Things to Do in Fort Wayne and Beyond

A Family Classic for These Times

Christopher J. Murphy

Whatzup Features Writer

Published May 17, 2018

Heads Up! This article is 4 years old.

Fort Wayne Youtheatre prides itself on presenting shows that educate, enrich and entertain not just the children in our audience, but the whole family. Our production of Pinocchio promises everything from exciting adventures and hilarious jokes to toe-tapping musical numbers. At it’s heart, though, is something much more human: the usually loving, sometimes disappointing and always complicated relationship between parent and child. What’s more relatable than that?

When childless toymaker Geppetto wishes for his newest marionette to be given life, he has no idea what’s in store – for either of them As any parent can attest, the Blue Fairy’s instructions for the little wooden boy to be “brave, truthful and unselfish” prove as difficult for father as son. When Pinocchio runs away, both start journeys that don’t just lead them back together, but to an understanding that family is about loving and accepting one another in spite of your faults (and sometimes because of them).

Italian writer Carlo Collodi’s stories about a wooden puppet and his toymaker dad were first serialized in 1881 by a newspaper in Rome, where they were an instant hit. The first English-language edition was just as successful upon publication 11 years later. Since then, it has been adapted countless ways in every medium. The story, of course, received its biggest and most continued recognition from the 1940 Walt Disney film. Generations have grown up singing “When you wish upon a star …” and knowing that lying makes your nose grow longer.

Youtheatre is excited to bring this classic tale to life as part of our fifth annual Fairy Tale Fest. The Arts United stage will be brimming with storybook sets, vivid costumes and a cast of thousands (okay, 36), including community theater stalwarts Ben Wedler, Reuben Albaugh and Jim Matusik as the adults in Pinocchio’s life.

Since Pinocchio’s debut over a hundred years ago, the world and our definition of family has changed considerably; and yet the story of a single parent trying to raise a child against all odds could not seem more timely. It’s my hope that you’ll see it with your own family and leave looking at one another with renewed understanding and appreciation. In these tumultuous times we need that, and each other, more than ever!

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