Monster Theatre’s Ryan Gladstone and Tara Travis give kids a taste of some famous tales in Mini Masterpieces

It’s masterpiece theatre for kids

Vancouver's Monster Theatre enacts three famed tales for kids when they present Mini Masterpieces at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre.

It’ll be a masterful piece of theatre that should appeal to all ages, with dastardly villains, a few ghosts and even a chase scene.

And even though the late Alistair Cooke (ask your grandparents, kids) will not able to introduce the proceedings, the fine folks at Vancouver’s Monster Theatre have a lot in store when they present Mini Masterpieces at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre Sunday.

Part of the Performing Arts Centre Society’s kids series, this show uses puppetry, masks, improvisation, original songs,  physical comedy and dance to tell three beloved stories –– Rumpelstiltskin, The Tale of Peter Rabbit and A Christmas Carol –– all in one go.

These three short adaptations of literary classics will assist in getting children excited about reading, and expose the diversity of theatrical performance, said Monster Theatre’s artistic producer Tara Travis, an actor, writer and puppeteer, who with Ryan Gladstone, wrote and performs in the show.

“We don’t tell the whole story but we give enough to satisfy the essence of the story. The idea behind it is that reading is truly fun and can be stimulating and enjoyable,” she said.

Together with Monster’s founder and artistic director Gladstone, an improv guru and 10-year veteran of Calgary’s Loose Moose Theatre, the re-telling of these three literary classics should appeal to both young and mature.

Gladstone and Travis have already  been creating theatre that appeals to scholars and squires alike, with subjects as far ranging as Shakespeare and Freud to an overweight ballerina with a broad imagination.

Their children’s productions give them a chance to take a page from literary classics, and run away with them, quite literally.

“Expect to laugh and expect a performance with a cheeky, fun sense of humour,” said Travis.

Monster Theatre’s Mini Masterpieces takes the stage at the Performing Arts Centre for two shows Sunday at 2 and 4 p.m. The show is suitable for children ages four to 10. Tickets are $12 each at the Ticket Seller box office, 549-7469,


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