You are here

A Glowing Garden for Families

A Glowing Garden for Families

Mon, Mar 15, 2010

Five Public Performances of Digital, Interactive Theatrical

Spectacle Marks Return of Popular Italian Group

“It’s about theater as a shared experience.”—Tony Reekie, director of the Bank of Scotland’s Children’s Festival

Back by popular demand, Italy’s Compagnia T.P.O. comes to Columbus to perform its enchanting family show Farfalle—especially for children ages 4 and up—at the Wexner Center this spring. An interactive theatrical spectacle full of digital wonder, Farfalle (Butterflies) will be performed for the public five times April 30–May 2: Friday, April 30 at 7 pm; Saturday, May 1 at 11 am and 2 pm; and Sunday, May 2 at 12:30 and 3:30 pm. Run time is 50 minutes, and performances will be held in the Wexner Center’s intimate Black Box on Mershon Stage (with the performers and the audience onstage).

In Farfalle, botanical images and captivating rainforest sounds emerge from every direction when a simple stage morphs into a magical, immersive set that responds—in real time—to the graceful movements of two dancers. Even bigger thrills come when young ones from the audience are invited to touch and explore the glowing interactive garden themselves, as they watch the evolution from caterpillar to butterfly. (Audience members are asked to remove their shoes upon entering the theater.)

“This show provides an alternative performing arts experience for parents and other adults looking to introduce the children in their lives to something new and innovative,” notes Jean Pitman, the Wexner Center’s educator for youth programs. “It’s also highly accessible, beautiful, and loads of fun. We also hope that it provides an entry for new audiences into the rich array of programs we offer for families year-round.”

The show is perfect for children as young as 4 but will also appeal to older kids and adults, especially those with interests in nature, ecology, or innovative art forms.

In addition, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams will be giving out ice cream sandwiches outside after Saturday’s 2 pm show and after Sunday’s 12:30 show. Fifteen-minute Wexner Center architecture tours specially designed for kids will also be offered after each show. A Q&A with the company will be held after Saturday morning’s 11 am show. Additional art activities will be held in the lobby of Mershon.

T.P.O. (Teatro di Piazza o d'Occasione—, an acclaimed international "visual theater” and dance company, delighted public and school audiences with The Japanese Garden and its Children Cheering Carpet at the Wexner Center in May of 2008. This show is part of the Wexner Center’s International Performing Arts for Families series.

TICKETS: $16 for the general public, $12 for Wexner Center members, and $6 for children under 12. Group discounts are available (call the ticket office at 292-3535). The Wex is also partnering with Franklin Park Conservatory for special member pricing. Advance ticket purchase is encouraged, as seating is limited for each show.

LOCATION and OTHER VISITOR INFO: The Wexner Center’s Black Box on Mershon Stage is located in Mershon Auditorium, 1871 N. High St. near the intersection of 15th Avenue and High Street. Mershon has a “crying room” for parents or other caregivers to take children if needed. Convenient parking is available in the nearby Ohio Union garage or Arps garage. More information on visiting the Wexner Center can be found at The public can email the Wexner Center’s education department at for specific questions about this production. School performances of this show are also slated; teachers can email or call 614-292-6493.


Major support for the Wexner Center’s 2009–10 education season is generously provided by Battelle.

Youth and family programs are presented with support from Bob Evans Farms, Cardinal Health, Target, and Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream.

Promotional support for this show is provided by ThisWeek Community Newspapers and Time Warner Cable.

All education programs and events also receive support from the Corporate Annual Fund of the Wexner Center Foundation and Wexner Center members, as well as from the Greater Columbus Arts Council, The Columbus Foundation, Nationwide Foundation, and the Ohio Arts Council.

PARKING UPDATE: Construction at 15th and High. For more information click here.

Sign up to receive center event updates directly in your inbox.

Enjoy an array of benefits including free gallery admission, ticket discounts, and more.

Find us, follow us, and continue the conversation wherever you are online.




Information Desk

9 AM - 6 PM


8 AM - 4 PM

Wexner Center Store

10 AM - 6 PM