Penguins, monkeys and monsters “Under The Bed,” oh my!

The Concordia Courier

With puppet design by Eve Stanton, "Under The Bed" brings children's stuffed animals to life for memorable adventures!

By Rebekah Michel | 2/23/2024

The childhood dreams of stuffed animals and monsters hiding under the bed are coming to life for the Theatre Department with their upcoming production of “Under The Bed.” Written by Brendan Murray, and directed by Tony Vezner, “Under The Bed” follows brother and sister, Jo and Mo, as they conquer the fear of what's hiding under their bed. Along the way, they meet new friends and take whimsical adventures ranging from the North Pole to the South Seas. 

As a show for the young and the young at heart, the cast of “Under The Bed” has had to learn to adapt their performances for audiences of all ages, particularly children. “Being a part of something that is intended for children has brought back so much childlike joy, positive attitudes into my life and admiration for how kids see the world. As for obstacles, I suppose my biggest challenge has been trying to find the voice of a 4-year-old,” said junior Isabella Mangahis. Mangahis is a Theatre major and plays the role of the sister, Mo. 

While the ages of the actors are significantly older than some of the characters in “Under The Bed,” there is a great deal of nostalgia that occurs when producing children’s theater. “Through playing as a child, I’ve recalled so many similar memories of playtime, fear of the imagined unknown and the agency to speak without fear or judgment. It has made me feel a sense of longing for my younger self,” said Mangaihis. 

Adding to the whimsical nature of the show, “Under The Bed” notably features puppetry in its production. With puppetry design, construction and coaching by Eve Stanton, the familiar stuffed animals that many grew up with come to life in this production. Featuring life-size puppets of a penguin and monkey, the process of maneuvering puppets with the whole body has been a learning experience for the cast.

“Fitting the practice puppet to the dimensions of my body, as well as learning to act with the puppet's body out in front of me, has been very challenging. I think that my unique challenge is that I have never acted in a show before, so I am developing both acting skills and puppeteering skills,” said Timothy Sloan, ‘25. Sloan is a Math major and can be seen as the Penguin Puppeteer. 

Producing children’s theater at a university is a special opportunity for the Theatre Department to reach a greater audience of children and families. “I think younger audience members and families are going to appreciate the childlike imagination for ‘Under The Bed.’ Hopefully, that imagination never fully fades away for them,” said Sloan. 

While Concordia students and faculty may no longer have nightmares about the monsters hiding under the bed, the light-hearted nature of this show is hoping to reach those who still feel young at heart. “I want them to be able to reminisce about how beautiful it is to let oneself be imaginative and curious about the world, because that is truly a superpower to keep as you grow older,” said Mangahis. 

“Under The Bed” will play at the Studio Theatre on March  9 and 15 at 7:30 p.m., March 10, 16, and 17 at 2 p.m. and March 13 at 11 a.m. Concordia students can reserve one free ticket by using the code CUISTU at checkout. For more information, or to purchase tickets, please visit

Tags: Theatre, Performing Arts

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