Theatre and Culture for Early Years May 11 – 21, 2018
Ssst! Simple Secrets of Theatre
It was our third show of the day, and I was pushing it with my two little boys (2.5 and 5). They said they wanted to go to a “movie screen show” and when we were finally let in, they were restless in their seats… But then the piece began and voilà, their minds took off into the world on stage.
Poking pockets, a sugar cube falling into a cup from atop a hat, and other non-verbal games unfolded beat by beat, accompanied by live percussion and looping electric guitar under the muted circus tent on stage. A bunny made out of a handkerchief hopped through its own miniature world and sometimes eluded us by disappearing or falling asleep causing a whole set of hilarious circumstances for the actors. But this show wasn’t silly, or cute – it was funny and focused. My five year old was laughing out loud, reacting viscerally to the moments unfolding. It was a different laugh though, than the one we ask from kids when we do something “funny” and we coach them along to respond by laughing; no, this wasn’t that sort of show.
Amidst the captivating composition of this play was one of the most striking yet simplistic images I’ve seen in theatre – two moving ropes framed the hat with the bunny inside. “Look mom, the bunny is sailing!” said my little one with his fascinated gaze fixed on stage. I’ve never seen him look at a screen like that – and that’s why we went to the theatre instead.