Harold and the Purple Crayon


Andrew Bird


Robyn Mineko Williams & Terence Marling

Costume Design

Rebecca Shouse

Lighting Design

Matt Miller

Projections & Scenery

Ryan Wineinger-Schattl


47 minutes


Hubbard Street 2, Chicago, 2010

PNB Premiere

March 23, 2024

PNB’s 2024 premiere of Harold and the Purple Crayon is generously supported by Bob Benson, The McDade Family, Once Upon a Dance, Leslie Yamada, and The Jane Lang Davis New Works Fund.

Program Notes

​​One evening, after thinking it over for some time, Harold decided to go for a walk in the moonlight. So begins Harold and the Purple Crayon, the first of seven delightful picture books by Crockett Johnson, following the zany adventures of an inventive young boy. As it turned out, there wasn’t any moon that night nor was there a path to walk on, so Harold simply drew them. And thus his journey began. Resourceful and brave, Harold creates the world he wants to explore, using nothing more than a big purple crayon and his sky’s-the-limit imagination. The Harold books have captivated families for more than sixty years, celebrating the imagination of children and the unique way they see the world.


A native of the Chicago suburbs, Andrew Bird began playing violin at the age of four and graduated from Northwestern University in 1995. His career began in the 1990s with the swing band the Squirrel Nut Zippers. Bird has released sixteen studio albums, and is known for his unique violin playing, accompanied by loop and effect pedals, whistling, and voice. Bird’s album “My Finest Work Yet” received a Grammy nomination for Best Folk Album in 2020.