Little Engine Playhouse, presented by Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, expands 2019 tour

By | January 10, 2019

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. — The Little Engine Playhouse Tour, presented by Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, brings another delightful children’s book to life with expanded dates and new locations in 2019. The Playhouse Tour, which traditionally runs for two months in the spring, now begins Jan. 15 at the Nashville Public Library.

Audiences will enjoy the theatrical adaptation of “Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon,” which delivers a positive, anti-bullying message. When Molly Lou Melon starts a new school, Ronald Durkin, the school bully, makes fun of her on her very first day. He mocks her teeth, clumsiness and small frame. With advice from her grandmother, Molly Lou shows Ronald her perceived flaws are really her talents. Molly Lou is an example of overcoming obstacles and self-acceptance.

“The anti-bullying message in this book is so important in today’s world,” said Natacha Hylton, Dollywood Entertainment Manager. “We all felt like this was a great time to expand the tour, especially with the subject matter of the selected book.”

The 2019 expanded tour is made up of two actors and a stage manager. Stops at familiar children’s venues in Middle and East Tennessee, along with new areas including Memphis, as well as Arkansas, South Carolina and Ontario, Canada are scheduled for the tour.

“Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon,” is written by Patty Lovell, with illustrations by David Catrow.. The stage adaptation of the story is engineered by long-time Playhouse director, Brian Hull. The cast features Melissa Lawler and Jonathan LeGallais, and Joshua Stewart is stage manager. The Little Engine Playhouse tour is funded by Penguin Books in partnership with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library and the Dollywood Foundation.

Tour dates kick off at the Nashville Public Library 2nd floor Children’s Theater, located at 615 Church Street. The Little Engine Playhouse Tour continues in Tennessee with stops in Sevier County (weeks of Jan. 28 and March 4), Knox County (week of Feb. 4), Chattanooga (week of Feb. 11) and Anderson County Schools (week of Feb.18) before heading to Asheville, North Carolina (week of Feb.25) and Memphis (weeks of March 18 and March 25)..

Other dates include Sevier County Schools (March 4), Greenwood, South Carolina (March 11). The tour heads to Arkansas (week of April 22) and wraps up in Ontario, Canada (weeks of May 20 and May 27).