Season 15: Theatre for Young Audiences

POLKADOTS: The Cool Kids Musical

BOOK BY Melvin Turnstall III
MUSIC BY Greg Borowsky & Douglas Lyons
LYRICS BY Douglas Lyons

Directed & Choreographed by Robert Mintz
Music Direction by Bobby Tomasulo

Playhouse on Park’s first ever touring production!

Polkadots: The Cool Kids Musical follows 8-year-old Lily Polkadot who just moved to the “Squares Only” small town of Rockaway. As the first Polkadot in an all Square school, Lily faces an almost impossible task of gaining acceptance from her peers. From daily bullying to segregated drinking fountains, Lily’s quest seems hopeless until she meets Sky, a shy Square boy whose curiosity for her unique polkadot skin blooms into an unexpected pal-ship. Inspired by the events of The Little Rock 9, Polkadots serves as a colorful history lesson for children, reminding them that our individual differences make us awesome, not outcasts.

… [POLKADOTS] has characters that demonstrate deep-rooted insensitivities and show cowardice amid a time of progressive cultural change… Polkadots is impressive.” -Chris Arnott, Hartford Courant

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February 21 - March 17, 2024

Cost: $1200 per performance 

Performances can be scheduled for 9:30am and 1:30pm (can be somewhat flexible).  

The program also provides teachers with a study guide to prepare students for the performance, a pre-show workshop with a Playhouse professional teaching artist, and a Q&A with the cast after the show.

To book your field trip, please contact Jill Zarcone, Education Coordinator, at or 860-523-5900 ext. 16. 

There are two public performances:

Herbert & Evelyn Gilman Theatre
335 Bloomfield, Avenue
West Hartford, CT

Sensory-friendly performance: March 17th at 1:00pm | Buy $10 tickets

Public performance: March 17th at 4:00pm | Buy $20 Tickets

What is a sensory-friendly performance?

Sensory-friendly performances are designed to accommodate those with sensory dysfunction or sensory processing disorder including those on the autism spectrum, suffering from ptsd, and more.

At a sensory-friendly performance: house lights are kept partially on; volume is turned down; sound and lighting elements that may be jarring are eliminated; electronic devices such as iPads are allowed; audiences members can come and go if needed; a safe space is created in the lobby for those who do have to exit the theatre; fight toys are welcomed; a show guide is provided to prepare audience members for their visit.




Review: Hartford Courant


Rachel Ballasy (Ms. Square/Mama Square) Playhouse on Park Debut!  Opera House Players: Choreographer JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR; Ellington Community Theatre: Director/ Choreographer BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. Blue Fire Stage: Olive Ostrovsky THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE; Messiah University: Katherine THE TAMING OF THE SHREW. Rachel holds a B.F.A. in Musical Theatre from Messiah University. She'd like to thank her family and her 'Forever Friends' for their constant love, encouragement, and support!

Raúl Calderón (Sky) Playhouse on Park Debut! Western Connecticut State University: Batboy BATBOY THE MUSICAL, Woodstock Playhouse LeFou BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, The Little Prince THE LITTLE PRINCE; The New Paradigm Theatre Willard Hewitt FOOTLOOSE. Raúl wants to thank his family in Waterbury, CT for all the support, and is excited to begin his journey this year with FSE Agency.

​​Erin Chaves (Penelope Square) Playhouse on Park debut! Brownville Village Theatre: Grace Banker THE HELLO GIRLS, Clarisse THE LIGHTNING THIEF; Virginia Repertory Theatre: Squirrelle/u/s Piggie ELEPHANT AND PIGGIE’S WE ARE IN A PLAY; University of North Dakota: Olive Ostrovsky 25th…SPELLING BEE, Henrietta Leavitt SILENT SKY. Erin graduated from the University of North Dakota with her BFA in Musical Theatre in May of 2022. Lots of love to her family and friends for their constant support!

Alesha Jeter (Lilly) is so excited to be a part of this show!  She recently graduated from Manhattan School of Music (’23 BM Musical Theatre) in the spring. She is so grateful to be a part of this story and cannot wait to share it with you all. She would like to thank her parents and sister for being her rock and Playhouse on Park for this opportunity. Her most recent role was as T’Asia in Step Kids at The Flea Theatre. Instagram: @aleshajeter.