Art&Seek Jr. is one mom‘s quest to find activities to end the seemingly endless chorus of the “I’m Bored Blues” while having fun herself. Impossible you say? Check back on Tuesdays for kid-friendly events that are fun for adults, too.
Like most parents, I love telling my child the “when-I-was-a-kid” stories. We were so much more productive, virtuous and wholesome as kids, weren’t we? We made good use of our time, we didn’t need parents to coordinate our play, and we NEVER whined about being bored. Rose hasn’t reached the eye-rolling stage yet, but if she had, it would come in about here. Seriously though, one special activity from my childhood comes to mind when I think about summertime. It kept us occupied for hours at a time, allowed us to be creative and work together and burned up tons of pent-up kid energy. What I’m talking about, of course, is the classic basement play/recital.
In this part of the country you would substitute basement for garage, but nonetheless I’m sure more than a few of you out there share this same memory. At the risk of sounding like an Andy Hardy movie, all of the neighborhood kids pitched in and contributed to the show. We recycled old ballet costumes, borrowed our older siblings records and made scenery out of cardboard boxes. Our patient mothers were the audience, suffering through “performances” that were known to take up the better part of an afternoon. We didn’t take our shows on the road like Andy and Judy, but they sure did make theater lovers out of all of us. We are SO lucky that we live in area with so much great theater–even better, our kids are lucky to have so much great children’s theater available to them. Here’s a few picks from the kids and family section of the Art&Seek Calendar.
If you’re wanting to start small and uncomplicated be sure to stop by the Children’s Center at the downtown branch of the Dallas Public Library on July 24 at 11:30. The Dallas Opera will be there performing the classic tale of Jack and the Beanstalk. This performance is perfect if you have a very young child and you’re anxious about how your child will do in a theater setting or if you’re just wanting to introduce your child to the opera and theater in general.
Over in Fort Worth, our good friends at the Artes de la Rosa Cultural Center are hosting Dora the Explorer! Live on Stage at the historic and intimate Rose Marine Theater. Dora and her buds Boots and Swiper embark on an exciting trip to Treasure Island. The audience helps them navigate over Dancing Mountain, through Silly Singing Bridge and a confrontation with those dastardly Pirate Piggies. (Oh No!) But fear not, thanks to great audience participation Dora finds the treasure and all ends happily onstage with a “yo-ho-ho!”
If you’re looking for a snappy musical the Promenade Theatre still has a few good tickets left for Annie . The Promenade is also an intimate house so every seat is a good seat. For those of you who don’t know, Annie the Musical is based on the popular Depression-era comic strip Little Orphan Annie and tells the story of a little (orphan) girl’s quest to find her real parents. It features several toe-tapping ditties that will surely be belted out at the breakfast table by your youngster the next morning–so consider yourself warned.
Finally, under the category of “Things You Never Thought Your Kid Would Like” check out the Junior Players production of William Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew. Rose was only 4 the first time I took her to Shakespeare in the Park. I was prepared to stay for the pre-show picnic dinner and then make a hasty retreat somewhere in the first act, but to my surprise Rose loved it and we stayed until the end. Whether it was the relaxed park-like setting of the Samuell-Grand Amphitheatre or the great performances by the Junior Players she was hooked from then on. This year’s production of Taming of the Shrew will feature 24 teens from area high schools, and will have a 1980s Euro Gypsy theme, featuring music and dancing. We can’t wait.
Therese Powell is an Art&Seek calendar coordinator and KERA-TV producer. She spends most of her free time seeking out adventures for her 7-year-old daughter, Rose. Tell us about your time at the theater or clue us in to your ideas for quirky kid adventures by leaving a comment. Or e-mail Therese at email@example.com.