We decided to treat the kids this weekend to a play. As far as children’s theaters go, we are pretty lucky in the Twin Cities to have a couple of options available. Since this was a special occasion, we decided to go to the kids to the Children’s Theater Company in Minneapolis.
They are known for putting on very high-quality plays. I have only seen a play here once in grade school, so it was a treat for me as well to go.
They had a good deal on tickets so we went to The Snowy Day and other stories by Ezra Jack Keats. It followed the book series by the same author.
If you are unfamiliar with the storyline, it follows a small boy on his adventures in the snow, learning to whistle, playground adventures and even his birthday. It’s a great set of stories that teach kids never to give up. They adapted the stories into a shadow puppet show for the stage.
What I loved was that they didn’t just keep it all shadow puppets. They had three actors or puppeteers that would narrate from the front and sometimes act out the story as well.
As the story progressed they started to move around the sets more to create different scenes. They did one story completely from the front, showing the audience how the shadows were created. Once the show was over, the actors lined upfront of the stage to meet with the kids.
We were lucky that the performance we attended was not to crowded and we were able to meet them all. In addition to the actors upfront, they also had their puppets with them. Kids could ask all kinds of questions and get a look at how they worked. It was really neat to be able to see.
If you love the magic of the theater, I recommend either getting there a little early or staying late to check out some of the costumes they have on display. Some of the costumes were up to 20 years old. Outside in the entryway, they had a place for the kids to try out their own shadow puppets.
All of the puppets were foam board versions of the ones the actors used onstage. It was a great way to get the kids involved. I would defiantly recommend checking out a play here if you have the opportunity. If you look around, you may be able to find some discount tickets too!