Follow Bunny’s nighttime adventures in Childsplay’s “Goodnight Moon”

Goodnight Moon
Scene from Childsplay’s “Goodnight Moon,” premiering Sunday, Feb. 14 at Tempe Center for the Arts. Photos by Heather Hill.

Do your children ever have trouble falling asleep? Bunny, the lead character in Childsplay’s “Goodnight Moon,” certainly does. Tucked away in bed in a big, green room, he wonders what he would miss if he were to fall asleep.

“Goodnight Moon,” recommended for ages 3 and up, opens Sunday, Feb. 14 and runs through Sunday, April 10 at the Tempe Center for the Arts in Tempe. The production is sponsored by Friends of Tempe Center for the Arts and First Things First.

The beloved bedtime story, adapted for the musical stage by Seattle composer, actor, lyricist, author and playwright Chad Henry, is based on a picture book written by Margaret Wise Brown and illustrated by Clement Hurd. First published in 1947, the story has been translated into French, Spanish and numerous other languages. It continues to enchant readers and audiences of all ages.

“In Chad Henry’s adaptation, the Bunny is doing everything he can to stay awake among the wonders of his room and the world around him,” says Director Anthony Runfola. “What would he miss if he were to fall asleep? The room and the objects within are conspiring to keep him awake—the red balloon, the bears with chairs and that young mouse. What’s going on inside that little house? Will the cow ever make it over the moon? And just to make matters worse, the Bunny has a loose tooth—could the tooth fairy be dropping by?”

In bringing to life the nighttime adventures of Bunny, Runfola decided to create a space where families can literally be in the big, green room while the action carries on around them.

“Longtime Childsplay fans will be excited to hear that the carpet is back!” says Runfola. “Half of the audience will be able to get comfy on the floor and watch the show. After the show, audience members will be able to meet and greet the cast right on the stage and get a close-up look at the props and set and even peek into that little toy house to find out what’s going on inside.”

Childsplay is unique in that while productions are for young audiences and their families, the actors who perform are adults. “Goodnight Moon” features Michael Thompson as Bunny, Chanel Bragg as Old Lady/Dish/Bear, Michelle Chin as Mouse/Cat/Bear and Tommy Strawser as Tooth Fairy/Kittens/Dog/Bear.

Goodnight Moon
The colorful set in a nighttime scene from “Goodnight Moon.”

So what really is going on inside that little house? Will the cow make it over the moon? Will the tooth fairy be dropping by? Join Bunny in his room—and maybe you’ll find out.

What you need to know

  • Times/dates: premiere 1pm Sun Feb 14; 1 & 4pm Sat, 1pm Sun through April 10; 4pm Sun Feb 28; Pajama Performances 10:30am Sat March 12 & 26
  • Cost: $12–26
  • Location: Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 W Rio Salado Pkwy, Tempe
  • Contact: 480-350-2822 ext 2 or