Guess – Program Notes

Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia presents

GUESS HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU &
I LOVE MY LITTLE STORYBOOK
2017-18 US/Canada Tour

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Writer and Illustrator: Sam McBratney & Anita Jeram (Guess How Much I Love You)
Writer and Illustrator: Anita Jeram (I Love My Little Storybook)
Director/Production Designer: Jim Morrow
Composer: Steven Naylor
Narrator: Beau Bridges
Stage Manager: Mel Watkins
Performers: Melissa MacGougan, Alexandra Cubbon
Associate Designers: Jonathan Ford, Deborah MacLean
Video Design: Windoverdaun Films
Fibre Artist: Holly Carr
Pre-show video images courtesy of Andrew Dill, Avard Woolaver, and the Nova Scotia Tourism Agency

Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia gratefully acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Nova Scotia Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage. Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia is a member of the Professional Theatre Association of Canadian Theatres and engages professional Artists who are members of Canadian Actors’ Equity Association under the terms of the Canadian Theatre Agreement.

I Love My Little Storybook by Anita Jeram. Copyright © 2002 by Anita Jeram. Guess How Much I Love You Text copyright ©1994 by Sam McBratney; Illustrations copyright ©1994 by Anita Jeram. Guess How Much I Love You™ is a registered trademark of Walker Book Ltd, London.


 

About Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia 
Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia ranks among North America’s most respected theatres for the young, and plays an important ambassadorial role for Nova Scotia and for Canada. The company regularly crosses the continent, and has represented Canada in the United States, Japan, Mexico, Australia, England, Northern Ireland, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Holland, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Vietnam, South Korea and Taiwan. Mermaid Theatre has earned Export Excellence awards from both the Governments of Canada and of Nova Scotia. Based in the Town of Windsor, Mermaid has performed for over five million spectators on four continents. The company was founded in 1972.

About the Production

Sam McBratney’s touching bedtime story, Guess How Much I Love You, was first published in hardcover in 1995. Charmingly illustrated with endearing watercolours by Anita Jeram, the book is available in fifty languages and has received media praise around the world. There are more than 26.5 million copies of Guess How Much I Love You in print worldwide. A second beloved story, I Love My Little Storybook by writer/illustrator Anita Jeram, rounds out Mermaid’s innovative production for very little children. Featuring a whimsical menagerie of animals and imaginary creatrures, Jeram’s story introduces youngsters to the delights of colourful imagery, as well as to the appreciation of reading.

Anita Jeram, Writer and Illustrator 
A native of Portsmouth, England, Anita Jeram studied art at Manchester Polytechnic and published her first book for children while she was still a student. She has subsequently written and illustrated many popular and critically acclaimed books for children, including a number which feature her enchanting, lovable bunnies. Today she lives in Northern Ireland with her family and a collection of pet animals, and hopes in the future to establish a wildlife sanctuary.

Sam McBratney, Writer
In addition to Guess How Much I Love You, Sam McBratney has written many other books for children, as well as half a dozen radio plays for adults and a prize-winning collection of short stories. He received a degree in history and political science from Trinity College, Dublin, and was a full-time educator before choosing to devote all his time to writing. He lives with his family (and tortoise) in Northern Ireland.

About the Creative Team

Jim Morrow, Director/Production Designer 
Jim creates puppets for stage, television and film. He’s directed numerous shows for the Theatre, including Very Eric CarleThe Very Hungry Caterpillar & Other Eric Carle FavoritesA Brown Bear, a Moon and a Caterpillar: Treasured Stories by Eric CarleSwimmy, Frederick, Inch by InchGoodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny as well as designed many others. A gifted performer, Jim has toured extensively in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Japan. He serves as director of puppetry for Symphony Nova Scotia’s production of The Nutcracker, and frequently conducts master classes in puppetry in North America and abroad. Jim is Mermaid Theatre’s Artistic Director.

Steven Naylor, Composer 
Steven has created the music for more than a dozen Mermaid shows, including Very Eric CarleThe Very Hungry Caterpillar & Other Eric Carle FavoritesA Brown Bear, a Moon and a Caterpillar: Treasured Stories by Eric CarleSwimmy, Frederick and Inch by InchGoodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunnyand others. His many other professional activities include original film and television scores; contemporary music and musique actuelle performance; university teaching and curriculum development; and a long-term international involvement with electroacoustic concert music. Steven is Mermaid Theatre’s Artistic Advisor for Music and Sound Design.

Beau Bridges, Narrator 
The recorded narration for Mermaid’s show is the work of Beau Bridges, an award-winning actor who visited Mermaid’s headquarters while on location in Windsor, Nova Scotia several years ago. Part of a preeminent Hollywood acting dynasty, he has portrayed a myriad of characters during an extensive career in film and television which spans more than three decades. Beau is the father of four sons and a daughter, giving him an insider’s appreciation of the world of children’s literature.

ABOUT THE COMPANY

Mel Watkins, Stage Manager 
A resident of Vancouver Island but originally from Toronto, Mel has stage managed her way across Canada. She has worked for such theatre companies as Chemainus Festival Theatre, Green Thumb Theatre, Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre, Kaleidoscope Theatre, The Globe Theatre, Upper Canada Playhouse, Lighthouse Festival Theatre, Canadian Children’s Opera Company, Smile Theatre, Theatre Aquarius and The Rose Theatre in Brampton, ON.

Melissa MacGougan, Performer
Melissa is an actor from Burlington, Ontario, currently based out of Halifax, Nova Scotia. She graduated from Dalhousie University’s Acting Program in the spring of 2016 and has performed with companies such as Shakespeare By The Sea and Whale Song Theatre. Melissa has been working with puppets and dabbling in ventriloquism since high school. She was able to formally develop her skills as a puppeteer by completing her training with The Mermaid Institute Of Puppetry Arts.

Alexandra Cubbon, Performer 
Alex is a graduate of the Fountain School of Performing Arts at Dalhousie University. Upon graduating, Alex performed at the Atlantic Fringe Festival where she won Best Performer and has been involved in community theatre. She completed training at the Mermaid Institute of Puppetry Arts in 2016 and joined the company the following year.

For general information, please contact
Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia
P.O. Box 2697
Windsor, Nova Scotia Canada B0N 2T0
Tel: (902) 798 5841
Fax: (902) 798 3311
email: puppets@mermaidtheatre.ca
website: mermaidtheatre.ca

Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia staff: 

Artistic Director: Jim Morrow
Managing Director: Sara Lee Lewis
Administrator: Cathy White
Office & Tour Coordinator: Jason Tucker
Production Manager: Deborah MacLean
Production Associate & Workshop Coordinator: Struan Robertson
Technical Director: Michael Jamieson
Artistic Advisor for Music and Sound Design: Steven Naylor
Seamstress: Sarah Hart
Fabric Artist: Holly Carr