With so many forms of accessible entertainment for children these days from iPhone Apps, video games, online entertainment, and television to the latest craze of Pokémon Go, why should you bring your kids to the theatre? Perhaps we should think “outside the box” or the “screen,” so to speak.
Children’s Theatre is the most challenging form of theatre for any actor to perform. They are your most honest critics and will tell you straight away if you as an actor are not completely committed to being the Lion or the Grasshopper. They don’t wait for the reviews, they write them themselves, and you know pretty clearly how they feel. Because it’s a reaction to their most natural instinct – truth.
There is nothing quite like sitting in an auditorium when the overture starts, the lights go down and the magic begins to unfold.
Theatre is not only a magical way to entertain your children, but it nurtures the most important attribute children have – IMAGINATION!
All children have a natural desire to dress up and play games. They can create scenarios out of anything around them, without the need of expensive toys. Armed with the most basic props and their imagination, children can create entire magical worlds to play in, without judgment on themselves or each other. Because no matter how old you are, if a 4-year-old hands you an imaginary phone to answer, you say “hello.”
I personally was blessed enough to have grown up in a magical world of fantasy. With both my parents being actors and running a Theatre School, I had a costume store for a dressing-up box. I remember being asked in Kindergarten what my parents do for a living, to which I confidently replied, “My Daddy is a tree and my Mummy is a mouse.” They were doing a children’s production of “Montgomery, The Fable Tree” at the time and clearly were very believable!
Theatre and drama creates an environment where children can interact with the actors and feel part of the live action on a stage. As an internationally qualified Dance and Drama teacher myself, I believe it’s not just entertainment – it’s education.
Theatre is a proactive engaging medium, which encourages communication and a way for children to positively express themselves. This is critical is all child development. It moves us away from the labels we place on each other such as race, gender, class and beliefs. Theatre takes you into the world of the characters on the stage.
It should “move you,” make you “feel” in some way. In a climate of so much aggression and intolerance, we need to encourage people to feel empathy, and theatre absolutely encourages us to do so.
Live theatre is an exciting, spontaneous medium, which inspires listening, concentration, lengthening the attention span and vocabulary, as well as a healthy way to encourage the forming of opinions. This in turn creates room for discussion between parents and children, especially with a show such ShoWorks Entertainment’s current production of “The Fabulous Fables of Aesop.” This kind of show is a beautiful example of the marriage between education and entertainment. The morals revealed at the end of every Fable teach us life lessons we can all live by. As one of the lines in show tells us, “We never stop learning, no matter how old we get.” Theatre is a craft that entails discipline, and the etiquette of consistency in our ever-present world of “add water and stir.” Theatre connects the head to the heart. It also connects families and encourages us to spend time together. It is a perfect opportunity to create a world of wonder through an activity the whole family can enjoy together.
By exposing children to this kind of entertainment we are not only keeping their creative juices flowing, we are creating the audiences of the future and, in turn, keeping the arts alive. In my opinion, this is paramount to ensure the continuous growth of our industry and help develop well-rounded, balanced adults.
By exposing children to theatre it develops a natural appreciation for Arts and Culture and allows the creative side of their brains to be naturally stimulated. Creative people usually become the entrepreneurs of their generations, creating new and exciting things and ideas, as well as leading by example.
Of course musical theatre has the added benefit of music appreciation and dance, two things that children are generally automatically drawn to. Through creative outlets like this, children learn without feeling like they are sitting in a classroom.
We are giving them a life experience away from a technology and screens, and reminding them how free and beautiful playing can be.
As well as remembering that we get to dress up and play for the rest of our lives. How much fun is that!
“We are all part of a team and without each other we wouldn’t be so strong. We need each other if we are going to survive in this world. That’s the way it is, and that’s the way it has always been.” – Aesop’s Fable: The Teeth, the Feet and the Stomach -Keith Galloway
“THE FABULOUS FABLES OF AESOPS”
Magical educational fables, where the mouse squeaks, the lion roars & the grasshoppers sing.
A Musical Production for All Ages
Through song, dance and humor, this bright and colorful children’s musical educates as it entertains. Described as a “near perfect formula for children’s entertainment” and “an inspired piece of theatre”, answering life’s most pressing questions through allegorical myths portraying animals engaged in human-like situations, this show is sure to resonate with both children and adults alike.
WHERE: The Secret Rose Theatre
11246 Magnolia Blvd.
NoHo Arts District 91601
WHEN: August 20 – September 25
Saturday & Sundays
Children (12 and under) $12.50
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