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Art&Seek Jr: Kid ‘N Play

Art&Seek Jr. is one mom‘s quest to find activities to end the seemingly endless chorus of the “I’m Bored Blues” while having fun herself. Impossible you say? Check back on Tuesdays for kid-friendly events that are fun for adults, too.

My child loves the theater. I know this sounds like bragging, but it’s not. It’s an observation I’ve made. I say this because I don’t want to sound like one of those parents who goes on and on about how exceptional they think their child is. You know the type: “Little Chalupa has been SOOOOO busy this summer! What with her Extreme Kinder Yoga class, Dog Sled Club and, of course, getting ready for the Tongan Clogging Invitational, we’ve just been chasing our tails trying to keep up! Having a gifted child is SOOOO exhausting!”

No, I mention my kid’s love of theater because I’m fascinated by how it bleeds over into other parts of her life. Like calling the church missal, “the program,” belting out the musical score from Les Mis at 6 in the morning, or acting out the tornado ballet from The Wiz to her confused grandmother. Theater really has made her more …  interesting.

I say it over and over, but we really are lucky to live in an area that has such great theater available to us. And by “us,” that includes children. No longer do parents have to sit through mind-numbing “kid shows” for the sake of their toddlers. There’s a whole range of theater out there for every age group that’s fun for parent’s, too:

Escape the heat with Jubilee Theatre's Mirandy and Brother Wind.  (Photo: Jubilee Theatre)

Escape the heat with Jubilee Theatre’s Mirandy and Brother Wind. (Photo: Jubilee Theatre)

If you’ve got a little one (meaning under 4) you’ll want to start small. Choose a theater that caters to the younger set, meaning the plays are under an hour, and the seating makes for an easy escape in the event Junior gets restless. If you’re a newbie to the theater scene, be sure to check out Theatre Coppell’s Children’s Playhouse production of  The Little Engine that Could Wednesday morning at 10:30 at the Coppell Center for the Arts. Kids can sit close to the stage so they can see all the action and each performance is only 40 minutes. After the show the tot-lettes can meet the cast and take photos.

Kids 5 and older will enjoy Jubilee Theater’s musical Mirandy and Brother Wind. Based on the popular children’s book by Patricia McKissack, the show includes a variety of fun song and dance numbers that range from swing tunes to lullabies. It also features puppets by master puppeteer Pix Smith, including stick, hand, shadow and life-size, pageant-style puppets. Singing and puppets, what a perfect escape from a hot summer day!

Tinker Bell--before and after (Photo: Therese Powell)

Tinker Bell–before and after (Photo: Therese Powell)

If you’re really wanting to do it up big, be sure to check out Dallas Theater Center”s Fly. The show is full of splashy special effects, catchy songs, funny pirates and, best of all, strong female characters. Wendy saves the day in this version, not Peter. But be aware parents – this isn’t Disney’s Peter Pan. It’s a bit dark in places, so leave the tinies at home. This play is best suited for kids 8 and older.

You can read more about Fly in Jerome Week’s review, or for a behind-the-scenes look, check out Stephen Becker’s story on the “fly” magic.

Therese Powell is an Art&Seek calendar coordinator and KERA-TV producer. She spends most of her free time seeking out adventures for her 8-year-old daughter, Rose. Tell us about your ideas for quirky kid adventures by leaving a comment. Or e-mail Therese at tpowell@kera.org.