Location: The Goat Farm
1200 Foster Street
Review: With their Theatre for the Very Young series, the Alliance Theatre brings productions to life in ways that will get even the littlest attendee excited about the story.
On Saturday, we went to the Goat Farm Arts Center, a unique history-filled venue off Howell Mill Road, to see The Tranquil Tortoise and The Hoppity Hare, another in the line of Aesop’s Fables-themed children’s theater productions taking the stage in Atlanta this year. Only, this show didn’t take the stage. Children (and adults if they so chose) were invited to sit on carpet squares set in a large rectangular shape on the ground. This intrigued the kids who are used to hard chairs, bleachers, and theater seats when they go to shows.
The tranquil tortoise and the hoppity hare entered the venue already in costume and character. The production started without announcement or pretension perhaps a nod to how little children care about that sort of thing. And then, almost all at once and with the help of a percussion-happy helper named Mr. Owl, the show was completely underway.
Knowing that very young children are not keen on sitting still, the actors encouraged the kids to get off their carpet squares and join them at various times throughout the performance. The children used props such as a thick blue cord to make a river, a long white string to create a spider’s web, and pillows to help make a bed for the animals. There was also a mini dance party with all the characters!
Despite the almost constant distraction from an overly eager child (with overly permissive parents) tugging on their costumes and trying to get attention, the actors spread out their attention to each child, encouraging them to engage in the performance, maintaining their professional obligations.
The children in the audience were engaged. Even the shy ones! And then, just as smoothly as the show began, it ended.
The performance itself was about half an hour from ‘official’ start to finish but according to the actors, each show is a little different because of the fluid nature of the audience.
The kids commented after the show that it was different than anything they’d ever seen and how much they thought that while it was different, it was, ‘super cool to be that close to the actors!’ Even at 8 and big for her age, the show was not below our oldest kid. You should feel comfortable brining your child to the show at any age from 2-6 and expect your older kids won’t be bored. As parents, you won’t be bored either!
Absolutely take your children to a Theatre for the Very Young performance this season. At only $10.00/person, it’s a great deal and fun for everyone. But, when you’re there, please remember that it is a performance, put on by professionals, for everyone’s enjoyment. It isn’t recess where your kids can just run around and the actors aren’t babysitters.
Tickets are still available for the remaining performances on September 22. Hurry and get your tickets before they sell out!
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