In Praise of : Trike Theatre

The first time I saw a theatre performance I was seven and my mom had taken me to the largest city in 60 miles and we watched the Nutcracker performed in amazing costume behind gilded gold parapets and heavy velvet curtains. I was astonished. And in love. But because of the dearth of theatre experiences in rural Arkansas it would be five more years before a cross country school trip introduced me to Cats on Broadway. 

I've been thirsting for theatre ever since.

That lack, the desire but nothing with which to fill it, has given me a deep appreciation for the kid's theatre activities available in Northwest Arkansas, specifically Trike Theatre. 

Unlike the gilded performances of my memories {is that a Cats pun?} Trike puts theatre closer to the everyday grasp of children.

The theatre of my childhood was a once in a lifetime experience.

The theatre that Trike offers teaches children that plays and performances and musicals are simply stories and that everyone loves a good story.  

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Sam is now two and a half and we've been to three Trike performances. Every time I work to get there a bit before the scheduled performance time because interactive storytelling is where Trike Theater excels with toddlers. 

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The most recent performance was Cowboy in the Kitchen and the pre-preformance activity didn't disappoint. The staff informed us that it was Cosboy's birthday and that we were welcome to make cakes {playdough} and a birthday card {construction paper and crayons} for him. There were also a table full of cowboy books to get us in the spirit of the day. 

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When chef's assistant came to get us, she let us know that we were invited to be actors in this performance and would be helping Chef make a surprise birthday cake for Cowboy. From there, Musican and her ukealaylee, led us into the "theatre" (an empty gallery space)  where we were invited to sit on the "kitchen floor", where the performance would take place. 

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From there, the audience was asked to sing, shake, and sprinkle- all to advance the cause of throwing Cowboy a surprise party.  

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Recently, an older lady asked me what I did for a living.

"I don't have a job. I stay at home with my two year old," I replied.

"Oh honey," she said, "you work."

Northwest Arkansas in general and Trike Theatre specifically make this work that I do a bit easier. And for that I am so very greatful.