Theatre and the arts offer wonderful opportunities for children. It influences them academically and creatively. Here are nine programs that can introduce your children to the theatre, from Atlanta, Roswell and Augusta.
The Woodruff Arts Center in Atlanta.
Our family is very excited about the newest program offering, Create ATL, Family Fun at The Woodruff Arts Center. It begins June 7, 2015, and runs every Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.. It will feature various free activities starting at 1 p.m., including family festivals, art-making activities, interactive musical story times, composers-in-training sessions, instrument making, drop-in acting classes and more. See more details here: 365atlantafamily.com/CreateATL
In addition to producing Sunday family fun programming on a weekly basis, The Woodruff Arts Center will present four large-scale Sunday festivals, the first one taking place on June 14, 2015. On this date, the Arts Center’s campus will be activated with three performances by the Alliance Theatre (Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical; Blub, Blub; and The Lizard & El Sol); free admission to the High Museum of Art, including access to the exhibition Seriously Silly! The art & whimsy of Mo Willems and a meet-and-greet with the beloved characters Elephant and Piggie; free art-making activities on the Piazza inspired by the High’s interactive installation Los Trompos; an instrument petting zoo; interactive musical story time; music and movement workshops; and much more!
If you can’t make the Sunday festival, you can still take in the best of Mo Willems. Knuffle Bunny is presented in conjunction with the exhibition Seriously Silly! The art & whimsy of Mo Willems, a retrospective of illustrations by the best-selling children’s book artist and author, which will be on display from May 23, 2015, through Jan. 10, 2016. Seriously Silly features more than 100 works by the artist—from preliminary drawings to completed illustrations—that chronicle the past 12 years of Willems’ whimsical world, populated by his beloved characters Knuffle Bunny, Elephant and Piggie, The Pigeon and many more.
During its 2015-2016 season, the ASO will present Music for the Very Young performances, which will give children the chance to experience music by the ASO’s musicians in an intimate and accessible setting designed with children’s cognitive development in mind. What a great accompaniment to Theatre for the Very Young, which has been going strong for a few years.
Finally, don’t miss the annual Toddler Takeover. 2015’s action runs May 29 – May 31. This one-of-a-kind experience for children from 0–5 years old will feature performances of six original productions from Alliance Theatre for the Very Young, the return of Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s Music for the Very Young, stroller tours and art-making at the High Museum of Art. Kids are free; you just need to purchase an adult ticket.
Center for Puppetry Arts
Atlanta is very lucky to have the nation’s largest organization dedicated to puppetry arts: Center for Puppetry Arts. Puppetry is a wonderful, creative, expansive art form. It engages and entertains, bringing a sense of wonder and theatricality to a story. While there are adult and teen programs, and even film showings, the number of family-friendly programs is stupendous. The 2015-2016 schedule includes The Ugly Duckling, Peter Pan, The Sound of Music and the beloved Rudolph show. See the entire schedule here: 365atlantafamily.com/CPAschedule
Each show includes a puppet workshop and access to the puppetry museum. Strapped for cash? No worries. You can take advantage of the GA Public Libraries Passport Program, valid up to four admissions.
Bonus: If the kids love puppet shows, don’t miss the Roswell Summer Puppet Series. Each program is designed just for kiddos. Tickets are only $5, and kids under 2 are free. New this year are special puppet workshops. Details here: 365atlantafamily.com/2015roswellpuppets
Springer Opera House
The Springer Opera House Children’s Theatre Series produces theatre for families and young audiences. You can see shows at daytime school performances and general public performances. Upcoming shows include Charlotte’s Web, Mary Poppins, Beauty and The Beast and more.
If your young person delights in theatre, don’t miss a tour of this historical space. It has been the State Theatre of Georgia and a leading Southern cultural institution for 141 years! With a colorful history behind it, today it is one of America’s most vibrant professional theatre companies with a popular Mainstage Series, an innovative second-space series called Studio II, a Theatre for Young Audience Series featuring some of this region’s most talented student actors and a national touring program called Springer Theatricals.
Lesli is the Georgia’s official Family Explorer and the owner of 365AtlantaFamily, which offers a daily dose of inspiration for metro-area families. Click here for more Family content from Lesli.