Theater is a collaborative art form used by humans around the world and throughout time to communicate ideas, to perform for each other and entertain, to teach lessons, and to tell wonderful stories.
Children have an inherent interest in theatre and usually considerable personal experience making theatre in their living rooms and backyards. Children are particularly fascinated by the behind the scenes elements of theater. They want to know who makes the magic of theatre happen, and how all of the people involved do what they do. Children also want to try out the myriad of behind the scene roles for themselves.
Onstage and Behind the Scenes brings the magic of theatre to life for visitors by both answering their most asked questions and engaging their participation in this art form.
Onstage and Behind the Scenes provides an overview study of the basic elements of theatre.
- The Purpose of theatre
- The Playwright's work
- The Director's role
- The Performers
- The Environment (Scenic, Lighting, Costume, Makeup, