Theatre for the little ones

The Centre will present a delightful piece of children’s theatre on May 3, 2014 in the Studio Theatre. If you have a two to five-year-old child in your life – then please read on – because this lovely little show is one that neither of you will want to miss.

Pekka, the star of this 30 minute object and mask theatre piece, is a tiny turtle. Not sure what object and mask theatre looks like? Watch this short video of Pekka.

Created and produced by Le Théâtre des Petites Âmes (Little Souls), you can see from the photo below and from the video if you watched it already that each of the puppets in the show are beautifully imagined and designed to captivate young minds. This is an age in which children experience a wonderful period of boundless imagination and creativity making them open and interested in new and unusual things.

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Pekka’s story is one that children will easily relate to as well. The tiny turtle’s beloved bedtime story doesn’t happen one night because Miss Moon has gone missing. The spirit of discovery is awakened as Pekka taps into her courage, setting off on an adventure to find Miss Moon and bring her back.

Will this be your first time attending theatre with your child?

If so, here are some simple and fun tips to make it an even better experience for both of you.

Build anticipation. As you know, children love repetition so take some time to introduce them to Pekka and the other characters before attending the show. Introduce the storyline and ask them questions about it. You can get more background on the story, the characters and the creators here.

Talk about the experience of being at the theatre. Knowing what to expect always helps us feel better about trying something new. In this case, you’ll be sitting on mats on the floor, quite close to the performer. You might want to explain some etiquette such as listening to the show quietly so everyone else can hear too and why we clap for the performer at the end. Don’t worry though no one expects very young children to be absolutely still for 30 minutes.

Take a trial run. You might like to try “practicing” the theatre experience at home by using a 30 minute video. Set up the living room like the studio theatre with some mats or pillows on the floor in front of the TV. Watch the show together and then enjoy some snacks afterwards and talk about what you saw!

Keep the experience going after the show ends. One of the best parts of children’s theatre is seeing how young people respond. There will be laughter, amazement, maybe even a touch of sadness as a child relates to something difficult in the story. This creates a wonderful opportunity to talk to your child about what they thought and felt at certain points in the performance, even to deepen your own understanding of how your child relates.

In the end it’s really just about having fun with your child and that’s of course something you’ve got lots of experience with.

Pekka will take place at 11 AM and 2PM on Saturday, May 3, 2014.