PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — What’s it like to continue the legacy of Fred Rogers?
Providence College (PC) graduate Kristin DiQuollo knows firsthand.
DiQuollo is the supervising producer of the PBS Kids show “Donkey Hodie.”
The children’s show stars a puppet whose name is a playful twist on the title character of the epic novel “Don Quixote.”
When asked whether she ever saw herself producing a children’s show, DiQuollo chuckled.
“Absolutely not,” DiQuollo said.
DiQuollo, who previously served as the editor-in-chief of PC’s The Cowl, said she has always had a knack for storytelling.
“I knew that I wanted to do something that revolved around storytelling, ultimately,” she explained. “Did I dream that it would turn into producing television for children? No.”
DiQuollo now works for Fred Rogers Productions, crafting character-driven stories inspired by the man himself — Mister Rogers.
“Our show is inspired by the quirky, funny side of [Mister Rogers],” DiQuollo said. “We really lean into the quirkiness of the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, specifically the characters Fred created there.”
The live-action puppet show also encompasses Mister Roger’s mission — which DiQuollo said is to help kids navigate the frustrations and challenges of childhood.
DiQuollo said its the timeless lessons of children’s entertainment that keep her young at heart.
“We’re making a show for children, but I take these lessons to heart,” she said. “‘I can do big things. I can do hard things.’ We all need those reminders.”
DiQuollo and her colleagues are in the process of working on season two of Donkey Hodie. New episodes of the children’s show are expected to start airing in December.