The Adventures of Harold and the Purple Crayon Header

The Adventures of Harold and the Purple Crayon

One evening, after thinking it over for some time, Harold decided to go for a walk in the moonlight. So begins Harold and the Purple Crayon, the first of seven delightful picture books by Crockett Johnson, following the zany adventures of an inventive young boy. As it turned out, there wasn’t any moon that night nor was there a path to walk on, so Harold simply drew them. And thus his journey began. Resourceful and brave, Harold creates the world he wants to explore, using nothing more than a big purple crayon and his sky’s-the-limit imagination. Enchantment Theatre’s production will take your school and family audiences on a wild ride as Harold jets to Mars (shooting stars, space ships!), joins a circus (he tames a lion!) and rescues a princess in an enchanted castle. The Harold books have captivated families for more than sixty years, celebrating the imagination of children and the unique way they see the world. The show combines life-size puppets, pantomime, dance, magic and original music. Enchantment’s production will delight and amaze your audiences, from children starting at Harold’s age, all the way up to grandparents — anyone, in fact, whose heart is young and adventurous.


ENCHANTMENT THEATRE COMPANY (PRODUCER) - Enchantment Theatre Company has produced original theater for school groups and families since 2000 when it was established as a non-profit arts organization in Philadelphia. The company presents only original work based on classic stories from children's literature, using its signature blend of masked actors, pantomime, magic, large-scale puppets, and original music. Building on the more than 35 years of theatrical experience of its artistic directors, Enchantment has quickly become known for high quality imaginative productions, not only in its home city but throughout the United States and the Far East.

Enchantment has toured its original productions all over the world, appearing each year in more than 30-40 states. It has performed in such sophisticated urban arts venues as New York’s Lincoln Center, Washington, D.C.’s John F. Kennedy Center, and Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center and Annenberg Center, as well as in small town high school auditoriums and performance tents. The company has also toured the Far East six times, performing in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore. Enchantment has shared the stage with more than 65 orchestras nationwide in its special symphonic works that pair great stories with great music for the benefit of school and family audiences.

Enchantment Theatre Company is a non-profit arts organization resident in Philadelphia. They have been guided by their mission: to create original theater for young audiences and families. They accomplish this through the imaginative telling of stories that inspire, challenge and enrich their audience, on stage and in the classroom. All of Enchantment’s productions are original adaptations of new and classic fables, myths and legends, combined with original music. Drawing on great theatrical traditions from around the world—from the Bunraku theater of Japan, to the shadow puppets of Indonesia, to commedia dell’arte—Enchantment weaves these together in compelling productions of beauty and inspiration. They employ a unique combination of art forms to tell our stories: masked actors, magic and illusion, puppets (often life-size) and mime, all set to classical or original music.

Story adaptation by Jennifer and Landis Smith and Leslie Reidel, Artistic Directors of Enchantment Theatre Company
Lively musical score by Charles Gilbert, composer of The Adventures of Harold and the Purple Crayon


  • Language Arts
  • Reading
  • Vocabulary
  • ​​​​​Spelling
  • Grammar
  • Figurative Language
  • Creative Writing
  • Storytelling
  • Visual Arts
  • Performing Arts: Theater, Music, Dance


SCHOOL TIME AUDIENCE: Ages 4-10; Grades Pre-K-5


I just wanted to drop you a quick email to let you know how delighted we were with your production of Harold and the Purple Crayon which we presented at Jorgensen on Sunday, October 18, 2009.  The production included a wonderful mix of masks, large puppets and magic tricks. However, it was the use of digital technology that totally brought the story to life and the audience was amazed and thrilled!!!!  I don’t really remember the last time we presented a children’s event where the kids were quite this captivated. Thanks for creating this incredible show and once again for sharing your talent and creativity.   I can’t wait to see what you come up with next!
Rodney Rock, Director
Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts, University of Connecticut

In a word, [“Harold”] was tremendous!  We loved it, our patrons loved it and we very much look forward to a long relationship.

