Shouldn’t work for a young audience which is their first theatre experience, be better resourced – at the scale of Opera?
What if in 10 years children’s theatre was given the level of support that mainstage/commercial musicals are? Would that be a wonderful investment in the future of theatre? It would surely entice the younger audiences to attend.

Or would it?

This is a really interesting topic for me because I don’t necessarily think that bigger (budgets or production values or celebrity status) is best. In fact I find much of the big spectacles to be, well intimidating and alienating.

I am a passionate advocate for children and youth theatre because of the way in which it encourages all audience members to rethink, imagine and engage with traditional theatrical stage-craft.

I don’t need a lot of stuff to be impressed… in fact I like KISS… KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID!

And for those who are suffering intellect/word fatigue – here’s a song…

(Yes, I just need your extra time and your KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID!)

There was a suggestion that childrens shows need more development time and it got me thinking -Do shows for children take a longer time to make than for audiences because we are adults that have to re-test and relearn what is interesting to children?

For me it can not be said enough – Kids are much more intuitive, creative and intelligent than they are often given credit for. Their emotional intelligence and ability to understand and absorb and connect with art is impressive (and for us adults) enviable. Do not underestimate children.

It’s true : A large amount of the youth theatre sector is new work. And new work – made for adults and for children have unique challenges

Some one says:”Most young people have their first time of experiencing of theatre with shows that are are not made specifically for young people. Perhaps we should be talking about accessing the resources that already exist in larger companies?”

The concern is The scale of production is stymied by ticket price – and by space. It seems that ticket prices can’t exceed a certian amount and become prohibitive to punters (families).
And it seems that some spaces are not appropriate – they are too big or not designed for the scale or requirements of young people. And thus it is not attractive to venues or theatre companies- for practical reasons.

(As a side note – did you know that in Demark, it is illegal to remove a film that is attracting an audience of 60% or more.)

The programming for young people needs to be re-thought.

And then the question –
Does the education department have a role to play in paying for students to have a quality arts experience?
It is an issue getting students out of the classroom. We should be marketing to parents not to children. Get families coming to the theatre on weekends.

Then, a suggestion:
“Start with what you want – (get kids to come to the theatre). Then work backwards. (How to build a new business model that supports this?) What about bringing back the rep model?

Music theatre allows people to tell big stories. Epic stories. It’s attractive and grand in scale If music and Opera really works you feel it in your body – not just intellectually. And what if children had that experience.

I think about all of this is that there is a value in the low tech. And that grand scale epic theatre is possible for children in partnership with major performing arts companies. I also think that bigger isn’t always best BUT there is room for companies that make children’s theatre to provide children and family with epic experiences – and I reckon they’ll pay for it. It comes down to cash flow. Mary Poppins is such an example.

But for me, those grand theatrical experiences are one in every 30, and are not indicative of what theatre is. And introducing young people to theatre via grand big-budget theatre can have the effect of giving a false impression of what theatre is or should be. It is as unfair as reviewers criticizing independent productions on the same criteria as they do mainstage ones.