The Busy Bees’ Great Adventure
Environmental preservation and conservation take center stage!
The Busy Bees’ Great Adventure will be the new first component of the Arsht Center’s Learning Through the Arts program, which ensures that all Miami-Dade County youth experience three meaningful touchpoints with the performing arts for free during their K-12 careers. Launching October 2 through 13, 2023, The Busy Bees’ Great Adventure is a live theater performance and learning initiative that aims to educate 30,000 third, fourth and fifth graders on the importance of preserving and conserving the environment.
- The Musical: This original new work was written by Miami-based playwright Ashlee K. Thomas and commissioned by the Arsht Center. The storyline follows a group of time-traveling, hip-hop performing honeybees on a quest to save the planet when they learn about the threats to the environment, including their own possible extinction, and what actions can be taken to prevent our planet’s destruction. For most students, this will be their first live theater experience at their local performing arts center.
- Arts-Integrated Curriculum: The show will be accompanied by state-aligned curriculum created by a collaborative team from the Arsht Center and Miami-Dade County Public Schools. The Center hosts free teacher workshops to share curriculum with elementary school educators from across the county — enabling teachers to carry excitement from the theater production back to the classroom.
About this show:
The Busy Bees’ Great Adventure was dreamed up to spark inspiration toward responsible environmental citizenship. The climate crisis is having a negative impact on the bee population, so The Busy Bees get real, face the problem and use their creativity and music to encourage water preservation, energy efficiency and sustainable consumption. The Busy Bees offer small steps that make a huge impact, and they remind people that individual actions have collective results. As children of this age begin to ponder who they will be when they grow up, The Busy Bees plant seeds that encourage curiosity and motivate us all to use the tools available to us to make our future green.
The Busy Bees’ Great Adventure was imagined, created, and written by Miami native, Ashlee K. Thomas with musical composition by Nico Raimont. The play is directed by Tanisha Cidel, an award-winning Miami-based, actor, director, and teacher.
The creative team features David Diaz (Sound Designer); Lorena Lopez (Costume Designer); Anthony Velazquez (Choreographer); Antoine Khouri (Music Director); Preston Bircher (Lighting Designer); Wilmer Fuentes (Projectionist).
Meet the writers:
Funds are needed to support the costs associated with creating, staging and producing this production. Inspire our community’s future creative thinkers and leaders by supporting the Arsht Center’s free education programs here.
Ashlee K. Thomas, Book & Lyrics
Ashlee K. Thomas is a Miami native who considers herself a multi-hyphenate creator who specializes in telling dynamic stories through music and dance. After graduating from the business school at Florida State University, Thomas returned to the performing arts. She took a sojourn in Los Angeles, where she danced professionally with CONTRA-TIEMPO Activist Dance Theater. Independently, she created full-length choreographic works workshopped at Disney Concert Hall and premiered at the prestigious Highway Theater in California. She has written and produced three plays and three youth shows and served as a lead choreographer for a Latin Grammy-nominated music video, “Licenciado Cantinas” featuring Enrique Burnbury. She served as co-founder and festival director of Melbourne Webfest, Australia's first web-series festival. In 2014, she returned to Miami and developed her career in arts administration and education. Thomas is a recent graduate of NYU, Tisch School of the Arts, and has seamlessly integrated her creative passions and her professional career. She is the co-founder of MUCE, an arts production company that brings brands and ideas to life with art. Learn more at ashleekthomas.com
Nico Raimont, Music
Nico Raimont is a Latin writer, performer, rapper, director and actor from South Florida. Onstage, his works include Como Correr: A Hip-Pop Musical (book, music, lyrics; O'Neill NMTC FINALIST 2022); Romeo y Julieta; LIMEÑO (score, dramaturgy) and Shadow Infenety: Volumes 1 & 2 (playwright, co-star and director). Onscreen, he’s provided music for the films Artist In Residence and Mantequilla (the latter written with J.L. Glasthal). In performance, he's been seen as Phil in Dennis Kelly’s DNA, Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors, St. Jimmy in American Idiot and in concert everywhere from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame to co-hosting the Shark Talent Showcase. His music can be heard on all streaming services. Raimont has a bachelor’s degree in theater from Nova Southeastern University and recently graduated from NYU's Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program as a recipient of ASCAP's Max Dreyfus Scholarship. (Special thanks to Cami, my family, Ashlee and our cast and crew. I sat in the very seats you're in right now and never imagined I could do a show here. If I can do it, so can YOU! Enjoy the show!!!)
Interested in environmental literacy at your theater? This show is built to tour. For tour inquiries or script licensing, contact the writer at email@example.com.
Meet the cast:
Señor Sea Turtle
Sir Lancelot Jones
Understudy for Señor Sea Turtle, Sir Lancelot Jones and Galactico
Melissa Ann Hubicsak
Understudy for all Busy Bees & Galactica