Theatre



How to Mesmerize the Young Minds

How to Mesmerize the Young Minds
Published On: 06-Mar-2024
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Article by

Uzma Sabeen


Directing a theatre play for children is a unique and rewarding endeavor. It needs a special blend of creativity, patience and a childlike imagination to appeal to the young minds. It is a very tricky business when you are directing adults to create something for kids. One has to keep the inner child alive. I always encourage my actors to act like kids because the story should always look fresh and innovative. We use elements like gibberish, action comedy and music to charm our young and old audience. Yes, my plays are as entertaining as for adults because they go in their childhood memories and relate to the stories. 

The first step is to select the right script for the target audience i.e. children. The script should be rich in imagination, age appropriate and heavy with action and music. The director has to have a keen eye for the scripts because the script is the foundation for a captivating theatrical experience not only for that particular age but to be a part of their childhood memories. This theatrical experience will stay with them as a lifetime experience so it should be grand, sweet and unforgettable. It offers an exclusive opportunity to blend entertainment with education. We can incorporate elements that stimulate learning, such as the basic theatrical concepts, moral lessons, historical themes in a playful fashion.

 

As a director, I always go for an interactive performance between the actors and the children. As you know that audience is an important element for a theatre performance and theater performance is not complete without its audience. So I always keep it interactive and it provides a collaborative and encouraging environment for kids where the story would progress on their response. It is interesting to see their reaction when the kids are fully engaged in the story and they respond what is good or bad for the protagonist. They stand from their seats to protect the protagonist from compelling the wrong act in his innocence. Kids love to be a part of the story and when the actors do what they would like to see then they become more involved and more attentive towards the play. This creates a dynamic and immersive theatre experience.

 

The real magic of directing theatre plays for kids lies in the lasting impact it can have on young minds. Most of the children who come on our shows memories the songs and dialogues and reenact the scenes from the play at home. They would like to show their parents and siblings what fun they had in the theatre that day. Kids easily copy the simple dance steps which we kept on purpose. Music enhances the mood and effect of every scene. You can arouse fear, sadness, happiness or joy through music.

 

Directing plays for kids is very challenging because you have to keep in mind that the kids are often captivated by the visual elements. I always try to incorporate visual effects such as lightning, smoke, experiment with puppetry by adding characters or a whimsical set transformation just to add a touch of magic to the production. Costume is another important element in the children’s play. Costumes should be very colourful and decorative. Costumes always help in creating unusual characters on stage to excite the imagination of kids. I mostly place my stories in a vibrant cultural background.

 

In conclusion, directing theatre plays for kids is a delightful journey into the realm of boundless imagination. It requires a blend of creativity, patience, and a genuine love for nurturing young talent. Through careful planning, playful exploration, and a commitment to creating a positive and collaborative environment, directors have the power to weave magical experiences that leave a lasting impression on the hearts of both performers and their audiences. The energy added by our little audience is matchless; their enthusiasm in the morning when they are running towards the theatre door from their school buses. I love their bright faces and newly pressed uniforms and always ready to dive into the world of surprises. Their response is impartial and pure. In the world of children's theatre, the stage becomes a canvas for dreams to come alive, and the director, a guiding hand in the creation of enchanting memories that will be cherished for a lifetime.

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