English 1002, CRN 60501
February 13, 2012
ULM Children’s Theatre Department
The benefit of presenting theatre to children is providing them with the opportunity to see live actors and receive educational materials in a way that is different from the normal classroom experience. Many children only see movies and television. Giving them the opportunity to visit a theatre or having an acting group visit their school is a way to introduce them to another form of visual entertainment. The modern world of technology sometimes allows us to forget that children need to be educated about the arts including live theatre. The ULM Theatre Department, under the direction of Kyle Zimmerman, assistant professor, acting and directing, produced a children’s play in the spring of 2011. Zimmerman is currently working on the writing and casting for Aesop’s Fables. Producing a play involves several aspects. The director and writers look at curriculum standards and begin writing. The ULM theatre department writes its own children’s theatre productions. This way, they can write for the actors and make adjustments as needed without the worry of copyright laws. Zimmerman states, “I try to layer in things that all ages can enjoy.”(1) Once the script is finished the director and musicians write the music that helps keep the children’s attention and maintains the flow of the production. While there are plays and musicals in children’s theatre, musicals are usually preferred. Productions that include contests and competition work very well. Fairy tale and folk tale characters are also fun for the kids to relate to during a play.
The next aspect is casting the play. Zimmerman believes, “Almost every successful theatre professional I know at one point in their career has done some sort of children’s theatre. It is an excellent place to hone your skills.”(1) When casting he looks for someone with a great deal of energy and physicality. The...