Why Do Kids Do Theater?
In follow-up to my last blog, after finding out why MCT offers children’s productions, I thought it would be interesting to find out why kids get involved in theater. This comes from a person who always admired acting, but did not actually participate until later years. I was also interested to find out why cast members picked and liked this show, especially since I had never heard of The Wind in the Willows before.
I got an opportunity to talk about these things during a break in rehearsal with cast members Lennon, Leah, Isabella, Levi, Aryee, Emmett, Allison and Donovan. As far as “Why theater,” it was interesting and inspiring to hear the variety of reasons given. Although Levi appreciated the recognition and applause, which is understandable, Isabella noted that it was an important artistic expression for her. Others shared how it was a physical release, a way to make friends and just plain fun.
I then asked the group what was special about this show and again got a heap of surprising answers. Leah said that she enjoyed the challenge of memorizing, while Lennon and Emmett said work with props was fun. Another main theme from the group was the interesting characters and personalities they each could inhabit. Conversely, I then asked what was most challenging about Wind. Several indicated the choreography and movement, while Allison said it was sometimes hard to stay in character, especially when she wanted to laugh. Donovan explained that the play is written in Old English and this often makes it challenging to say common things in a different way.
Finally, I asked the cast what thoughts they had about MCT and any future shows. Leah called the theater “rustic” (in a good way) and Isabella said she liked how it was small but still big enough for a show like Wind. Lennon summed things up well by saying it was a great place to make friends. All expressed interest in doing future shows, though some recognized that going “back-to-back,” or right to another show, was not a good idea. Wise indeed.
I came away from this group discussion better understanding the challenges, but also benefits, of theater to children. Also, although I do not know anything about this particular play, I am very excited to see it, based on the few, but very interesting, details the cast provided to me. Hopefully this article will also pique your interest in attending. I can assure you that there is serious talent in this cast and their show will be highly entertaining for people of all ages.
Adapted by John Jakes
From the book by Kenneth Grahame
Music by Claire Strauch
Directed by Geoff Hall and Alicia Greathouse
March 17-26, 2023
Fridays and Saturdays: 7:30pm
Tickets available here
“The Wind in the Willows” is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals www.concordtheatricals.com