As an arts educator, I strongly believe in exposing little humans to good (age appropriate) arts production from young. Moreover, the husband and I spent most of our dating days attending music concerts and musicals, and we would like to share our favourite activity with our children.
C and I attended our first theatrical event earlier this year at Kidsfest 2016, we enjoyed it tremendously and have been on the look out for kids production ever since. This time round, we had a friend visiting from overseas so we decided to go catch PLAYtime! The Bird Who was Afraid of Heights together.
PLAYtime! is a series of interactive theatre works organized by the Esplanade, suitable for little humans between 2-4 year old. Here are what I enjoy as a parent and an arts educator about the show:
1. Interactive staging
The audience are seated on the floor in 4 blocks (on the blue carpet), with the ‘stage’ (yellow carpet) cutting through the audience in the shape of a cross.You might also think that little humans are required to sit very still during the entire performance right? Not exactly! This arrangement allows children to have some space to move during the show. It is staged and produced for children between 2-4yo after all! I also love this staging because it means the actions of the play are mobile, and reach out to all the audience in various parts of the room. There are parts of the play where the action are at centre, some parts at the various corners so it really draws the attention of little humans.
2. Sing and dance and move around
Before the start of show, the casts interact with the audience, teaching us some actions and the words to a song that is featured in the play later on. Besides watching a play, you can to sing and dance together with the cast as well!
3. Midshow activity
I really love this part as it gets the little humans moving, which they all love. Huh? You mean my children can move around during the show? Yes, little humans are not confined to a seat, or in the case the floor, all the time. For this particular show, there are mangoes, chiku and rambutans scattered all around where the audience are, and they are tasked to placed the various fruits in the respective baskets at different parts of the room. In another play that I attended, little humans are invited ‘on-stage’ to brush the teeth of the crocodile with a toothbrush.
4. Not all about people acting
Towards the last part of the show, shadow puppets took over the story from the casts and I thought it was a refreshing changing. Though C was only interested in the whole shadow puppetry for a short period time, I thought it was more suitable for older kids who might be able to appreciate it better.
Personally I feel that these interactive elements make attending a play fun – a very good start to attending an arts event. You can also collect an activity sheet to do with your little humans as you savour the enjoyment of the show back home! The same show is running till 28th August. If you can’t make it for this show, fret not, check out Octoburst! – a children’s festival happening in October!
If you happen to be early for the show, or have some time to spare after, do head next door and check out Pip’s PLAYbox too! It’s is a dedicated space for children and families to discover, imagine and play! We didn’t have time, but will definitely visit soon!