For Children 3 years + / JK – 2
Old Man and the River is an engaging and heartwarming story about adjusting to change and making new friends.
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!
Performed without words using artful tabletop puppetry and music, Old Man and the River was researched and created especially for young children. The use of symbols and patterns as well as gesture and action as a form of storytelling makes it a truly engaging and age appropriate experience.
The gentle, welcoming atmosphere, interactive pre-show program, and post-show demonstration makes Old Man and the River a perfect introduction to live theatre for your students.
Old Man and the River is an accessible performance for young children of all needs and abilities and is supported by an on-line Social Story.
Old Man and the River is aligned with the Full Day Kindergarten Curriculum with particular emphasis on Belonging and Contributing and Self-Regulation and Well-being.
Creative Team & Cast
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
Stage Management by Elizabeth McDermott
Performed by Hilary Adams, Jeffrey O’Hara, Alexandra Montagnese, and Mike Petersen
Theatre Direct Canada is an approved TDSB Education Partner.
Thank you to our Venue Partners!
Production & Touring History
Old Man and the River premiered at the 2014 WeeFestival of Theatre and Culture for Early Years.
Persephone Theatre, Harbourfront Studio Theatre, Crow’s Theatre, Artscape Wychwood Barns
Burlington Performing Arts Centre, Axis Theatre, Vancouver, Banff Centre for the Arts, Banff, Alberta, Vertigo Theatre Y-Stage, Calgary
Read what audiences and educators have said about the show!
“Simple, elegant and age appropriate.” – Gledhill Junior Public School, Kindergarten Educator
“That performance has given me new insight as to how I can present storytelling materials for my students to us. My experience with Theatre Direct has given me the inspiration to take out the traditional puppet theatre and hand puppets and replace it with a long table with stable props (e.g.– the river, a house) as well as, to offer objects that can easily be moved about for creative storytelling (e.g. — Lego people, toy vehicles.) Let the imagination begin!!” – Kindergarten Teacher, Secord Elementary School
“As the Dance/Drama prep teacher I have had a BLAST doing Old Man and the River activities this past week! It’s probably the most engaging thing I’ve done with students all year. I always like the play but it was during this process that I really started to appreciate the genius of it (the repetitions, the very limited dialogue, the imagery etc.) and how perfectly it worked for a very young audience.” – Mark Brown, Fraser Mustard Early Learning Academy
“I thought it was absolutely fantastic, it was so magical. The kids really got into all the different movements, and the music, and the small intricacies made them excited just to watch it.” – Kindergarten Educator
“Our family LOVED Old Man and the River. Before JK this morning my 4 year old son said, “Maybe after school today we can go to Old Man and the River again. Thanks for another great performance.” – Audience Member
“My favourite part is when the old man is walking and the trees are laughing.” -Senior Kindergarten Student