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Arts Center Cows ‘typecast’

By Eric E. Harrison

This article was published January 23, 2014 at 2:46 a.m.


Jeremy Matthey plays Duck with John Isner as Farmer Brown in Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type at the Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre.

Farm animals protesting poor working conditions come up with an ingenious method of taking their barnyard revolution to their “boss” in Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type, opening Friday at the Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre.

Moriah Patterson and Aleigha Garstka are the cows in question.

“My cow is motherly and responsible,” says Patterson, who plays Cow 1 and is choreographing the production. “She’s the voice of reason, trying to prevent a jump to violence.”

Meanwhile, “My cow is very stubborn and at the end of her rope,” adds Garstka, who plays Cow 2. “She’s fed up with the cold barn and eating hay, and she’s the spark to our revolution.She’s tired of giving her milk and her friend the Hen [Veronica Lowry] of giving her eggs,” and not getting much in return.

An old typewriter that the Duck (Jeremy Matthey) turns up becomes “the way to communicate with Farmer Brown [John Isner] to get what we want,” Patterson explains. “Peacefully,” Garstka adds.

It’s also the Duck’s job to explain to the rest of the animals - and to the children in the audience who mostly will be too young to have seen one - what a typewriter is, what it does and how it does it.

Children’s Theatre Artistic Director Bradley Anderson is at the helm; Lori Isner is the musical director.

Patterson and Garstka will use devices designed by costumer Erin Larkin - prosthetic noses, hand in-glove hooves and “udder aprons” - to turn into storybook cows.

Their toughest task, Garstka says, is “beefing up” the bovine characters.

“It’s taking a storybook that I got in a Cheerios box as a child and making it engaging, something meaningful,” she says.

Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type

7 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday-Sunday through Feb. 9, Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre, Arkansas Arts Center, MacArthur Park, Ninth and Commerce streets, Little Rock.

Adapted by George Howe and James E. Grote from the children’s book by Doreen Cronin with illustrations by Betsey Lewin Season sponsors: Landers Fiat; Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield; and in honor of Dorothy and Fallon Davis by Dr. Scott and Shannon Davis. Show sponsors: All Aboard Restaurant, Martha Logue.

Tickets: $12.50 ($10 for members) (501) 372-4000; (800) 264-2787

Weekend, Pages 33 on 01/23/2014

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