Phone: 416-537-4191

Old Man and the River

Old Man and The River Image copy


November/December 2018
For Children 3 – 7 years | JK – 2

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Old Man and the River
Created by Lynda Hill and Thomas Morgan Jones


The Story
In a forest where rivers sing, trees giggle, and curious dragonflies come to visit, a grumpy Old Man lives in his little house. Every day is exactly the same and he likes it that way, until one day…a magical creature leaps into his life and everything changes!

The production has received unanimous praise from children, parents, grandparents, and teachers for its artistry and its story of newfound friendship.

Old Man and the River is the perfect introduction to theatre for the very young and their grownups. This performance features interactive pre-show and post-show audience engagement created especially for this age group as well as classroom extensions for teachers.

RP (Relaxed Performance) | Autism Friendly: The gentle, welcoming atmosphere, the interactive pre-show and post-show audience engagement, as well as the on-line Social Story makes Old Man and the River accessible for children of all needs and abilities.

Old Man and the River
Created by Lynda Hill and Thomas Morgan Jones
Concept, Dramaturgy and Direction by Lynda Hill |Inspired by the story by Thomas Morgan Jones
Original Production Design by Kelly Wolf
Original Music by Nicky Phillips
Original Lighting Design by Jennifer Lennon
Puppetry by Mike Petersen and Eric Woolfe

Performed by Jeffrey O’Hara, Ingrid Hansen, Alexandra Montagnese, and Mike Petersen




For Teachers

Old Man and the River is aligned with the new Full Day Kindergarten Curriculum!

  • Friendship
  • Symbols and patterns
  • Routine and adjusting to change
  • Communication

Old Man and the River is a very accessible performance for young children. The story builds confidence in the young viewer because as it unfolds, the repetition of events, actions, and sounds builds a “knowing”… and thus a sense of competence and success with the medium.

The writers, directors and puppeteers have brought together their outstanding abilities to create a table puppet play that is skillfully designed for this age group of children who are beginning to use symbols in their own communication. The play brings the children into a world where actions and gestures tell a story.

Also appropriate for SK/1 French Immersion, ESL, ELL, ASD, DD, MID

Connections to the New Kindergarten Curriculum
The new 2016 Kindergarten Program is based around the 4 frames: Belonging and Contributing, Self-Regulation and Well-Being, Demonstrating Literacy and Mathematics Behaviours and Problem Solving and Innovating. The new curriculum also emphasizes an approach that integrates all 4 frames into classroom activities, inquiries and experiences. This performance, associated study guide materials and potential extension activities provides educators with an experience that ticks every box. For your convenience we have included below a link to a breakdown of overall and specific expectations met by bringing your Kindergarten class to Old Man and the River.


“In the Kindergarten program, the arts provide a vehicle through which children can express their growing sense of self and their interpretations of the world. The arts transcend any single subject or discipline.”
– FDK Program 2016

Well-timed, engaging, touching, very creative! My students responded with compassion, intrigue and interest. The content was the perfect extension to our study on feelings and belonging.” – Michael Demeter, TDSB educator

“I enjoyed watching the expressions on their faces as they watched the play. I loved how the production was so accessible for them and that they could experience so much with their eyes. This was a wonderful introduction to puppetry for all our students and how a ‘leaf’, ‘trees’, can also be puppets and be a critical part of the story telling.

We particularly liked the theme of making friends and this topic is particularly relevant to all children who struggle daily to belong and to connect with children on the playground.” – Educator, Calgary

“Old Man River was a peak experience for children (grades 1 and 2) and teachers alike: the Director’s introduction; the exquisitely choreographed puppets; the tender, humorous and yet wordless story; the highly evocative sounds of the puppeteers; the music; the set; the engagement of the children after the performance. Overall, a tremendously artful and imaginative production perfectly executed.” – Educator

Production & Touring History

Old Man and the River premiered at the 2014 WeeFestival of Theatre and Culture for Early Years.

Burlington Performing Arts Centre
March 5, 2016

Axis Theatre, Vancouver
March 8 & 9, 2016

Banff Centre for the Arts, Banff, Alberta
March 11 & 12, 2016

Vertigo Theatre Y-Stage, Calgary
March 14 -20, 2016