Kerfuffle is one of three US companies devoted to creating aesthetically pleasing and emotionally interesting theatre and dance for children under 6 years old. Since 2015, Kerfuffle has shared playful, engaging, and multi-sensorial plays in non-traditional performance spaces such as parks, libraries, community centers, childrenâ€™s museums, multi purpose classrooms, arts museums, gymnasiums, and more. All of Kerfuffle's original plays are developed with children as major creative partners in order to understand what is engaging, funny, boring, or delightful to a young child. Kerfuffle is the 2020 recipient of the Zeta Phi Eta-Winifred Ward Outstanding New Children's Theatre Company Award from the American Alliance of Theatre and Education. For more information, visit www.kerfuffletvy.com.
The Conductors: A Play for Very Young Children
A Chicagoland Tour Co-Produced by Kerfuffle and The Connecting Routes Project
September 18-28, 2021
Presented outdoors at Blue Island Public Library, Harvey Public Library District, Kenosha Public Museum, Waukegan Public Library
Play’s duration (including pre show art activities): 45 minutes
About the play: The Conductors is a whimsical and joyful play for children 2-6 years old and their families that aims to build and foster community by performing in public spaces, like parks, libraries, and museums. Due to the pandemic, the play was presented outdoors in 2021, but it can also be adapted to share indoors.
Synopsis: All aboard the magic train! Where should we go? Who shall we visit? The conductors are here to get you where you need to be in this new play specifically designed for very young children. Featuring live music and playful audience participation, “The Conductors” is a joyful, heartwarming, and engaging first theatre experience for children under 6 years old with their families. Join the conductors as they explore community and connection along the railroad lines! https://www.kerfuffletvy.com/theconductors
The Caterpillar’s Footprint
Produced in partnership with The Lied Center for Performing Arts at the University of Nebraska Lincoln
Presented in residence at Educare Lincoln
May 7-11, 2018
Play’s duration: 45 mins
Play’s synopsis: The Caterpillar's Footprint is an adventurous play inside Kerfuffle's Yurt Dome! Join Bear, Fox, and Dinosaur on a journey through a fantasy forest to meet a curious Caterpillar! Featuring puppets, sensory exploration, and music designed to engage young children ages 2-5.
This video is an in depth dive into a successful partnership between Kerfuffle and The Lied Center in May 2018. “The Caterpillar’s Footprint” was set up at the beginning of the week and invigorated children’s imaginations as they anticipated their turn to experience the play! Set inside a magical and intimate yurt dome tent, the play was shared with every single student at Educare, an early childhood center in Lincoln, Nebraska. Post-show art activities were facilitated by Lux Art Center.
Get to know Kerfuffle, a theatre and dance company that creates original performances for very young children under 6 years old.
Clip 1: The Caterpillar’s Footprint, 2016
Presented in residence at the IDEA Museum in Mesa, Arizona
Clip 2: Firefly, 2019
Presented at OutrSpaces, Omaha NE, in partnership with the Omaha Fringe Festival
Clip 3: wonderwander, 2017
Presented in residence at the Tempe Public Library, Tempe Arizona
Clip 4: Goose and Gert, 2019
Presented as a workshop co-production with the Omaha Theater Company at The Rose Theater
Performed in Elmwood, Gifford, and Miller Parks, Omaha NE
Clip 5: Nested, 2018
Presented in partnership with the Union for Contemporary Art, Omaha NE
Kerfuffle’s work is developed with children to understand what delights, engages, bores, or scares them. Each Kerfuffle show explores audience participation, live music, sensory props, intimacy between audience and performer, and linear vs. nonlinear storytelling. Each project experiments with aesthetics, and it’s important to us to vary style, feeling, and tone. All of our plays are even more imaginative, goofy, and interesting than it may have been if we hadn’t had children’s input!
