But, soft! What light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun!
- Romeo and Juliet, Act II, SC. 2
The Children's Museum of Indianapolis
Presents Onstage and Behind the Scenes, An Adventure in Theater
Children ask the best theatre questions! "How does the scenery move?" "How did that actor learn to cry when he needed to?" "Is that monster costume real?" "And can we try it?" Onstage and Behind the Scenes, An Adventure in Theater is a new exhibit in the CFAX Gallery (Center for Arts Exploration) designed to answer all the questions about what it takes to produce live theatre performances.
"Theatre is a global art form used to communicate ideas, entertain, teach life lessons and most of all tell wonderful stories. Children have always been particularly fascinated by the behind the scenes elements of theater," said Dr. Jeffrey H. Patchen, president and CEO of the museum.
Onstage and Behind the Scenes provides the museum with an opportunity to explore the different elements needed to produce a show and how those elements all come together. The exhibit highlights all of the people such as directors, playwrights, scenery artists, costume designers and actors that work together in the theater. Best of all, the children get to try out the myriad of behind the scenes roles for themselves. And what child hasn't raided their parent's closets for costumes, hid behind makeshift curtains in their living rooms and backyards, and performed their favorite stories for family members?
Artifacts from the museum collection such as Japanese theatre masks, Indonesian Shadow puppet theatre sets, dolls wearing theatrical masks from around the world, along with displays of props and costumes from our past Lilly Theater productions will be integrated into the exhibit. The theatre exhibit will also act as a fantastic community outreach opportunity that allows partnerships with local theatres, like The Indianapolis Civic Theatre, and Beef and Boards.
These local theatres will provide costume renderings, set drawings and models, props and costumes to help enhance the exhibit experience for the visitors. Community partners will send theatre professionals, actors, designers and stage managers to the gallery who will share their talents with visitors and as they promote their own upcoming performances.
Onstage a d Behind the Scenes, An Adventure in Theatre follows the award winning Drumbeats: A Percussion Experience. Exhibits like this are vital links for teachers to expand art education experiences outside their classrooms. Teacher group interviews were conducted to find out what kinds of connections could be made between the new theatre exhibit and their existing classroom activities. Teachers saw clear connections that exceeded the arts curriculum including story structure, writing, fantasy vs. reality, summarizing main ideas, presentation skills, audience behavior, and following directions.
Onstage and Behind the Scenes, An Adventure in Theater is sure to bring the magic of theatre to life for visitors by engaging their participation in this popular art form.
September 15, 2001 - August 3, 2003