Thursday, August 13, 2009

New theater show opens today!

A Please Touch Playhouse favorite returns to the stage today, with the opening of "From the Sea to the Sky." On stage through October 4, this show is an original interpretation of traditional Vietnamese folk talks. I sat down with Alice Gonglewski, Please Touch Museum's Creative Dramatics Manager, who adapted this show for the museum's young audience.

Pinky: What's this show all about?
Alice: "From the Sea to the Sky" is a show is based on two Vietnamese folk tales. The First Dragon is the story of how the Vietnamese water dragons from early myths were created. Why the Monsoon Comes Every Year is the story of Princess Mi Nuong and what happens when she meets Sea Spirit and Mountain Spirit. They both are exciting stories with lots of audience participation.

Pinky: What are some special items used in the show?
Alice: There are several different styles of puppets in the show. We use large rod puppets with Vietnamese masks and clothing, as well as animal puppets and shadow puppets. Special dramatic lighting effects are also used in the show, including some beautiful lanterns decorating the theater.

Pinky: What themes or "lessons" can children (and adults, too!) take away from this performance?
Alice: Well, the first story teaches that's it's important to work hard and do your best, and that people should be honored for trying. The second story demonstrates how people throughout history invented myths about things like thunderstorms or earthquakes. Since the monsoon season happens in many areas of Vietnam, this story was a creative and imaginative way for people to explain it.

Pinky: After kids see the show , how can they create a similar show at home for their family?
Alice: Lots of kids go home and act out the stories they see here in Please Touch Playhouse. Shadow puppets are a great and easy activity to do at home with a grown-up's help. All you need is a sheet with a light directed on it and you can make shadows with your hands, body, cut-out cardboard shapes, or other objects. Or, try using stuffed animals, dolls, or toys around the house as puppets or props and put on a play on your living room floor or kitchen table. Find a story or folk tale that you enjoy and make your own version of it. It’s a lot of fun!

Show times are Monday-Saturday at 11 a.m., 1 & 3 p.m.; Sunday at 1 & 3 p.m. unless otherwise noted. Free with museum admission.

Check out some great "From the Sea to the Sky" themed activities to do at home!

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We're all about learning through play.

Join Pinky, one of Please Touch Museum's resident puppets, on an inside look into all the fun, educational things happening at Philly's Children's Museum. This blog is not just about what we do at the museum, but about the educational philosophy behind why we do what we do.