From introductions at the door to cozy props that kids can play with to a chance to walk on the stage, each delightful detail about “The World Inside Me” is designed to familiarize toddlers with the theater.
The play about human development–which might not seem like a little kid concept, but quickly becomes one–makes its debut run at Chicago Children’s Theatre through March 9.
The idea that youngsters will be enamored with a production about blood cells and intestines is squashed quickly as the first theater-goer chases after a single-cell light illuminating on the floor of the stage.
Recommended for ages 2-5, the play uses three actors and a musician to playfully show kids how a brain, stomach and heart grow from a cell. The actors crawl around on the ground, sing, follow lights and invite kids to push balls through an “intestine” as they describe development from birth through kindergarten.
“The World Inside Me” is the perfect introduction to theater for early learners. The constant action will keep them engaged when they aren’t invited onto the stage and when they are, they can dance and squirm under the lights on the bright floor.
Youngsters and parents will enjoy the bright tunes about blood vessels and the constant movement. The play runs an hour without an intermission, but with a snack break built into a lesson about the stomach, an intermission isn’t necessary.
Parents should keep their ears open to composer and musician Jono Waldman, who is creative on the banjolin as he quickly improvises and keeps the production flowing despite the number of toddlers on the floor. The actors are engaging with big facial expressions to keep kiddos laughing, and quick to adjust as eager toddlers are want to hop off of their seats unexpectedly.
If you go
The Station at Chicago Children’s Theatre, 100 S. Racine, Chicago.
9:30 a.m. Saturdays & Sundays through March 9.
Sensory-friendly and ASL weekend is Feb. 23-24.
For more information, visit chicagochildrenstheatre.org.
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