This Fall I had the pleasure of attending Water Under the Bridge – a participatory play by Carousel Players.
Targeting children from Kindergarten to Gr. 3, this play was a HOOT!
Not having any kids of my own, but wanting to showcase some parent friendly content on the site, I brought along the Local Lux resident expert on children – my mother.
Having raised 4 kids of her own (myself and my 3 younger brothers) and now, as a teacher in my home-town’s daycare center, why would I have chosen anyone else?
Water Under the Bridge is “an interactive story about Sara and Waneek who live on opposite sides of a river in the year 1812. The girls are from very different cultures and they are best friends. As the story unfolds, selected children in the audience are invited to help the actors in making rope, grinding corn, gathering eggs and other tasks involved in the story”.
Even before the play began the energy in the small theatre was contagious. The space for the audience is small and intimate and children are invited to sit on mats infront of the chairs. The set was very nice and well-thought out – a mechanism to trip the bridge, puppets, a colourful backdrop and some great, authentic props – kudos to set designer Nigel Scott.
From start to finish I enjoyed this play. Sarah Hansen and Amy Keating are fantastic leading ladies – and Daniel Pagett is a great actor and puppeteer. There were quite a few laugh-out-loud moments, my favourite being introduced to Nasty Nesty during the audience’s lesson on how to collect eggs. Among others, the audience also learns how to make corn-flour, make rope, do laundry and hand it to dry, share, care, make friends, stay friends and many more valuable lessons.
What I loved most about this play was the participatory element where the players invite children from the mats at the front of the show onto the stage to help accomplish something. The kids love it too – the chance to interact with their own imaginations during a play is very fun to watch. And, the questions that they ask are right out of an episode of “Kids Say the Darndest Things“.
Starting October through December the Carousel Players will be touring Water Under the Bridge to schools across Ontario and acting for students starting in JK – Gr 3. Hopefully your child(ren) gets the opportunity to take part in this fantastic play. The combination of fun, learning and culture are commendable and I would surely see it again if given the opportunity.
As for my mom – she was in heaven. By the end of the play she had ideas for a whole new learning unit, crafts and was talking to one of the organizers about the possibility of bringing the show to our little town. Fantastic!
For more information about Water Under the Bridge you should check out the Carousel Players website through the link below: