Tag Archives: Theatre

Fantastic Adventure: Shakespeare by The Sea

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This is a special event based entry in my Fantastic Adventure series. For my readers in Southern California, coming this summer to a park near you, Shakespeare by the Sea!
It is FREE and I will most likely be at every performance working in some capacity.
I would love to see you! Get the schedule on the website above or message me your address and I will mail you a flyer!

Shakespeare by the Sea is a touring Shakespeare play. Each play is shortened for time and somewhat modernized. This year they are presenting Hamlet, Prince of Denmark and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. These plays take place out in a local park. Bring your own blankets, chairs food, etc. and have a great time!

Why it is a fantastic adventure: Introduce your kids to Shakespeare plays in a fun and supportive environment. Don’t wait until they have to read Romeo & Juliet in high school. They will be lost and they will end up hating Shakespeare. No one wants that!
This is a great intro to the world of Shakespeare and a fun and interactive way to get your kids into all kinds of live theatre.

Come on down and say hello! Not in So Cal? Look for touring theatre groups in your area this summer!

 

Introduce your kids to Shakespeare!

shakespearesmBeing that today is Shakespeare’s birthday, why not use that as an excuse to introduce your kids to Shakespeare? Not sure where to start? You’re in luck, because I’m bout to give you a guide!

Start here: The Folger Shakespeare Library has an excellent site for teaching Shakespeare to kids. Filled with activities, facts, challenges and introductory Shakespearean word definitions, this web site will give you a lot of educational content to share with your kids.

No Sweat Shakespeare: This collection of Shakespeare stories are rewritten in simple English that kids can understand. They also pass over all the violence and lewd jokes (no fun for adults) which is perfect for younger kiddos.

Shakespeare 4 Kidz: If you are a bit more ambitious (and you should be), you can get these shortened, kid friendly Shakespeare plays to put on with your kids’ school, church group, friends, etc. Everyone learns and has a great time!

The best thing about all of these options is that they get kids interested in Shakespeare’s stories. The younger they are when they start learning the basics of Shakespeare’s work, the more interested they will be when they have to read that mandatory Shakespeare play in high school. And hopefully they will start taking an interest in not only literature, but theatre as well! Win win!

 

 

Observations at a 20 Minute Intermission

It is said that writers are great observers of the nuances of life. The following is what I observed at a 20 minute intermission at a musical theatre production. It gives a great insight into the little details that make characters in novels relatable.

Observation: About 1,000 people. Mostly seniors and middle aged. Intermission begins, most everyone stands up.

Observation: About 450 smartphone screen light up.
Observation B: 90% iPhone, 8% Galaxy, 2% other.

Observation: Family of four. Mom playing Words with Friends on iPhone. Dad checking e-mails on Android phone. Youngest daughter playing game on Galaxy smartphone. Oldest daughter helping mom with Words with Friends. Minor interaction between mother / daughter. Father finishes e-mail checking, watches youngest daughter playing game. Mutters something.

Observation: Man next to me is 40s, black hair brown eyes. Pulls out smartphone at beginning of intermission. Stares into screen for the entire 20 minutes His wife doesn’t see to care.

Observation: Elderly man wearing white fedora and gray flannel suit. He is walking a few rows down from me. He pauses, talk to to a group of friends about the play, hugs them, and walks away. The gait in his walk suggests he has trouble with is right knee. His infectious smile spreads to all whom he speaks to.

Observation: A heavyset middle aged woman stands to my right, talking with her friends about the production. She has blonde hair (dyed), a red and black flower print dress, ad gold, dangling earrings. She enjoyed the movie, but thinks this particular production blows it out of the water.

Observation: Tech crew takes a break behind me. Mostly wasting time on a smartphone.

Observation: Orchestra reenters the pit about 15 minutes into intermission. Begins warming up. Conductor looks tired.

Observation: Young man, late teens or early twenties, looks like a woman from far away. His red hair is down the the small of his back and so curly that it extends a good six inches on all sides.

Observation: Volunteer ushers seem to be following the command of one elderly volunteer. Looks like she takes this thing very seriously. It’s probably her only hobby and now that her husband is dead, she devotes her entire life to it. Or so it seems. Being a volunteer usher at this theatre would not be a fun experience.

 

Fantastic Adventure: Theatre camps!

theatre%20camp%20photos%20(204)While most of my entries in the Fantastic Adventures in Family Entertainment series have been book, movie and TV show based, I have decided to broaden my approach and open it up to all forms of family entertainment. Today I’d like to talk about theatre camps! What are they? Well, I assume most people are familiar with summer camp. This is similar in that you drop your kid off at a camp for a few weeks in the summer or Winter, but instead of sports and scavenger hunts, your kids will learn how to prepare for and put on a play. This includes all aspects including set design and building, costumes, makeup, acting and directing.

Why it is a fantastic adventure. There are few things in the world that foster creativity in the same way that live theatre does. It s truly  a collaborative process where everyone belongs to a community and everyone is involved. Whether your kids are acting, directing, doing backstage work or making costumes, everyone will feel part of the process.
This is also a great opportunity to get your kids who are not as outgoing into a supporting community. Maybe your child is shy and doesn’t want to act. That’s OK. She can work backstage and help the play get up and running. Every one is an essential piece of the puzzle in theatre. And I can almost guarantee that by the end of the camp, your child will want to leave the backstage and audition for the lead role in the play. That’s just how it works. It is such an empowering place where everyone can feel safe and welcome.
Imagination and creativity are things we often squander when we’re older because we’re taught they don’t pay the bills! Let your child build their sense of imagination and creativity so they have something to tap into when they become adults. There’s nothing wrong with a career in the performing arts. Money be damned!