More cows come to Acton–to Theatre III

June 14, 2024
A poster wtih a drawing from the book Click, Clack, Moo: Cows that Type.In the poster, two cows, two chickens, and a duck are staring at an old-fashioned manual typewriter.
Poster for Click, Clack, Moo, presented by Child’s Play Theater Company. Photo: Illustration copyright @ 2000 by Betsy Lewin

The animals on Farmer Brown’s farm in Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type at Theatre III in West Acton, have been trying to convince Farmer Brown to do something to fix up his drafty barn. He doesn’t take them seriously, so after some debate they form a union and decide to go on strike.

When it is time to take a vote, Cow 1 (Kate Thompson), turns to include the audience. “All in favor of the Cows going on strike, raise your hand … um … hoof … or wing.” The vote in the barn is unanimous. “Farmer Brown gets no more milk until we get our electric blankets.”

On a stage, three women are standing around a box where a typewriter sits. Another woman is on the other side of the stage and all of them have their hands raised. A sign hanging on a fence post reads "Farm Animals Local 839."
Rehearsal for Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type. Left to right: Carrie Miller, Liz Ruark, Myla Haan, Kate Thompson. Photo: Charlie McIlwrath

Click, Clack, Moo is the first show produced by “Child’s Play”, Theatre III’s new Theatre for Young Audiences program. The idea was born when multiple people stopping by the theater during the 2023 West Acton Village Merchants Spring Fling asked if they ever produced programming for children. “This seemed like a community need we are well suited to fit,” says board member Ruth Bendig, who is co-directing Click, Clack, Moo. She notes that children do not need to be taking classes in acting and performance to reap life-long benefits from access to live theater, and cites a recently published report by the National Endowment for the Arts which looked at studies from across the country and concluded that “seeing live theater offers children a range of demonstrated benefits that enrich their social and emotional growth, support their school engagement, and develop their ability to imagine the future.”

In addition to learning the lines, songs, and dances, the Child’s Play team has planned a relaxed performance, in which some elements have been adjusted to soften the sensory experience for the audience. The theater has family/non-gendered bathrooms. A portable ramp will be available to make the lower level accessible for those with mobility challenges, and there will be a “chill out” space with a live feed of the performance in the theater lobby. “It is important to us that everyone knows that expectations for behavior are relaxed, and all feel welcome,” said co-director Michelle Liebowitz. “We wanted to create a space where everyone who attends can have a wonderful experience.”

Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type will run June 15 and 16 at Theatre III, 250 W. Central Street, Acton. Show times are 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 15, and 11 a.m. on Sunday, June 16. Tickets are $10 each. Child’s Play at Theatre III is supported by a grant from the Acton-Boxborough Local Cultural Arts Council, a local agency which is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.


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