Mary Beth Aungier, General Manager
The Paramount Theater, Charlottsville, VA

Enchantment Theatre's production of "The Adventures of Harold and the Purple Crayon" is a magical and engaging live performance for children.  The Colonial Theatre hosted over 800 children from ages 4 to 2nd grade for two performances.  This is the first production I have experienced watching children of this age completely focused on the stage for the entire hour.  In most performance i see their concentration wander after 30 to 40 minutes, but they were on the edge of their seats the entire time!  I heard comments like;  "I wonder what will happen next!"   One school teacher wrote to me how her students (1st and 2nd graders) were quite fascinated with how the story was extended beyond what they had read in some of the Crockett Johnson's books. 

I received purple drawings of Harold surrounded by stars, and comments about how much they laughed at the clowns "fighting over the yellow rope and box" and when another clown took the box away.  They related to when Harold put the blanket over his head in the dark because he was afraid of seeing monsters. Other favorite characters included the witch and her evil laugh, (it was creepy) the princess and the cat and dog fight.  And when Harold shared the crayon with his new friend.  

I so appreciate how Enchantment Theatre did not underestimate how much children comprehend; the humor, the magic, and the relationships.    The production value, the performances, all aspects were wonderful.  You cast and crew were professional, friendly and wonderful to work with.  

Thank you very much!  I hope The Colonial will be able to bring Enchantment Theatre to children in the Monadnock Region of New Hampshire in the future.  

Vicky Pittman, Education and Special Projects Manager
The Colonial Theatre, Keene, NH

The energy in the audience during the show was palpable; I can’t remember when I’ve seen little kids so completely engaged in a performance. The buzz from both teachers and students exiting the show was extremely positive. My staff and I thought the show was imaginative well produced, and a lot of fun. It sold very well for us, especially this early in the season. We really appreciate the willingness of the company to make “Harold” available for a post-show meet and greet with a group of parents enrolled in adult-ESL classes, who attended the show with their children. The school received a grant to purchase a Harold Book for each family, and the kids were thrilled to have their books autographed by Harold himself!
We’ve already sent out the follow-up evaluations to the teachers. We’ll be sure to send you a summary of the responses as soon as they come in. I’m sure you’ll find a lot of quotable material from the teachers, whose opinion is probably more valuable than mine in terms of promoting the show to potential audiences and presenters.

Lian Farrer, Vice President for Education
State Theatre, New Brunswick, NJ

This October we were fortunate to have the Enchantment Theatre Company present The Adventures of Harold and the Purple Crayon.  It is not often that I hear peels of laughter and shouting from the audience in response to actors on our main stage.  I could tell that both teachers and children alike were enthralled by the performance.  "Everything he drew was amazing and just popped out!" said one third grade student.  The audience reactions spoke volumes to the talented and passionate individuals on stage that make up this professional company.  It was a pleasure to work with them.  Harold brought out the imagination in everyone, including me.

Michael Bodolosky, Executive Director
Pasquerilla Performing Arts Center, Johnstown, PA

The accolades flowed!  The most creative, the most imaginative, educational, inspiring, entertaining. Following the performance, a mom stopped me in the lobby to say how much she and her four-year-old son enjoyed the show.  At least three times during the performance, he grinned at her and said, “Thanks, Mom. This is the best show I’ve ever seen.”    
Zita Christian, Assistant Manager , Programs Department
The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, Hartford CT 06106

The Adventures of Harold and The Purple Crayon is a marvelous show!   I am very particular about the production values of my children's shows and I was delighted with the artistic elements of this production. The human puppets, the music, the magic and the live animation were all immensely engaging, entertaining and the creativity of the production is just astounding.  The kids immediately connected and were engaged from the minute Harold stepped onto the stage.  Teachers and parents loved the show as well. Thank you for your creativity and hard work in putting together this show --it was a great success in our venue and I couldn't have been more pleased with the show!  Best of luck to you.  You have a great production!

