PigPen Theatre Co.’s The Tale of Despereaux

The Tale of Despereaux

PigPen Theatre Co.’s The Tale of Despereaux: A New Musical

Book, music, and lyrics by PigPen Theatre Co.
Based on the novel by Kate DiCamillo and the Universal Pictures animated film
Directed by Marc Bruni and PigPen Theatre Co.
Special Presentation · Roda Theatre
November 21, 2019–January 5, 2020

Running time: 1 hour and 35 minutes, no intermission

A musical adventure awaits you this holiday season when the acclaimed PigPen Theatre Co. brings its inventive and imaginative retelling of the beloved, Newbery Medal-winning modern fable to Berkeley Rep. The courageous Despereaux, shunned by his community for his love of stories and humans, shows a forlorn kingdom that even the smallest voice can change the world—and that it only takes a little light to reveal the truth.

An indie folk band that creates dazzling works of theatre, PigPen infuses this tale of bravery, forgiveness, and redemption with their masterful music, stunning stage effects, and witty performances. PigPen’s The Tale of Despereaux is a spellbinding musical treat that resonates with adults and children alike.

An important note regarding health and content advisories:
Berkeley Rep offers an advisory about any stage effect of potential concern to patrons’ health. We will provide this information as soon as it’s available. We don’t offer unsolicited content advisories as sensitivities vary from person to person. If you have concerns about content or themes, we are happy to provide details. Please call our box office at 510 647–2949 or email info@berkeleyrep.org.

Season sponsors

BARTPeet’s CoffeeWells Fargo

Buy tickets

Current ticket prices

Premium: $60–100 · Section A: $50–85 · Section B: $35–75
$10 discount available for anyone under the age of 35
$15 discount available for anyone under the age of 18

Special holiday pricing on November 26 at 7pm, November 29 at 7pm, and December 1 at 7pm. No discount code required.

We offer special pricing to groups of 10+. Check out our group and Entourage discounts.

Prices are subject to change at any time. Generally, your best bet is to buy early. Weeknight tickets tend to cost less than weekends.

The Tale of Despereaux calendar

Please note: For The Tale of Despereaux, all evening performances begin at 7pm.

A charming and inventive musical! Beautifully realized…As loose-limbed a feel as the show boasts, though, this is an intricately staged and smartly conceived retelling of DiCamillo’s story about a mouse born with rampant curiosity, surprisingly large ears and an unusual lack of yellow-bellied-ness…The show’s look is trademark PigPen, with resourceful, often enchanting imagery on Jason Sherwood’s soaring storybook set. Lydia Fine and Nick Lehane’s shadow sequences and puppetry are elemental to the storytelling.”

The San Diego Union-Tribune

A fantastical musical journey into a fairytale kingdom that proves while love may be ridiculous it is also ‘wonderful.’ Charmingly whimsical—PigPen Theatre Co. has created a beautiful and spirited piece of theatre…deftly explores love, loss, dreams, and forgiveness.”

Broadway World

Enchanting! Despereaux delights with its ingenious props, inventive visual effects, and a grand fairy-tale set! While the story is simple enough for children to enjoy, it’s adults who will most appreciate this world premiere musical.”

San Diego CityBeat

If there’s a child in your life in whom you want to foster a love of the literary arts, this is a great show to take them to. And you will find the child in you excited, delighted, and satisfied!”

San Diego Jewish World

It’s like watching child geniuses at play!”

The New Yorker

PigPen Theatre Co. is already a phenomenon”

Boston Herald

Watch now

Behind the scenes: The Tale of Despereaux meet and greet

Artistic Director Johanna Pfaelzer reveals what she loves about sharing PigPen Theatre Co.’s adaptation of the beloved award-winning book.

Behind the scenes: The Tale of Despereaux meet and greet

Co-director Marc Bruni talks about why he loves PigPen Theatre Co.’s adaptation of the beloved award-winning book.

Behind the scenes: The Tale of Despereaux meet and greet

Arya Shahi talks about the genesis of PigPen Theatre Co. and the inspiration for their latest show.

Teen Night

Teen Night gives local teens the opportunity to meet for dinner and a behind-the-scenes discussion with a member of the artistic team before attending productions at an extremely discounted price.

  • Friday, November 22, 2019

Teen Night begins at 6pm at the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre. Learn more and reserve your space.



Peet’s Theatre
2025 Addison St, Berkeley CA 94704

Roda Theatre
2015 Addison St, Berkeley CA 94704

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510 647–2949
2025 Addison St, Berkeley CA 94704
Open Tuesday–Sunday, noon–7pm

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