Lil’ Iguana expands its future plans

Nonprofit revamps live show, aims to create TV series

Lil Iguana poses at a previous years Family Fun Day.

NASHUA – Lil’ Iguana’s Children’s Safety Foundation has big plans for the nonprofit’s future as they move into their 24th year.

Those plans include business changes and a national animation opportunity. Lil Iguana has partnered with Firehouse Centre for the Arts, a nonprofit based out of Newburyport, Massachusetts to save our children one show at a time. In doing this, they will be able to expand their safety messages to communities across New England.

Executive Director at Lil’ Iguana Jim Tomaszewski said, “Kids aged two to eight-years-old has always been our mission. From the cradle to three is the most abused and neglected age group in society.”

Lil Iguana has created several prevention programs to keep kids safe from abduction, child predators and serious accidental injuries for more than 20 years.

Firehouse Centre for the Arts will recreate Lil’ Iguana Live, which is a music driven, live, interactive stage show featuring the costume character Lil’ Iguana and live performers. Through different themed songs, skits and demonstrations the performances reinforce crucial safety messages, while engaging the audience.

“Firehouse Center for the Arts is huge for us,” Tomaszewski said.

In a statement, John Moynihan, Executive Director at Firehouse Centre for the Arts said, “As a father of four, I was excited when Lil’ Iguana approached us to help create a new show.” “I see this as an opportunity to keep our children safe and healthy as well as bring children in the community closer to the arts.”

Moynihan has goals to expand across the country with a future traveling company. Tomaszewski said Firehouse hired David Kaye, head of Acting and Directing for the Department of Theatre and Dance at UNH, to help move things along. Along with expanding their singing and dancing performances, they will also be getting new costumes. The new show is set to launch this fall, but that’s not the only thing set for this fall.

“The TV series pilot will be done by this fall, and then we’ll shop around to investors,” Tomaszewski said.

MCJEEL Entertainment Inc. and Lil’ Iguana’s announced a contract with Emmy and Humanitas-winning screenwriter Jeffrey Scott from Los Angeles, California to write an animated pilot for their new Lil’ Iguana animated series.

With the idea of bringing back respect, manners and self-worth, the show will focus on educational and safety messages as well as an overall love for everyone and everything.

“We’re hoping and praying the animation series is picked up and goes crazy. We hired Jeffrey Scott to write 52 episodes,” Tomaszewski said.

Originally, Lil’ Iguana had an award-winning puppet format show that aired for the first time in December 1997. Now, over a decade later, those characters and the storyline are getting an update. They’re working with an artist to change the look of Lil’ Iguana and all his friends. “Our motto is a safe and happy childhood lasts a lifetime. If you have one while you’re real young, your foundation in life is set by age 8, and you know right from wrong by that time. Between 5 and 8 is when the foundation begins to be built,” Tomaszewski said.

More information about Lil’ Iguana can be found online at: http://www.liliguanausa.org/.

Adam Urquhart can be reached at 594-1206 or aurquhart@nashuatelegraph.com.