My husband grew up as a theater geek. I married him anyway. I tease!
As we started raising children together, the role of live theater in our children’s lives was far from my mind. Then the ZACH Theater in Austin, TX offered us seats at a showing of Winnie the Pooh. The benefits became evident the moment the show started.
As the show started, it became clear that this production was not about impressing the kids, but inspiring them. The actors made themselves seem like regular stage hands who got caught off guard by a waiting audience. They quickly set to work, figuring out how the story should go and who should play what character. It was all so relatable!
Next, the actors scrambled to find costumes that worked. Mostly clothes in the right color scheme and cute hats! It wasn’t elaborate, but it was all so doable!
The audience was encouraged to participate in everything from songs to problem solving. They learned about emotions and how to be a good friend. The kids weren’t just onlookers, they were part of the magic!
The actors were as sweet as could be, staying afterward during the highly anticipated cookie and juice session to meet the kids and hang out.
The greatest benefit of live theater as a mom, was to listen to my children’s chatter on the way home. My boys couldn’t wait to put on their own production with their own plot ideas, stage set ups and costumes. Even at four and two years old, they knew that THEY were capable of putting on a great show! I’m so thankful that live theater has given them the confidence to imagine and preform!
Please consider checking out Winnie the Pooh at ZACH Theater (Runs through December 12th) or their other children’s productions. They go to great lengths to make sure kids are inspired, not just entertained. They EVEN have a “Autism/Sensory Friendly” performance in October! You know how much that warms a sensory mama’s heart!
I totally agree! Thanks for posting!
Growing up, loving theatre, singing and musicals, this makes me so happy!!!! I have some very imaginative boys and taking them to see things like this just helps them grow and explore. And the fact that they are having an Autism/sensory special day made me smile. I was able to take my son to the circus for the first time this past April because the Big Apple Circus held an Autism/Sensory awareness day. It was wonderful!!! They shortened the show, dimmed the lights and muted the music. My son had a great time! 🙂
I applaud this group for putting on a show like this. I wish we had something like that here in the capital district of NY.
So glad he got to enjoy the circus!!! Thanks for writing!
This is such a smart idea to get kids into theater. My mom got me involved in theater when I was very young, and it has since had a captivation on me. I love live theater because it inspires me to be creative, and I definitely want to instill that in my children. Thanks for sharing!
I like that you point out that one of the benefits of live theater is that it opens children’s minds on what they are capable of doing. I think that it also helps sparks their imagination and carry that over to their life. My wife and I have been talking about ways we can help our children be more lively and creative. I’ll have to look for a local live theater that we can take them to.
I hope you find lots of awesome shows! Best wishes!
Dino Violante says
It got me when you mentioned that in theaters, especially the ones for kids, the audience is not just onlookers, they are also part of the show as they are encouraged to participate. If so, then I will take my kids to a dinner theater one of these days, and I will see to it that the theater is family friendly. After all, my kids want to try something new so that dinner time with the family is fun. This would surely make them happy since they like participating in activities after all.
Logan Edwards says
It got me when you mentioned that after watching the theater, your kids kept talking about how they are going to set up their own theater and plot ideas. For me, that sounds like their creative side was touched when they saw the play. I might give that a try with my younger sisters since they are also a fan of art and beauty. The problem is that they couldn’t find the right way to express their creativity. Perhaps, not all hope is lost. I will take them to a dinner theater and hope it inspires them.
Eli Richardson says
I never realized that live shows help kids to be more open-minded in things they are capable of performing. There is a holiday show that my kids want to go to. Thanks for explaining how beneficial live shows are for infants.