Dora the Explorer is a seven-year-old Latina girl who loves to have grand adventures with all of her friends! Her motley crew of animal pals includes Isa the Iguana, Boots the Monkey, Benny the Bull, the Fiesta Trio (a bug band), Señor Tucán, Tico the Squirrel, and Swiper the Fox, Dora's nemesis. And just like magic, Dora's map and backpack come alive and speak as well. Dora teaches her friends, and the audience, Spanish words as she explores. She is a great teacher for preschool and kindergarten aged kids. The Dora the Explorer traveling show is based on the hit cartoon that is aired on Nick Jr.
In the 80-minute stage show, geared towards preschoolers, Dora and Boots explore many interesting and educational places. They begin by counting their way through the Number Pyramid. Next they visit the Mixed-up Jungle where Dora invites audience members to participate in making animal noises to help her figure out clues. Throughout the show Dora introduces new Spanish words to the audience and asks the kids to help her out with puzzles and songs. The entire adventure is centered on the search for the City of Lost Toys and the audience plays a big role in helping Dora and Boots find their treasure. Audience members exchange their tickets at the door for a colorful star wand, a prop for audience participation, which helps Dora unlock the City of Lost Toys at the end of the show.
The stage production and the television show were created by Chris Gifford. Director Gip Hoppe is aided by a crew of talented artists in bringing Dora's fantasy world to life. All of the songs were written by Chieli Minucci. Gregg Barnes designed the touring show's costumes using colorful material and cartoonish animal costumes to mimic the style of the television show so kids see their favorite characters on stage, just like in the cartoon. The entire production is designed to be familiar to the kids who love the cartoon Dora. Dora's cartoon world comes to life on stage in a grand and colorful fantasy world that keeps the children engaged in fun and educational entertainment. All of the parts are played by adults, but with costumes and superior acting, they are able to present a world very much like the original television show.
The Dora the Explorer cartoon show and touring stage show promote acceptance of a diverse world. Not only do kids learn about the Spanish language, but they learn about the Latino culture and the diversity that they see in their own lives. It may be hard to capture a five-year-old's attention with a moral message, but Dora succeeds with flying colors.