“Leo’s Big Day Out” makes its national onstage debut at HFC

Release Date
Event Date
Adray Auditorium (F-100) in the MacKenzie Fine Arts Center (Building F)
HFC students Amal Khalil and Hannah Whitaker with Gita the puppet.

The new family-friendly musical, Leo’s Big Day Out , will make its national onstage debut the weekend of November 18-19 at HFC in the Adray Auditorium on the first floor of the MacKenzie Fine Arts Center (Building F on the main campus).

Leo’s Big Day Out runs just under an hour with no intermission. The performances will be on the following days and times:

  • Saturday, November 18, at 2:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, November 18, at 7:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, November 19, at 2:00 p.m.

“Exciting honor to be trusted with creating the onstage premiere of this show”

A collaboration between HFC Theatre and HFC Music, Leo’s Big Day Out is the creation of Aaron Coleman with music by Chuck Pelletier. It was created as part of the New York City-based Circle in the Square Theatre School’s efforts to provide virtual children’s theatre during the COVID 19 pandemic.

"It's really such an exciting honor to be trusted with creating the onstage premiere of this show! Circle in the Square is an absolute legend in the theatre community – the idea that this show debuted there, albeit virtually due to the pandemic – and its next step into life is on HFC's stage is such an exciting feather in our cap!" said HFC Director of Theatre Dr. John Michael Sefel.

Leo’s Big Day Out is the story of 9-year-old Leo Fawaz. Leo lives with his immigrant aunt named Letty in a new city – New York City of all places! – and desires nothing more than to get out, explore, and make music in this new city, despite his aunt's fear of the unknown and wanting him to stay home. The play features dialogue in English, Arabic, and Spanish. It also includes singing, dancing, and puppetry.

A fun musical for children and people of all ages

“The work of dozens of HFC students will be showcased in this play,” said Sefel. “We're really thankful for the community support we've received toward this production, especially from our friends at Dearborn's amazing Arab American National Museum. In fact, we’re proud to offer a special $5 reduced ticket price to any AANM members.”

The production staff for Leo’s Big Day Out is as follows:

  • Director: Dr. John Michael Sefel
  • Assistant Director: HFC student Kourtney Collins
  • Music Director: Anthony Lai
  • Choreographer: Shauna Rae Hazime
  • Technical Director: Christopher Bremer
  • Scenic Designer: Mike Collins
  • Stage Manager: HFC student Isabelle Robinson
  • Costume Designer: HFC student Jasmin Jafaar
  • Arabic Translation Consultant: Dr. Nada Zahr

“One of the things I love about Leo's Big Day Out is that it truly is a family musical in the best sense of the word. Sometimes, entertainment for children can feel overly cute, or too sentimental, or – worst case scenario – like an insult to the audience's intelligence,” explained Sefel. “Leo's Big Day Out hits all the right notes: It has a brain without being heady, it has a heart without being sappy, and it indulges in silly moments without being whacky. One of its greatest attributes is how it introduces so many potentially complicated ideas and themes (non-parental guardians, invisible disabilities, trauma, cultural integration, and more) in such an easy-going and normalizing manner without ever getting heavy. And it does it all in just under an hour! It really is a great, fun musical for school-age children and the people who love them!"

Purchase tickets today

Tickets go on sale Wednesday, November 1. Ticket prices are:

  • $5 for children ages 12 and under
  • $5 for HFC employees and students with a valid HFC ID
  • $5 for AANM members and their guests with a valid membership card
  • $5 for senior citizens
  • $8 for general admission

Please purchase tickets here Tickets are also available at the door.

At each performance, HFC Theatre will be collecting non-perishable food items for the Hawk's Nest, HFC’s student food pantry. Food items should be at least two months prior to their published expiration date. Please check the published expiration dates carefully before you donate.

For questions or more information about Leo’s Big Day Out, contact Sefel at jsefel@hfcc.edu.