Children’s Theatre Workshop sponsors work ‘for children by children’Written by Matt Liasse | | email@example.com
Folk tales from all over the world will be told next weekend by kids.
The Children’s Theatre Workshop will perform Carlos Perez’s “Folk Tales for Fun” at the Collingwood Arts Center’s Lois M. Nelson Theater. The production consists of kids from around the area, as far as Erie, Michigan. More than 30 schools from the area are represented on stage.
“Our unofficial motto is ‘theatre for children by children,’” Artistic Director Aimee Reid said.
The production includes five folk tales from around the world, some the general public may not be familiar with. They include tales from Egypt, Nigeria and Turkey, “places that you don’t normally hear stories from,” Reid said.
“The point is that even though these stories are from places that people haven’t heard of, let alone been to, that they tell stories that show some sort of universal commonality,” Reid said.
One of the stories included is an Egyptian “Cinderella.”
The production is educational for any child between the ages of five and 12. The first thing discussed in the production is the definition of a folk tale, what it does and what it teaches.
“This play gets people excited about discovering who other people are and learning about the world outside their front yard,” Reid said. “I think a play like this sparks a question of ‘what is our heritage?’, ‘what are our stories?’ [and] ‘what do we have to offer to this enormous global melting pot of ideas?’ The kids are increasing the taking charge of the work they create and making it their own … Toledo art is important and these kids are really starting to get excited about the work that they’re doing as opposed to [saying] ‘when I grow up I’m going to get out of here and move to New York.’”
There is a role in the production called The Navigator who will point on maps where the stories being told are from. Another role is Decipher, who provides five words from another language corresponding to the country the folk tale being told is from.
“There’s a little bit of geography in it as well,” Reid said. “It’s highly educational.”
There’s a sense of community with this project, a goal the Children’s Theatre Workshop obtains other days of the year as well.
“We really focus on teaching the kids about theater but also how to fall in love with theater,” Reid said. “We really emphasize that we’re not here to make superstars, we’re here to teach them how to do theater well and get them to fall in love with it. We really emphasize community and respect.”
The Children’s Theatre Workshop has been performing plays since 1954 and “Folk Tales for Fun” was done once before in 2006. There are some alum members of the workshop who are excited to come back and see it this year, Reid said.
The folk tales will be told at 2 and 5 p.m. on Dec. 14 and 15. Tickets are $6 for students and seniors and $8 for adults and can be purchased at the door. For more information, contact Reid at firstname.lastname@example.org.