The two most important reasons however are these:
- you are your young guests will enjoy an hour’s worth of a quality productions, and
- this is a super way to begin introducing those youngsters to the theatre experience.
Just like every Patchwork Players’ production since the repertory-styled troupe started in 1984, The Emperor’s New Clothes featured sight gags, puns, jokes, a few double entendres (for the adults, of course) and audience participation designed to include even the shyest child. The Players tell the traditional fairy tale story, almost. But kids don’t seem to mind the slight amusing deviations from the original story down to the very last line delivered by an audience member, whose giggles when she says “underwear” make the show!
Opening and closing with the same interactive songs for more than 20 years, the show engages the whole audience in warming up and cooling down for an informal, but professional theatrical experience. The Emperor’s New Clothes is another exceptional treat for audiences of all ages.
He’s been there from the start, but it is refreshing to see and hear Buzz Podewell, who dreamed up, directs and writes the summer series, still strumming along on his banjo. Taking a side seat to the action, Podewell not only keeps the show on pace by leading with a few banjo plunks to introduce a new scene, but also laughs right along with the audience. He has as much fun as the kids.
If you’re interested in The Patchwork Players (only a few performances left of The Emperor’s New Clothes as of July 16, 2007, but keep it in mind for next year) here are a few suggestions:
- Call for tickets way in advance. Sell out crowds are not unusual during the week. Saturdays may be your best bet.
- Arrive early for two reasons. You will have a better chance of finding a parking space close to the Rogers Chapel, which houses the Patchwork Players. And, your young guests will have a better chance of finding a front row seat.
- Don’t worry if you bring a little one who talks out loud, squirms in his or her chair, or needs a potty break at a dramatic point. You won’t be alone and the cast is accommodating. If your child happens to wander onto the stage, that’s not ideal – but the cast can handle that, too.
- If you are brining more than one lively, energetic kid with you, especially those under the age of five, you may want to bring another adult with you. If you don’t park too close to the theatre, you may struggle with a few street-crossings.
- Bathrooms are nice and clean if that’s a concern.
Go see The Patchwork Players. Make it a summer tradition for your family and let’s get the youngest generation prepared to support the area’s theatrical community in the years ahead.