As a D.C. area native, I grew up coming to Wolf Trap with my family every summer. My first concert ever was actually here at Wolf Trap in 1995, when I saw Raffi perform at the Filene Center on my fifth birthday. Unfortunately, I didn’t learn about Wolf Trap Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods until I started my internship here last month. As the public relations intern, I mostly handle Filene Center shows and don’t know as much about Children’s Theatre-in-the Woods as I would like to!
In an effort to learn more about it myself, and to make sure all of you blog readers know about this great program, I went to Wolf Trap’s Education Intern Chelsea Harrison to get some answers.
Jacqui: Can you give me a brief overview of what Wolf Trap Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods is?
Chelsea: Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods is Wolf Trap’s outdoor performance series for children and their families. There really is something for everyone at Theatre-in-the-Woods. Performances feature puppetry, folk music, storytelling, hip hop, salsa dancing, ballet ... there’s even opera! We have such a cool mix of things because we want everyone, young and old, to have a good time. At Theatre-in-the-Woods you’d be amazed at how funny puppets can be or that kid-centric hip hop could make you nod your head to the beat. It’s all incredibly entertaining. I’ve become a fan of a lot of the artists that are coming. I’m excited to see what happens in the woods this year.
Jacqui: When you say “in the woods,” do you mean that literally? Do these shows take place at the Filene Center like most of the other summer performances?
Chelsea: Actually, our shows take place at our children’s theatre, which is kind of like a mini Filene Center—but for kids and families. And yes, it’s literally down a meadow path, over a bridge, and nestled in trees.
Jacqui: Sounds like the perfect summer outdoor setting. So how much are tickets?
Chelsea: There are two different shows per day and tickets are $8 for both shows. For children under three, Theatre-in-the-Woods is free. Groups of 10 or more can save $1 off each ticket.
Jacqui: That’s great, cheaper than going to the movies and it’s outside. What shows are you most excited about for the Summer 2011 season?
Chelsea: I’m most excited about Secret Agent 23 Skidoo, “the King of Kid’s Hip Hop.” I found myself dancing my seat when I heard his song “Gotta Be Me.” In the song he raps about embracing differences and celebrating your uniqueness. His lyrics are funny, inspirational, and dance worthy. His songs are perfect for any young MC to exercise their rap skills to because they are catchy, easy to learn, and uplifting.
Jacqui: Why do you think these shows are so appealing to children?
Chelsea: I think these shows appeal to children because they aren’t playing down to kids. Just because it’s for kids doesn’t mean it has to be cheesy and these artists recognize a child’s need for well-crafted music and performance. Our performing artists have created shows that get everyone on their feet and dancing, clapping, and singing. Children will be captivated by masterful puppetry and energetic dances.
Jacqui: This sounds like a great place for me to take the kids I babysit to. Do you have any suggestions for making a trip to Wolf Trap an all-day event?
Chelsea: An outing to Theatre-in-the-Woods can easily turn into a fun family day! I would suggest bringing a basket of food and enjoying a nice picnic lunch before or after one of the performances. Also, after the performances there are free interactive workshops and activities with Theatre-in-the-Woods artists and National Park Rangers who lead programs about nature, theatre, and the performing arts. Junior Ranger Activity Books are available at the kiosk to assist children in becoming Wolf Trap Junior Rangers.
Our last question is for you readers: what’s down a meadow path, over a bridge, and nestled in trees? Wolf Trap Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods.