Here is a “guest blog” from group member Matt S. sharing a recent family experience… Last Sunday, my family and I were very lucky to be invited to see Literally Alive’s production of Oscar Wilde’s The Selfish Giant at The Players Theatre in Greenwich Village. All four of us (me, my wife, my four-year-old son, and my one-year-old son) thoroughly enjoyed the production– each of us for different reasons.
As an educator, I appreciated the company’s efforts to teach the audience about what it takes to produce a show. Before the show, the audience is invited to a workshop with the writer/director, the composer, the choreographer, and a few of the actors. The writer talked about turning a book into a script. The composer talked about different musical instruments and the choices he made to create a mood for each scene– tingling keys for a cold winter day or a timpani for the return of the giant. The choreographer also talked about the choices she made as she created a dance for each scene to enhance the feeling of the scene– quiet ballet moves for the first snow and tap dancing for a hail storm. The actors brainstormed with the audience to come up with other important elements of a production– the set, the stage, lighting, costumes, and actors. At the end of the workshop, the kids are invited to do an art project related to the production. Teachers call this a “being there” experience and I think it is fantastic for my kids to learn about the process from the professionals that create the production, and then to see the fruits of their hard work.
My four-year-old loved the production for all the things you might expect– loud music, over-the-top performers, and a quick-moving, engaging story. He is finally at the point where he appreciates an emotional roller-coaster, and this show delivered– it was funny, just the right amount of scary, and a little bit sad at moments.
My one-year-old loved the show because he loves music. He was constantly clapping and craning his head to see what instrument was making that new sound or what singer was belting out that beautiful song.
My wife loved the show because she enjoys exposing our kids to new and different experiences, and she loves watching them have a good time.
Overall, this was a terrific experience and we will definitely be back for future shows.