DCCA News: Worthwhile silly stuff


Wow, just hearing the title made me think that Chicken Dance is going to be a whole lot of fun!

A brief synopsis of the musical play based on an award-winning children’s book (that was new to me) follows, aptly justifying my initial opinion: Feisty barnyard chickens Marge and Lola set out on a mission to win a coveted talent contest prize—tickets to see the great Elvis Poultry in concert! Their opposition includes a flock of talented but bullying ducks who sneer that all a chicken can do is bawk, flap, and shake. In this goofy romp, cows fly over the moon, ducks surf in a water trough, and a very familiar-looking rooster gets all shook up!” What a hoot!

Chicken Dance opens Darke County Center for the Arts’ Family Theatre Series season on Nov. 6 at Versailles Performing Arts Center; the show starts at 2 p.m. Although the production had to be moved from majestic St. Clair Memorial Hall due to a scheduling conflict, the Versailles venue is a perfect fit for this show. What could be more fitting than a musical about chickens being performed in The Poultry Capital of the World!

Chicken Dance author Tammi Sauer grew up on a Kansas farm, engaging in chores that included caring for pigs and cows and chickens, so her barnyard references contain an air of authenticity as well as humor born from experience. Her down-to-earth depiction of farm animals reflects her real-life adventures, and her delightfully clever story line captures the quirks, virtues, and faults of those often misrepresented animals.

Although they are a couple of hens, the play’s main characters Marge and Lola are recognizable as people you know, persevering through challenges and roadblocks to achieve their goal. The fact that these two old biddies possess no immediately recognizable talent proves to be a major stumbling block to winning a talent contest, but provides audiences with highly amusing scenarios and hilarious dialogue that will elicit giggles from youngsters and adults alike.

Chicken Dance is produced by ArtsPower National Touring Theatre, whose mission is to inspire intellectual advancement in children and enhance cultural life for communities by providing powerful examples of how to be kindhearted and fair-minded members of society. Those lofty goals might sound incompatible with a silly show about chickens, but ArtsPower has been delivering on their promises to speak intelligently to and resonate powerfully with audiences for over thirty years. Their productions connect with both children and adults, entertaining and enlightening by telling timeless tales based on beloved books for young readers.

No matter how you may feel about those embarrassing moves made by your aunt and uncle at a recent wedding reception, this Chicken Dance will be remembered as a fun-filled worthwhile experience for all concerned. Tickets are just $5, and can be reserved by contacting DCCA at 937-547-0908 or [email protected] or purchased on-line at www.centerforarts.net. Tickets are also available at Greenville Public Library, Readmore’s Hallmark in Greenville, and Worch Memorial Public Library in Versailles, and will also be sold at the door if any remain by showtime.


By Marilyn Delk


Marilyn Delk is a director of the Darke County Center for the Arts and can be reached at [email protected]. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.

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