Connie McGinnis, Assistant Director of Celebrity Series
Westminster College, New Wilmington, PA

It was a real pleasure to host the performance of Harold & the Purple Crayon at Lander University.  I was so impressed with the artistry of the performers – they were terrific!  The creativity and imagination is what really blew me away.  I was constantly thinking “that is so neat”, or,  “I wonder how they did that!”  I loved being outside when the children were loading the buses to return to school.  They were full of excitement and had so much to say about Harold! The laughter, smiles, and heartwarming emotions from the children were clear indicators that they loved the production.
From load-in to load-out, Enchantment Theatre Company was wonderful to work with; you run a smooth operation!  Bravo!

Jackie Counts, Outreach Program Director
Greenwood-Lander Performing Arts, SC

We have come to look forward to performances by Enchantment Theatre Company with great anticipation because we always know that they are going to be a visual treat and a tight production.  We found “The Adventures of Harold and The Purple Crayon” did not disappoint!  

It was a very clever mix of dance, puppetry, and animation that entranced our audience and offered up a charming and gentle story that delighted the very young. Prior to the show we invited everyone to come dressed in purple and to write on Harold’s wall in the lobby.  We had some charming purple artwork and found some budding young artists.  All-in-all it was a delightful afternoon of children’s theatre.  We are only sorry that you don’t have a new production every year! We love working with your cast and crew!
Laura Clavio, Assistant Director Purdue Convocation
Purdue University, Purdue, IN
We loved “Harold” and so did our audiences… every time ECT visits I/we fall in love all over again, the artistry, the stories, the performers create a world that delights the eyes and captivates the soul and engages the imagination, perfect for the whole family.  The Orpheum Theatre Loves presenting your shows.

Alice Donohoe Roberts, VP Education and Community Outreach

Our community enjoyed “The Adventures of Harold and the Purple Crayon” immensely. In particular, many children and teachers alike commented on the incredible creativity of this production. As a managing director, I found it to be a polished, imaginative and tight production that I was proud to present to our community. This is exactly the caliber of theatre we should be exposing our children to because it undoubtedly will instill a love of the arts in many young people. From one of our local schools, here are a couple of quotes:

“My students loved the production. They were silent the whole time, except
to applaud.”

“Overwhelmed how they brought the imagination to life.”

A quote from a child age 8. “Harold was the best show I have ever seen.”

Catriona Macphie Hynds
Fred Center for the Performing Arts, Ohio Northern University, Ada, OH 

Your cast and crew were super nice, and a lot of fun to work with.  What a great group of people!
From load in to load out the entire show ran very smoothly. This
Children's show goes above and beyond the "cardboard cutout" style of
set associated with most children's shows.  The set pieces and costumes
are larger than life and captivated our audience the entire show.  This
show just goes a notch above the rest.  

I would highly recommend this production to anyone that has a
Children's or educational series.

Dan Heerts, Arts Director
Marie W. Heider Center For The Arts, West Salem, WI

The staff at Juanita K. Hammons Hall had a great time hosting “Harold” and his friends last week!  I heard lots of great comments from kids, teachers, parents and several of our volunteers about how much they enjoyed the show.  The kids were captivated by the performance, and many of them joined in the fun by “announcing” each of Harold’s new drawings as they appeared.  Our receptionist let me know that we received a call the next day from a lady who had brought her grandson to the show – she was very impressed with the use of technology, and the performance as a whole – the receptionist said she was raving about it!  Kudos to the cast, crew and creative team for delivering a performance with such imagination.  I think “Harold” has some new fans in Springfield!

Anjie Nowell, Coordinator, Center for Arts in the Schools
Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts, Missouri State University Springfield, MO

CAM-PLEX Heritage Center hosted “Harold and the Purple Crayon” on Monday, March 8, 2010.  Nearly 900 kindergartners attended a school matinee and 400 members of the public attended the evening performance. The positive response was overwhelming!  The students remained engaged for a full hour (no small feat when you are talking about kindergartners) and the teachers thought it was one of the best children’s productions we’ve had in a while.  Enchantment Theatre Company is fast becoming a favorite for our venue.  Their productions capture what engages young children (movement, color, etc) and builds an artistic production around those concepts.  We will definitely be bringing the company back!
Jaymi Gilmour, Theater Manager
Cam-Plex Hertage Center, Gillette, WY

The production of Harold and the Purple Crayon was a wonderful adaptation of the popular children’s book by Crockett Johnson.
The special effects, puppets and masks were all done well. The jazzy musical score was interesting and dynamic and helped move the story along.
The performers were a delight to work with and the audiences really liked the show. Sometimes small productions are lost on our stage because of the size of our house. This was not the case with this production. I really appreciated the fact that it read well from the front row all the way to the back row of the balcony.

