A lost baby fruit bat, taken in by a bird family, learns not all winged creatures are the same in the musical theater tale “Stellaluna” presented by Northwestern University’s Imagine U.

“Stellaluna” runs Nov. 3 to 19 at the Wirtz Center’s Hal and Martha Hyer Wallis Theater, 1949 Campus Drive on the Evanston campus.

When Stellaluna is separated from Mother Bat in the forest, she is adopted by a family of birds who teach her their boisterous, baby bird ways. Nocturnal adventure awaits in this luminous story about friendship, self-discovery, celebrating differences and trying new things. “Stellaluna” is recommended for children ages 3 to 8.

This musical theatrical version of Janell Cannon’s book is adapted by Saskia Janse with music by Guus Ponsioen.

“Stellaluna” is directed by Catlin Lowans (Northwestern M.F.A. directing candidate) with original puppets created by Northwestern alumna Carolyn Sullivan Ratke (’16 MFA in Communication).

Not only will the young audiences attending “Stellaluna” learn the ways of bats, birds and creatures of the forest, but Lowans intends to help them see their role in protecting nature and its wondrous creatures.        

“For me, the story is simple and perfect for right now. It asks, how do you balance holding on to who you are while also taking in the perspectives of others? The play embraces both the natural world and human creativity,” Lowans said.

“It will integrate natural and recycled materials and raise awareness about bats and how kids can protect them. It will also celebrate human ingenuity and creativity, through the gorgeous puppetry and the multiple talents of the cast who will be singing, tapping, playing musical instruments and creating a beautiful world.”  

The family-friendly Imagine U productions also include opportunities for children to interact with the cast and to take home a program filled with themed activities, fun facts and games.

Imagine U “Stellaluna” performance times are Fridays at 7 p.m., Saturdays at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.

Related Events:

Sensory friendly/relaxed performance
Saturday, Nov. 4, 2 p.m.

This performance of “Stellaluna” is modified to provide a comfortable and safe environment for children with autism, learning differences and other sensory needs, allowing every audience member to engage with the show in a way that works for them. Additional information on modifications for this performance are available on the Imagine U website.

Creative Drama Workshop
Sunday, Nov. 12 and 19, after the 2 p.m. performance

A 45-minute creative drama workshop with Northwestern teaching artists and cast members will be held following the 2 p.m. matinee. Children will explore themes of the show through a variety of games and creative drama-based activities. The workshop is open to any child who attends the show, but it will be most engaging for students who are 4 to 8 years. Space is limited and reservations are required. More information is available on the Imagine U website.

Tickets for the Wirtz Center’s Imagine U productions are $12 general admission; $10 students; and $6 advance tickets for Northwestern students. Tickets are available now on the Wirtz Center website, by phone at 847-491-7282 and in person at the Wirtz Center box office, located in the lobby of the Ethel M. Barber Theater, 30 Arts Circle Drive.

Box office hours are Tuesdays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m.

For more information about the production or to order tickets, call, visit the Wirtz Center website or email