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Danny, King of the Basement

By David S. Craig

Danny uses his imaginative secret agent life to help himself and his friends overcome the cold realities of a tough childhood. He remains optimistic for his mother’s sake through plenty of uncertainties, hunger and a lack of things most children take for granted. When he’s humiliated at school, Danny runs away in search of his long absent father. It’s then that Danny realizes friendships and truth are the best foundation for a real home.

ASL Interpreted Dates:
Public - November 10 @ 2pm
Schools - November 6 @ 10:30am

Age Recommendation:
Ages 8 and up - This is an uplifting story demonstrating the power of imagination, resilience and friendship. Financial difficulties and parental separation inspire great discussion, but may be challenging concepts for children under eight.

Curriculum Connections: Classroom Connections: Homelessness, Community, Employment, Materialism, Friendship, Parental Responsibility, Empathy, Resilience, Imagination, Literacy

Running Time: 75 minutes with no intermission

Press Release: Danny, King of the Basement

Danny and his mother, Louise, are moving into a new basement apartment. It’s their eighth move in two years because there’s never enough money to pay the rent. Yet despite meager resources, limited grocery money and thread-bare clothes, Danny possesses a surprisingly upbeat outlook on this move and his life.

He immediately befriends apartment neighbors Angelo and Penelope, who are grappling with their own family issues. Penelope is serving as the intermediary in her separated parent’s financial arguments, and she just wants them to reconcile. Angelo is living in fear of his grumpy, unemployed father, yet still craving his approval. Danny introduces both children to the power of imagination, inviting them to escape tough realities by assuming roles in his secret agent game.

When Danny’s illiteracy is brought to light in his new school, he flees in embarrassment. Although his mom admits that she doesn’t know the whereabouts of his absentee father, Danny runs away in search of him, certain that his father is the answer to all his problems. Wandering the streets in the cold of winter without proper clothes, Danny is in serious danger. He lands in the hospital where he realizes what matters most is the love of his mother and the true home and good friends he’s made.

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Show Summary

“This story explores what is often hidden in Seattle – the effect of homelessness on children. Danny is an inspirational character who shares his emotional story in an uplifting and humorous way.” - SCT Artistic Director Linda Hartzell

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