Arts and Culture for Early Years       May 4 – 24, 2020        

Still from Jumping Mouse

Micro-Universes and Tabletop Tales: Canadian Theatre for Early Years

Over the last seven days I have learned about how to create a safe space for parents and children; I’ve learned how to trust my child to roam; I’ve learned that sometimes in Theatre for Early Years, kids vomit into cellos. On a personal level, I’ve learned that my son will sit through any piece […]

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Promotional image from Hup

Learning to Let our Children Explore

I’ve already mentioned in my posts how this festival is creating a nurturing environment for children and their caregivers. Today I’ve seen how this sort of space not only makes for a pleasant day, but also sets up a positive environment in which parents feel comfortable giving their kids some freedom to roam. And in […]

The set of Woodbeat

The Serious Work of Play

A tiny snake-shaped puppet made of woodchips scurries up a log. It struggles to reach the top. Just as it is about to ascend the peak, the log topples over. According to a bunch of kindergarteners this morning, this is the best joke they had ever encountered. And then it happens again. The puppet scurries […]

Kids lean in for some discussion after Tree/Arbre & Inuksuk,

Their Faces Reflect Your Expectation

Today I want to pull back and think a bit more broadly about the WeeFestival and about Theatre for Early Years. The Artistic Director of the festival, Lynda Hill, was kind enough to answer some questions for me a few days ago about where the festival came from and what it offers. I asked her […]

weefestival nest

A Safe Space for Art to Happen

I don’t know if you’ve ever had to spend an entire day in a concrete metropolis with a baby. It goes a little something like this: Parent: What a lovely day. I can’t wait to go downtown. Wait. Which TTC station has elevators again? Oh, it’s out of service? Okay, will someone please help me […]

Applause for the festival artists! After all that work, they deserve it.

Talking to the Beginning of the World

Today was the launch of the WeeFestival’s industry conference, bringing together 50+ delegates from across Canada and Europe. I attended the keynote address at the Pia Bouman Studios, delivered by Dr. Ben Fletcher-Watson of Scotland. Speaking to a room full of industry professionals, Dr. Fletcher-Watson identified his interest in arriving at a dramaturgical framework for […]

“They Engage So Beautifully”

Today I saw a group of overexcited preschoolers walk into the Theatre Direct performance space, and walk out transformed – quietly curious, observant of the world around them, and modeling the beautiful energy of the actors they had just witnessed. The show I started my festival with was called Traces, from Helios Theatre in Germany. […]

Claire Wynveen & Elliot

Introducing WeeFestival Rapporteur: Claire Wynveen

Watch for daily posts and writings from Claire throughout the week of the WeeFestival May 16-23rd. Claire Wynveen | WeeFestival Rapporteur Claire is the Co-Artistic Director of Litmus Theatre and is on maternity leave from the Toronto Fringe, where she is the Communications Manager. She is a producer, dramaturg, administrator, actor and writer. She is […]

The Next Ten Years: Rich in Culture, Rich in Form

by Lauren Brotman For Lynda Hill, the question at the heart of the entire week, of the entire WeeFestival was always “what doe the next ten years look like, what does the Canadian theatre movement for early years look like?” And this is why she’s brought together this gathering of people; to ignite conversations that […]

WeeFestival Holiday Monday Events For Babes!

by Lauren Brotman WeeFest’s HOLIDAY MONDAY is just around the corner! It’s an unbelievable day of rich programming and fun events, celebrating babies and families, something I’ve been looking forward to all week. Here is the run down: All Events take place on May 19th 
at Artscape Wychwood Barns from 9:30 am – 2:30 pm. Entrance is free with donations encouraged […]

Digital Days Inspire Personal Relationships

by Lauren Brotman I began my day at Bedtime by Katarsis, Educacion y Teatro S.L. from Spain, developed because their own child would not go to bed. In a way it was a duet between the two actors and the children where familiar objects and images were used in unfamiliar ways. It was an imaginative […]

The Moment of Contact- not just for babies

by Lauren Brotman   The focus today was to probe into what creating and engaging for the early years looks like with representatives and pioneers from Europe and Quebec, to explore what the Ontarian, what the Canadian movement looks like. These ‘trailblazers’ had fascinating stories to tell about their journeys, not just in creating for […]