For example, The Conductors was developed with children virtually, through online play development kits and creative drama workshops. We asked children to envision who they’d visit and where they’d go, if they went on a trip on a magical train, and professional actors devised the 45-minute play inspired by the children’s answers. The Caterpillar’s Footprint video explains how important community partnership is to Kerfuffle, and how being in residence at a school for an entire week can have such a lasting impact on the children. Finally, the Nested video highlights an in-school performance and how our sets are mobile and our plays are able to be shared in a variety of spaces!
Kerfuffle is an award winning theatre company devoted to creating aesthetically exciting and emotionally interesting performances for children under 6 years old. Founded by Ashley Laverty in 2015, all of our original plays are developed with children as major creative partners and shared in non-traditional theatre spaces where children congregate.
2015 - Company founded
2016 - The Caterpillar’s Footprint, IDEA Museum, Mesa AZ
2016 - ShadowPlay, Arizona State University, Tempe AZ
2017 - wonderwander, Tempe Public Library, Tempe, AZ
2018 - The Caterpillar’s Footprint, Educare, Lincoln, NE
2018 - Nested, The Union for Contemporary Art, Omaha, NE
2019 - Goose and Gert, Workshop co-production with the Omaha Theater Company at Elmwood, Gifford, and Miller Parks, Omaha NE
2019 - Firefly, OutrSpaces and Omaha Fringe Festival, Omaha NE
2020 - Virtual Music Movement and Yoga Jams, The Lied Center
2020 - Winner, Zeta Phi Eta-Winifred Ward Outstanding New Children's Theatre Company Award
2021 - Goose and Gert, Night Out in the Parks Chicago
2021 - The Conductors, Co-Production with The Connecting Routes Project at Blue Island Public Library, Harvey Public Library District, Kenosha Public Museum, Waukegan Public Library
2022 - Toad Hall, LoKo Arts Festival and SUNY Potsdam, NY
2022 - The Conductors, Night Out in the Parks Chicago
We are artists who believe theatre for youth is equally important to theatre for adults. Children deserve to experience sophisticated and beautiful art. Kerfuffle brings exceptional and playful theatre, tailored to the interests and needs of very young children, to non-traditional performance spaces where families have already congregated. We strive to present our work at little or no cost to families in order to share art with as many people as possible in a financially and geographically accessible way.
Kerfuffle is one of three US companies that exclusively creates theatre for children under 6 years old. Our work is designed with the needs and interests of our audience in mind, and we encourage children to BE THEMSELVES and dance, move, talk to the actors, and engage with the performances the best ways they know how! Children’s ideas inspire all of Kerfuffle’s work: we partner with young people to create engaging plays that surprise, amuse, and delight audiences. By interacting with and creating art alongside 2-6 year olds, our plays have featured sneezing dinosaurs, friendly bears, loud thunder and lightning storms with water spraying everywhere, 5- foot tall nests with creatures jumping on trampolines and a drum-playing goose in a park!
Programs for Specific Audience(s) Expertise
Kerfuffle specifically creates work for very young children, and our team are experts in the field of theatre for young audiences. Artistic Director, Ashley Laverty, Associate Artistic Director, Amanda Pintore, and Managaing Director, Jeff Sachs, all hold MFA degrees in Theatre for Youth, and currently teach and direct children in various capacities and at a range of organizations.
Our plays are often presented non verbally with highly visual and physical forms of storytelling, allowing them to be accessible to pre-verbal children and people who speak different languages.
Kerfuffle’s teaching artists specialize in drama in the early childhood classroom, having worked extensively integrating creative drama in preschool and kindergarten classrooms. Often using picture books as inspiration for creative drama, Kerfuffle’s work in classrooms encourage students to use their bodies, voices, and imaginations. Ashley Laverty has facilitated Professional Development trainings with classroom educators, teaching artists, and college students on drama and arts integration in the classroom.
6656 N Newgard Ave, #1
Chicago, IL 60626
$500 - $15,000