Rochester’s DEEP Arts — formerly Rochester Children’s Theatre — is sharing music videos and accompanying activity packets for parents and children to enjoy while sheltering at home.
“LIKAH! A Puppy Musical” is the source material for the theater organization’s foray into digital offerings. This piece, which debuted at Geva Theatre Center in 2019, was written by Deborah Haber, executive artistic director of DEEP Arts, and Rochester composer Casey Filiaci.
DEEP Arts then produced an invitation-only industry presentation in New York City last October, with an Equity cast that included Jenna Leigh Green, Em Grosland, Megan Sikora, Remy Zaken and Rochester’s Katie LeSuer.
“The response to ‘LIKAH!’ in both Rochester and New York has been incredible,” said Haber, who based the story on the adventures of her border collie, Likah. “The live musical touches and charms audiences of all ages, and my hope is that the videos and activities will do the same during these difficult times.
“As with most pet owners, I believed my pup was (and is) the cutest, smartest and most adorable dog in the universe. So, I began taking notes of all things Likah, from her joyful day-to-day discoveries to her relationship with my older female dog.
“As the diary continued, so did life itself. My own sister lost her battle with cancer, and a month later so did my older dog. As I chronicled Likah’s life’s journey, I realized the significant message within this sweet pup’s story and that what I was documenting was actually my own experiences through her eyes.
“Loss is difficult to deal with on any level, whether it’s a pet, friend or family member through illness, accident or other difficult circumstances. But it’s particularly difficult to process and comprehend for a child. My hope is that ‘LIKAH’s enchanting spirit will encourage and inspire those who may need a hug.”
“LIKAH!” is the second of DEEP Arts’ original musicals. The first, “Moses Man: A New Musical,” is based on Haber’s late parents, Holocaust survivors Kalman and Lily Haber.
Since early April, DEEP Arts released four sing-a-long videos with activity packets: “PIES!,” “The Water Bowl,” “RUNNING!” and “Cozy Snuggly Wormy.” Song videos and activity packets will be released on a rolling basis this spring and summer. Visit deeparts.org for information.