Inspiring creativity in kids through theater


By Linda Marsicano

If you have a budding thespian or future Oscar winner in the family-or even a shy kid who has an inquisitive imagination-check out the upcoming offerings from Emerald City Theatre, which creates theater productions designed to inspire early learners. My 4-year-old twins and I have been to their shows twice this year, most recently to see Alice in Wonderland, which kept my notoriously fidgety children riveted with unforgettable characters like the maddest Mad Hatter one could imagine and a deliciously devilish Cheshire cat.

"Research shows that children learn best when they are playing, and going to the theater is a powerful way to activate that playful part of a child," says Eleanor Hyde, senior marketing manager for Emerald City Theatre. "Through stories and characters on stage, young children learn to understand other people's feelings, find solutions to problems and imagine possibilities."

The 2012-13 season presents an original twist to classic tales and all have an underlying positive theme.

And to Eleanor's point about stimulating the imagination, my kids have forgone TV to reenact Alice in Wonderland in our living room. Just once I wanted to be Alice, but alas, as my bossier twin rightfully declared, "No, Momma! You make an awesome evil queen."

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