Old Creamery Theatre stages a classic comedy, ‘The Reluctant Dragon’

Dragons! What whimps. -- photo by Lily Allen-Duenas
Dragons! What whimps. — photo by Lily Allen-Duenas

The Reluctant Dragon

Old Creamery Main Stage — June 13-27, dates and times vary

Since 2008, Old Creamery Theatre has been delighting kids of all ages with its Theatre for Young Audiences on its main stage in Amana. This summer, the company will bring to life the beloved story of The Reluctant Dragon. The classic tale comes from Kenneth Grahame’s 1898 short story collection Dream Days, published a decade before his seminal Wind in the Willows. In 1941, it was made into a Disney action/animated short, and later an operetta by John Rutter and a puppet version for television. This production will use the 1997 adaptation by Mary Hall Surface, one of several stage treatments of this familiar and cherished property.

Directed by Old Creamery’s artistic director Sean McCall, The Reluctant Dragon is a fresh turn on the old myths of Saint George the Dragon Slayer. In it, a charming and bookish young boy befriends a kind and sociable dragon who shares his love of stories. This dragon prefers tea and poetry to ravaging countrysides, but the locals are not easily convinced of his gentility. The boy must boldly defend the creature when the frightened people of the village send for the formidable St. George. It is one of the earliest instances of the now-familiar trope of a dragon standing by the hero’s side, rather than serving as a villain.

This disarming tale of friendship and true bravery runs 60 minutes and is filled with comic antics designed to entertain the entire family. The cast is an exciting mix of Old Creamery mainstays and Main Stage first-timers. Performances are at 1 p.m. on Saturdays and 10 a.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. As some performances are already sold out, Old Creamery strongly recommends reserving tickets in advance.