The Dispatch

Children’s Shows

Faith Lawrence, Dispatch Reporter

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Bowie actors and technicians are working on creating shows to be performed in front of young children at their schools. The Bowie theatre department has been performing children’s shows for 16 years.

This year, there are twelve children’s shows that are going to be performed at elementary schools in front of their students.

“The children’s shows are aimed towards younger audiences and they will definitely play to like the younger audiences mind and what they think is funny and cute,” senior director Saylor Dement said.

The senior directors are in charge of designing their whole show from start to finish.

“I have to create a set design, I have to create costumes of what I want each character to wear, I have to create a light show, and I have to create sound cues if I want different sound effects,” Dement said. “Basically, all the aspects of the show I have to create based on the show I chose.”

Dement’s show, “The Imaginators”, is about a young boy, who is very creative, who’s older sister doesn’t like how imaginative he is.

“It’s just the basis of keeping those creative juices flowing throughout your life,” Dement said.

From auditions to performance, the casts don’t have a lot of time to put together their  show.

“From the time of auditions to when we perform, it’s about a month, but we only get two and a half weeks to actually rehearse with our cast and put the show on,” Dement said.

To audition for children’s shows, you have to perform a monologue, or a short speech by one character, for the directors.

“You sign up for a time slot in the theatre hallway, and you go in with a group of maybe 20 people, and you go up in two lines and you audition one by one,” sophomore technician and actor Kate Scarboro said. “They just have you read out loud a monologue. It’s pretty simple and pretty easy. They ask you questions to get you relaxed and pumped up for the audition.”

Auditions for children shows are not only in front of the senior directors, but also your classmates.

“Going in, I felt pretty nervous because you’re performing in front of classmates and they’re people we’re going to see every day and that we’re going to become friends with,” freshmen actor Daniel Bamdad said. “It’s kind of [nerve wracking] to perform in front of them.”

Children’s show casts perform and tour from two to three elementary schools during a school day. Casts usually perform at one school, eat lunch together, and then finish their tour.

“It’s a great experience to tour to the elementary schools because I get to bond with my cast and we get to hang out in the car,” Dement said.

Technicians for childrens shows are in charge of creating the lights and sound of each show. They also travel to elementary schools with their casts.

“I was in charge of lights, so when we performed here at Bowie, I managed the lights and made sure everybody was lit up on stage,” Scarboro said. “ But when we were touring the elementary schools, I ended up helping out the other technician on the show with her sound because the sound can be played from the laptop. Most elementary schools don’t really have any lights to manage, so I just helped with sound.”

Most of the children’s shows are stories that children already know, like Charlotte’s Web and Fantastic Mr. Fox, but some of the shows are not well known, like The Imaginators and The Monster in the Closet.

“There are other performances that there are books about, children know about, and there are movies about and our story is more of a new story that not that many people know about, so I’m nervous the children won’t really understand it,” Bamdad said.

Children’s show casts perform at Bowie in addition to touring the elementary schools.

“[The kid’s] reactions are just so much better and it’s just so much fun to see their them when we perform,” Pousson said.  “We make it even goofier when we’re performing in front of kids because it’s just so much more fun.”

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Children’s Shows