Bess Fredlund, Education Director
Alberta Bair Theater, Billings, Montana

The Enchantment Theatre production of HAROLD AND THE PURPLE CRAYON was amazing, in the true spirit of creativity with which you and Jennifer founded the Company.  Bravo!!  The Casper, WY, area had 2,800 students, teachers, and home school families who attended the school programs and loved the combination of live action and special effects with the three projectors. ARTCORE gave out passes for the children to come again for free when they brought paying adults, and those adults reported that staying home that evening was NOT an option!  You packed many wonderful stories into 63 minutes, and everyone had loads of fun as the alphabet was revealed!  I told the adults at several productions that there would be great artistry in the mime, the dancing, the wonderful score, the costumes, the MAGIC - everything about the Enchantment Theatre Productions.  I told them if they thought they needed to bring a child along, that was fine, but this show is captivating to all ages!  The performers are tremendously talented artists and neat people. Congratulations!

Carolyn Deuel

I wanted to thank you for the excellent production of Harold and the Purple Crayon Wednesday April 21st at the F.M. Kirby Center. I have to say the children and the teachers were entranced by the entire production and we were thrilled that over 1,600 attended the show. I appreciated all your help and look forward to returning your company to the Kirby Center in the future. 

Mark Thomas, Director of Programming
F.M. Kirby Center, Wilkes Barre, PA

We were very pleased with “The Adventures of Harold and the Purple Crayon”!  The production was inventive, well paced and fun.  The audience seemed delighted—we could tell by the peels of childrens’ laughter and excited giggles.  It had enough complexity and special effects to keep parents and grandparents entertained, too.  Thanks for a wonderful children’s show!  

Carol Oppelaar , General Manager/Program Director 
Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center , York, PA

THE ADVENTURES OF HAROLD AND THE PURPLE CRAYON was a big success for our matinee season.  The series of Harold books are very beloved, and we had excellent attendance for both matinees to prove that.  The delight of the children during the show was apparent, and the teacher’s reactions after the show indicated their amazement at the way the story was presented. They, and I, marveled at how well technology made staging the show possible but didn’t steal from the magical feeling of the story.  We would recommend this show to other presenters for the Pre-K to Lower Elementary ages.

Tennie Lester, Arts Education Coordinator
Bologna Performing Arts Center, Delta State University, Cleveland, MS

From the moment that we listed The Adventures of Harold and the Purple Crayon in our season brochure, the one thing that people kept asking is... "How are they going to do that book on stage". Well... now we know... and boy did my audience love it! What a creative, sweet and fun performance. The cast and crew were a dream to work with and definitely raised the bar on family programming. My only concern is that now I have to find something for next season that will meet the expectations this show has set for my audience. Thank you for a wonderful experience.

Christian Wolf, Executive Director
Torrance Cultural Arts Foundation, Torrance, CA

Enchantment Theatre Company's The Adventures of Harold and the Purple Crayon was a home run for us. The parents, kids and staff all loved this production.  The play was true to the original book and the creative team found an innovative and artistic way to tell the story, which kept our audiences wide-eyed and smiling.  Working with the company was a pleasure and both shows played to full houses.  We will definitely have them back.

Brian Kite, Producing Artistic Director
La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, La Mirada, CA

“Harold and the Purple Crayon was absolutely exquisite!!  It was visual masterpiece from beginning to end.  Our young audiences were captivated the entire performance!  It was an amazingly creative show and after the show, one of my 6 year old audience members told me that her “imagination hurt”.  

Mary E. Katz, Director of Education and Outreach
The Carson Center, Paducah, Kentucky