Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College continues its 2011-2012 Target FamilyFun series on Sunday, April 22, 2012 at 2pm with John Steptoe's Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters - An African Tale, performed by the Dallas Children's Theater on Tour. The series concludes with American Family Theater's Cinderella on May 20, 2012 at 2pm.
When a great African king desires a wife, only the most perfect maidens in the land are invited to meet him. Mufaro's daughters, two young women of very different dispositions, travel a half day's journey through a mystical jungle and across a deep river to be presented to the king. Along the way they encounter a number of mysterious situations that test their courage, kindness and strength of spirit. Both are beautiful, but does either have the inner beauty of a potential queen? Based on the Caldecott Award-winning children's book of the same name, this new family musical sets the Cinderella story amidst the splendor of Zimbabwe, incorporating authentic African drumming, original songs, and powerful and majestic choreography.
Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters - An African Tale will be immediately followed by Brooklyn Center's fifth annual National Grid Earth Day Celebration, a free community festival.
Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts' 2011-2012 Target FamilyFun series is sponsored by Target.
John Lewis Steptoe, creator of award-winning picture books for children, was born and raised in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. He began drawing as a young child and received his formal art training at the High School of Art and Design in Manhattan. While still a student, he began work on his first children's book, Stevie. Two years later, at the age of 18, he came to national attention when Stevie appeared in its entirety in Life magazine. He would go on to illustrate 15 more picture books, ten of which he also wrote.
Mr. Steptoe hoped that his books would lead children, especially African American children, to feel pride in their origins and in who they are. "I am not an exception to the rule among my race of people," he said. "I am the rule. By that I mean there are a great many others like me where I come from."
John Steptoe was only 38 years old when he died at Saint Luke's Hospital in Manhattan, following a long illness. Mr. Steptoe is one of only a handful of African American artists who have made a successful career in children's books.
Named by Time Magazine as one of the top 5 children's theater companies in the US, and the only one of that group to tour nationally, this acclaimed company was founded in 1984 and began a local touring program in 1985 with a Native American piece entitled Legend of the Bluebonnet. In 1989, the touring roster expanded to statewide and regional venues. In 1996, DCT launched its first national tour. September 2006 marked DCT's introduction to the world stage, as the theater was honored with an invitation to perform at the 2006 Shanghai International Children's Culture and Arts Expo in Shanghai, China. DCT is currently celebrating their 28th Anniversary.
Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College will once again partner with Target® to bring quality, affordable, and family friendly performing arts programming to the diverse cultural communities of Brooklyn. For the past 26 years, Brooklyn Center has presented weekend matinees specifically chosen for families with children ages four to twelve. Renamed the Target FamilyFun seriesin 2008, the series is designed to provide parents the opportunity to introduce their children to live music, theater and dance at affordable prices. Allseats for Brooklyn Center's 2011-2012 Target FamilyFun series are $7.00-$10.00.
Founded in 1954, the mission of Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts is to present outstanding performing arts and arts education programs, reflective of Brooklyn's diverse communities, at affordable prices. Brooklyn Center's presentations explore both the classical traditions and the boldest contemporary performances, embracing the world culture that defines Brooklyn. Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts welcomes over 70,000 people to the 2,400-seat Walt Whitman Theatre each season, and boasts one of the largest arts education programs in the borough, serving 46,000 schoolchildren from over 300 schools annually with its SchoolTime series. In recognition of its commitment to quality family programming, Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts has been voted Brooklyn's Best Theater or Theater Group for Kids as part of Nickelodeon's 2009 Parents Connect Parents' Picks Awards. This award follows Brooklyn Center's selection as Brooklyn's Best Place for Family Bonding in 2008.