The Coterie Opens Musical Adaptation of Popular Kids Author Mo Willems

Photo by J. Robert Schraeder.

This spring, The Coterie Theatre revels in the joy and whimsy of friendship with the charming family musical, Elephant & Piggie’s “We are in a Play!”. Adapted for the stage by creator Mo Willems from his own award-winning book series, Elephant & Piggie’s “We are in a Play!” will be directed by Shanara Gabrielle and will be performed live on The Coterie’s stage in Crown Center through May 21, 2017. The cast features Jake Walker, Shon Ruffin, Rasheedat “Ras” Badejo, Kimberly Horner, and Maggie Renee Marx.

When “bestus” friends Elephant and Piggie get together, anything is possible. They might get invited to a fancy costume party, learn a crazy new dance, or decide to spend the day playing ping-pong in silly hats. Well, they do all that and more in this lively and irresistibly charming musical featuring Elephant Gerald and Piggie, who are joined by their delightfully nutty back-up singers, the Squirrelles, as they discover the fun of being in a play – all the while encouraging the audience to join in for some interactive fun.

Using catchy, jazz- and Broadway-inspired melodies to bring the story to life on stage, author Mo Willems transports his simple – yet endearingly fanciful – look at friendship into a musical message that resonates with every age in the family. It’s the same message about the endurance of friendship that has propelled the Elephant and Piggie books to become one of the best-selling and most beloved young reader series of the past decade. The 25-book series, which debuted in 2007, has twice been awarded the Theodor Seuss Geisel Medal and had two titles appear on TIME magazine’s Top 10 Children’s Books of the Year.

The author of numerous popular children’s books such as Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale, Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, and Cat the Cat, Mo Willems has received many of the highest honors for literature, including the Caldecott Medal, the Carnegie Medal, and the Irma Black Award Honor. He served for nine years as an animator for Sesame Street before creating several animated series for Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network. Elephant & Piggie’s “We are in a Play!” marks Willems’ second stage adaptation with composer Deborah Wicks La Puma, who also worked on Willems’ musical adaptation of Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical at the Kennedy Center.

The Coterie’s production of Elephant & Piggie’s “We are in a Play!” will run approximately 60 minutes with no intermission and is perfect for families with all ages. Tickets are $12.00 for youth under 18, students, and seniors age 60 and older; and $17.00 for adults. Groups of 20 or more pay only $5.00-$6.50 per person. Tickets, group reservations and more information is available at

Bring your bestie and share in the laughter and how good it feels to put friends first.