Sadly the UFS drama department in Bloemfontein’s production of Gouelokkies/Goldilocks came to an end. I take my hat of to those who chose the performing arts as their profession, it takes a lot of work to perfect a theatrical production, a lot more than one would expect. At first the theatre felt like an empty cave but once the excited children started streaming into the theatre, banging on their chairs, screaming and clapping you get the feeling you may need a megaphone to compete with their noise. But once the lights dim, the spotlight comes on and the band starts their eerie music….the kids become quiet…very quiet. Some proclaim loudly that they are scared, others cry and some laugh for no reason at all.
As I reflect on a successful week on stage as the narrator of the story it is with gratitude towards my fellow cast members that I share the ten things children’s theatre taught me….
- Never underestimate the intelligence of children in the audience.
- Don’t for one second think they will not get the adult jokes.
- They will laugh at anything that falls…wait…anyone that falls over, bumps their head, burps or drops something.
- They might not laugh at all.
- Children still believe in make-believe. (Maybe we grownups can learn something from them here…)
- Children do know how to sit and listen…you just need to give them the opportunity to do so.
- Don’t break your character because it will break their faith in your character and the entire make-believe world.
- Sing off-key, they love it!!
- They will talk to you, no matter how much you try to ignore them.
- And sometimes…just sometimes, when no one is looking, the parents enjoy it even more than their kids. But that is a secret.
Take your child to theatre, help them enter the world of make-believe, read to them and allow them to dream. Thanks again for letting me be part of the magic, till next time! Break a leg.