Arden Theatre Company
Arden BlogArden Drama SchoolArden on FacebookArden on TwitterArden on YouTube
Press Room
2006/07 Press Releases
Arden Theatre Company presents Ferdinand the Bull - Perfect for families!
April 11 - May 27, 2007 • Based on The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf and Robert Lawson • Adaptation and lyrics by Karen Zacarías • Music by Deborah Wicks La Puma • Directed by Jennifer Childs • On the Arcadia Stage

March 19, 2007

Philadelphia, PA - Arden Theatre Company will present the family-friendly musical Ferdinand the Bull, based on the book The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf and Robert Lawson from April 11 to May 27, 2007, as part of its children's theatre series. Join Arden Theatre Company for this Flamenco-flavored production, written by Karen Zacarías with music by Deborah Wicks La Puma. The Arden is located at 40 N. 2nd Street, Old City Philadelphia. For tickets call 215.922.1122 or visit

A classic tale of individuality set in 1930s Spain, Ferdinand the Bull is a hilarious family-friendly musical about a bull who doesn't want to fight like all the other bulls - he just wants to take care of his beautiful flowers. While his father plans to make young Duquíto Danilo a great Spanish bullfighter, Danilo dreams of being a dancer. When the Duqué goes to find the toughest toro for his son's first bullfight, he mistakenly picks gentle Ferdinand. Ferdinand the Bull is an exuberant romp about being yourself and refusing to be bullied into acting like someone you're not. Kids and adults will love the clever wordplay, comical characters and lively music. Children are invited to participate in a question and answer session with the cast after every performance, and each child receives a free commemorative poster upon exit. Ferdinand the Bull is most enjoyed by families with children ages five and older.

The stellar cast is comprised of Joe Coots (Arden debut), who stars as the flower-loving bull, Ferdinand. Cochina, Ferdinand's fame-hungry pig friend, will be portrayed by Maggie Lakis, an actor who has appeared in five children's productions at the Arden, most recently as Sophie in the recent smash hit The BFG and can next be seen appearing in the first national tour of Avenue Q. Tom Teti (A Little Night Music, Into the Woods, The Boxcar Children) and Conrad Ricamora (Arden debut) round out the cast.

Ferdinand the Bull is directed by Jennifer Childs, who last appeared at the Arden as Julie in Bruce Graham's world premiere Dex and Julie Sittin' in a Tree. For the Arden, Jennifer has directed And Then They Came for Me and My Lord, What a Morning. Jennifer Childs is a two-time Barrymore Award winner and the Artistic Director of Philadelphia's 1812 Productions, a company she created in 1997. Arden Artistic Assistant Nathan A. Roberts will serve as musical director and sound designer. Philadelphia Flamenco guitarist Ben Phipps will accompany Wick La Puma's score. Bringing the vibrant story to life are scenic designer Adam Riggar, costume designer Rosemarie E. McKelvey (Caroline, or Change; The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales; The Dinosaur Musical; Bunnicula) and lighting designer Drew Billiau (The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, The Boxcar Children, Bunnicula, And Then They Came for Me).

Acclaimed playwright Karen Zacarías teams up with Deborah Wicks La Puma to adapt Ferdinand the Bull. Together the pair have written many musical plays for young people including Einstein is a Dummy, The Magical Pióata and Cinderella Eats Rice and Beans: A Salsa Musical. For her play Mariela in the Desert, Karen Zacarías won the 2004 National Latino Playwrights' Competition and was a finalist for the 2004 Susan Smith Blackburn prize. She is also the Founder and Artistic Director of The Young Playwrights' Theater of Washington, D.C. (YPT), an arts-outreach program that uses playwriting and theater for conflict resolution, dialogue, and arts empowerment for inner-city youth. Composer Deborah Wicks La Puma's works for adults and children have been seen across the country at venues including The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Chicago's Goodman Theatre, Atlanta's Alliance Theatre and many others. Her other musical works include a bilingual Mass and two Rock/Jazz albums with the Brazilian band Turba Multa.

Originally published in 1936, Munro Leaf's simple story of a peace-loving bull with illustrations by Robert Lawson has become a beloved classic and is one of the best selling children's books of all time. As part of Reading Takes Center Stage, the Arden's literacy program, more than 1,000 students who see the production will receive free copies of the book, thanks to a grant provided by the Verizon Foundation.

The Arden is accessible to people with disabilities, providing wheelchair accessibility, assisted listening devices and large print programs at every performance. Accessible seating is available by reservation. For more information, call the Arden Box Office at 215.922.1122.

Ferdinand the Bull previews begin Wednesday, April 11 and runs through May 27. Tickets, currently on sale, are $14-$30, with discounts available for groups of 20+. Tickets may be purchased by calling the Arden Box Office at 215.922.1122, visiting or stopping by our box office at 40 N. 2nd Street in Philadelphia.

Arden Theatre Company
40 N. 2nd Street, Old City Philadelphia

April 11 - May 27, 2007

$14-$30, with group discounts available
Call the Box Office at 215-922-1122 or visit

PRESS: Reviewing members of the press are invited to attend the performance on Saturday, April 14 at 7pm OR Sunday, April 15 at 4pm. Press reviewers are invited to bring their families! Please schedule tickets through Ellen Kennedy, Public Relations Associate, at 215-922-8900 x49 or

Based on The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf and Robert Lawson
Adaptation and lyrics by Karen Zacarías
Music by Deborah Wicks La Puma
Directed by Jennifer Childs (resident of South Philadelphia)
Music Director Nathan A. Roberts (resident of Philadelphia, originally from Reading)
Scenic Design Adam W. Riggar (resident of South Philadelphia)
Costume Design Rosemarie E. McKelvey (resident of Folsom)
Lighting Design Drew Billiau (resident of Abington)
Sound Design Nathan A. Roberts (see above)
Guitarist Ben Phipps (resident of Bucks County)
Stage Manager Frances DeSales (resident of Elkins Park)

Ferdinand: Joe Coots (resident of New York City)
Cochina: Maggie Lakis (resident of South Philadelphia)
Duqué Dodó: Tom Teti (resident of Malvern)
Duquíto Danilo: Conrad Ricamora (resident of Chester)


# # #
©2009 Arden Theatre Company, 40 N. 2nd St., Philadelphia, PA 19106. For tickets, call 215.922.1122.
Site Search  |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms of Use