Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Pushcart Players Presents "Velveteen Rabbit" at Algonquin Arts

Velveteen Rabbit
Thursday, April 18th, at 10:00AM and 11:45AM.
Algonquin Arts Theatre, 
60 Abe Voorhees Drive, Manasquan, NJ in Manasquan, NJ  
Tickets for the Thursday, April 18th performances of Velveteen Rabbit at the Algonquin Arts Theatre () can be purchased here or by calling the Algonquin Arts Theatre at 732-528-9211.
For further information on this or any Pushcart Players program, call 973.857.1115, visit the website or email

Velveteen Rabbit is based on the beloved children's book by Margery Williams, adapted for the stage by Pushcart Players' artistic director, Paul Whelihan. Choreography is by Stacie Gogo, music and lyrics are by NJ composer, Paul Farinella, and orchestrations are by Tony award-winner, Larry Hochman.

Velveteen Rabbit tells the story of how a young boy’s love and a little nursery magic help transform the Velveteen Rabbit from a favorite plaything into a real rabbit. The Boy and Velveteen embark on exciting imaginary adventures, from deep dark caves to the wide open sea, and together they learn the true meaning of friendship in this musical re-telling of one of America’s favorite storybooks. “Velveteen Rabbit’ is an imaginative performance designed to enhance the theater experience and increase literacy in the arts.

The cast features Paul Whelihan, Serena Buchan, Dana Patrice, Danny Sims, and Phebe Taylor.

Paul Whelihan is an actor, director, playwright, arts administrator, teaching artist, and producer whose involvement in professional theatre is an ongoing mission spanning five decades. Whelihan has been affiliated with Pushcart Players since 1982. Starting as an actor, he performed in four seasons. He went on to pursue other projects as an actor, director, and arts administrator, returning annually to Pushcart throughout the years to work as resident director. In 2016, Paul took the helm as producing artistic director.

Serena Buchan is an NYC-based performer born and raised in New Jersey. They studied musical theatre and dance at Centenary University and worked hand in hand with Centenary Stage Company as well. They have had a range of roles both with Pushcart as an actor and stage manager, and have previously been seen as Abe in Tess: a new musical, performed with Bound for Broadway at the Triad Theatre, and sang with The Comeback Cabaret at Don't Tell Mama's NYC.

Dana Patrice has been a member of Pushcart since 2019. Her past credits include the off-Broadway production of Wallace Demarria’s Colorblind at the Actor’s Temple Theater, Lighthouse Opera’s production of Ragtime, the CDC Theater’s productions of Vagina Monologues and Once Upon a Mattress. She also appeared in Expiration Date at The Tank in NYC for the Wet Paint play festival, OLT’s Sideshow The Musical and was also seen in their production of Aida.

Danny Sims is a New Jersey-based actor/director and creative as well as the creative production supervisor for Michael Anthony Theatrical in New York City. Danny studied musical theatre at Montclair State University. Some of Danny’s favorite shows to perform in the Pushcart repertoire are: Stone Soup, Velveteen Rabbit, A More Perfect Union, and A Season of Miracles.

Phebe Taylor has been a Pushcart Player since 2004. She has been seen competing in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at the Bristol Riverside Theatre and flying around as Peter in Peter Pan at Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre. Phebe is a member of the Indianapolis Shakespeare Company, appearing in the summer productions of The Merchant of Venice, Much Ado About Nothing, Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Tempest, and The Winter’s Tale. She is also a frequent performer at Indianapolis’ Phoenix Theatre, including such shows as Urinetown, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, The Zippers of Zoomerville, Boston Marriage, Peter and the Starcatcher, and the National New Play Network’s “Rolling World Premiere” of End Days. A graduate of the Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama, Phebe lives in Queens, New York and is an avid vintage toy and game collector. She is also an owner of “The Museum of Nostalgia,” a vintage toy store in Queens.

Pushcart Players is the award-winning professional touring theater company specializing in arts education for children. Twice nominated for an Emmy©, Pushcart is the recipient of numerous state and private awards for excellence and innovation. Pushcart brings substantive musical theater, workshops, and residencies to young people and their families in schools and theaters nationwide. The company has traveled more than 6.5 million miles nationally and abroad, from the rural red schoolhouse to the White House.

Pushcart addresses social studies, literature, history, special educational needs, social-emotional learning, equity, diversity, accessibility, inclusion, and values clarification for young people, their families, and their educators. All performances by professional artists (Actors’ Equity Association) are supported by study guides, post-performance assessments and other supplemental materials. Pushcart adapts to any location with innovative scenery, lighting, and sound systems.

As a social-profit organization, Pushcart Players’ programs are made possible in part by NJ State Council on the Arts/Department of State, NJ State Bar Foundation, Actors’ Equity Foundation, ADP Foundation, The Community Foundation of NJ, EJ Grassmann Trust, The Grunin Foundation, Hyde & Watson Foundation, The Montclair Foundation, Newark Arts, PNC Bank/Lillian Schenck Foundation, The Sosland Foundation, Turrell Fund, The Whitehill Foundation, and numerous individual contributors.