and the fear we instill in it as adults do not exist in the eyes of a child. I wanted to put the city through a child's lens while staying as true as possible to the colors and textural quality found in Ezra Jack Keats illustrations.

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Process Work

Click image to enlarge

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The color pallet for the show went through multiple iterations to come to one that met the specificity of the directors vision.

Puppets designed to feel like they stepped directly out of the books with whimsical scaling and texture to match.

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