NOVEMBER 27, 2013

Valley Youth Theatre celebrates the season with two holiday favorites

A Winnie-the-Pooh Christmas Tail and Operation Noah
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PHOENIX – One of, if not the longest-running holiday stage show in Phoenix returns to Valley Youth Theatre (VYT) on December 6, 2013. A Winnie-the-Pooh Christmas Tail has entertained Valley audiences since 1995 and become a holiday tradition to many families.

“I’ve now seen children of former alumni in the audience for Pooh,” said Bobb Cooper, producing artistic director at VYT. “That makes me feel old … and happy at the same time.”
Cooper has seen more than a dozen Poohs, Piglets, Eeyores and other woodland friends “come and grow” since he came to the award-winning theater company nearly 18 years ago. Among those alumna were Golden Globe nominee Emma Stone who played Eeyore twice and Rabbit once.

During the company’s 25th anniversary season, Rabbit will be played by Hannah Blaile who was in five previous productions of A Winnie-the-Pooh Christmas Tail – the earliest in 2006 as Piglet. Blaile has had roles in other VYT shows as well, such as Charlotte the spider in Charlotte’s Web. 

The year before Blaile first played Piglet, Cooper started asking audiences to donate new stuffed animals for a local non-profit called Operation Noah. The Chandler-based organization was created by Dennis Fries who, at the age of 13, decided that no child should undergo a hospital visit without a cuddly, stuffed animal by their side.

“The rest is history,” added Cooper. “We’ve had a dropbox in our lobby during Pooh for the last eight years and during that time have collected more than a thousand stuffed toys for Operation Noah.”

Patrons are encouraged to drop off new, unwrapped stuffed toys during any of the holiday performances of A Winnie-the-Pooh Christmas Tail between December 6 and 23 at Valley Youth Theatre in downtown Phoenix.

Tickets are $18, plus service fees, and available online at or by calling the box office at 602.253.8188 x2.