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April 4, 2011 | by  | in Arts Theatre | [ssba]

A Kid in the Theatre

Do you remember the first book you ever read?

No I don’t mean when you were still learning to read, I mean the first book you really invested in. Do you remember the first tape or CD you owned? The first film you watched? The first proper sports game you played, be it netball, soccer, rugby? Whether your childhood was embarrassing, exciting,difficult or somewhere in between, these memories to some degree can make us. Did you love Roald Dahl, or Lewis Carroll?
Was there a particular Disney movie you watched hundreds of times?

Now tell me about the first performance you ever saw. Was it a pantomime in a shabby local theatre, an outdoor clowning show, a low budget youth theatre farce or the circus? The first play I really got affected by was overseas: the West End production of The Lion King musical when I was a mere 11 years of age. It was AMAZING. Yes, we were quite far from the stage, but I laughed, cried and was moved as if I had been in the front row.
Theatre when you’re young is magic. It’s before we develop a full conscious understanding of the literal crafting that comes with the production of a performance. As kids we’re way more capable of ignoring reality. So theatre as a child is such a massive treat because you get to play in another world. Parents and teachers should always be taking kids to theatre.
I’m not just saying this because I’m a theatre major who wants to indoctrinate all the children of the world with my passion for theatre so that we will rise up and take over the universe *cue evil manic laugh*. Theatre is in many ways a microcosm for life, and so can include all kinds of unexpected morsels to chew on.
Kids can take a myriad of inspirations from theatre, whether it simply be immediate glee, a fascination with clothing, music, stories, people, or simply a remarkably impacting (however short-lived) journey.
When a primary school came to see the matinee of the Victoria University Summer Shakespeare production of The Winters Tale, it was magic: terrifying, anarchic, hyper-energised magic. Children + stories = magic. So next time you’re home and you spot that tattered old copy of the Narnia series or that audio tape of Bad Jelly the Witch, have a closer look, you might be surprised at just how much these old stories have affected you.


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  1. Jacklyn says:

    That’s a sharp way of tihknnig about it.

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