The Magic of Theater in the Eyes of a Child

Fostering A Love of the Arts from a Young Age

A couple of weekends ago I took little man to see Peter Pan at Westfield High School. It was put on by CYTIndy and was amazing given it was a youth production. The actors were spot on, and we all loved how they flew over the audience many times in the show with the help of cables and harnesses. Truly these kids could have been professionals. The musical even kept little man's attention for the entire show...eyes wide and on the edge of his seat for most of it, and I do believe amusing the gentleman next to us quite a bit as he oohed, aahed and laughed. At intermission, he enjoyed his snack and couldn't wait to get back to the show. I thought he was going to run people over trying to get back to our seats!

It brought me back to my own childhood. I have such found memories of attending Starlight Musicals and productions at Clowes Hall with my Mom. Each year my older brother always bought her season tickets to that year's slate of productions. It was such a treat to me to get all dressed up, go to dinner in Broad Ripple and then the theater with her. Some of my favorites were Nunsense, CATS and each December the Nutcracker. She used to take me behind the scenes after each show to get my playbill signed by my favorite actor. I was in awe! To this day I love the theater, no matter a high school play or a production at the Murat! I love how the actors transport you along with them as they weave the story.

So when little man insisted that we get a picture with his favorite Peter Pan actor after the show, my heart melted. I sometimes forget how much he is like me. The whole way home he chattered in the backseat about the play, the actors and how he was so trying out for their next play. "Mom, they said kids 8-18! And I'm 8, so I'm in!"

The Amazing Captain Hook -
played by Robbie Cartwright, Age 16
I really believe that the arts inspire and build such wonderful things in kids! They not only inspire creativity, but encourage free thinking and problem solving skills as well. I think they help kids flourish as well rounded individuals within society and add to experiences they can draw from in their adult lives.
It is such a sad occurrence that many school systems are finding themselves in a place where they are forced to make hard budgeting choices and at times the arts within their school systems are falling by the wayside.
In Hancock County, we are so very lucky! We are surrounded by school systems that know the value of the arts! Inexpensive opportunities abound to exposure your young children to theater, art, dance and music experiences! Mt. Vernon, Pendleton, Greenfield and Hamilton Southeastern High Schools all put on annual productions with extremely affordable ticket prices. CTYIndy has two spring productions coming up with actors from schools all over Indy! One is The Wizard of Oz and little man can't wait! We also are pumped for Shrek The Musical coming up in April at Pendleton High School and Little Shop of Horrors coming up the end of March at Ten West Center for the Arts in Fortville!
Speaking of Ten West - what a treasure in Fortville! Their tagline, "helping youth stay creative" is 100% true! Not only do they bring several productions, comedy nights and National Dance Day to the community, they also rent space to many local businesses that offer very affordable classes to youth. From art to dance to music to theater, you can find it all at Ten West! A perfect place to help your budding actress, actor, musician, dancer or artist find their passion.


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