DENVER — For 72 years, families around the world have made "Goodnight Moon" a part of their bedtime ritual, and now the beloved tale has come to life at the Denver Center for the Performing Art (DCPA). 

For 60 minutes, the beloved storybook transcends the page through a larger-than-life scale at DCPA's Theatre for Young Audiences.

“Because this is a musical with a lot more content than the original book, it kinda gives us license to leap off into another realm,” costume designer Kevin Copenhaver explained.

The interactive sets are a perfect backdrop to the real stars of the show – the bright, splashy and quirky costumes.

“I do enjoy this because It’s not every day you get to put a cow in a square dancing dress!” Copenhaver laughs. “They’re really intense. For as cartoonish and simple as they look on the outside, they’re not. They’re rather complex.”

The 11 costumes in the show each took nearly 100 hours to make -- bringing animals to life is no easy feat.

 “Those end up being very challenging from a costume perspective, but the cool thing is once you finally get there, and the kids are seeing it, it’s very satisfying because the kids step into the world and they ask no questions. They just accept it.  They’re having a blast,” Copenhaver said.

And that’s what the DPAC’S children’s theatre is all about, fostering a love for the theater and reading at an early age.

“'Goodnight Moon' was the perfect choice to really say ‘hey! This is probably on the shelf of your classroom.’ How can we explore it and a student can say, ‘oh my gosh, that’s my imagination on stage. I’m joining in on that’ and they become stronger readers,” said Allison Watrous, executive director of Education and Community Engagement.

DPAC’s children’s theater series expects to engage over 40,000 students and families with its original programming this year. 

"Goodnight Moon"

  • Runs through Feb. 16
  • Randy Weeks Conservatory Theatre
  • Recommended audience: Pre-K through 3rd grade
  • Tickets: $16-20, discount student matinees available
  • Learn more at denvercenter.org

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