Monday, March 8, 2010

Now on stage: "There's Something Under My Bed"

This past weekend, one of my very favorite Playhouse shows returned to the stage: "There Something Under My Bed!"

It's on stage now through May 9. Check out my interview with David Hutchman, Please Touch Museum's Theater Manager, for details about this wonderful show!

Pinky: What's this show all about?
David: This show is about a little boy by the name of Sam who is having trouble sleeping at night because he is convinced there is something under his bed that shouldn't be there. At first he is very scared by the thing and tries to tell his big people, but they don't believe him. Then he starts to make plans to fool the 'thing' and capture it, and get it out from under his bed. Finally, he actually meets the 'thing' under his bed is and he ends up very surprised by what he finds -- and it certainly isn't scary like he originally thought!

Pinky: Do the kids in the audience get to do anything in the show?
David: Of course they do! After all, it wouldn't be a Please Touch Playhouse show if they didn't. In this show, we get the kids to share their stories about when they might have had something under their bed at home and what they did about it. Then they get to help guess what the thing under Sam's bed might be. And then they get to help Sam decide how to solve his problem. It’s a ton of interactive fun!

Pinky: What themes or "lessons" can children (and adults, too!) take away from this performance?
David: Everyone has thought there was something under their beds when they were young. A lot of big people can still remember that time in their life. Many of the kids seeing the show are still experiencing that fear at home at night. But sometimes we are only afraid of things because we just don't know what they are. And once we do know what they are we can laugh and understand that there wasn't really anything to be afraid of at all. Sam goes through that. In fact, in the end, he makes friends with the 'thing' he was afraid of at the beginning. That's a lesson that carries through all kinds of areas of our lives.

Pinky: After kids see the show on stage, how can they create a similar performance at home with and for their family?
David: The puppetry in the show is very simple and we've heard from a lot of families that kids go home and do their own version. We kept it very simple for that very reason. Sam's head is just a red, foam clown nose on the end of your finger. All the other parts of the show are mostly stuffed animals that you would find in your own bedroom. Some of the other props you might find in your kitchen. The stage could be your kitchen table or even the back of a couch!

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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.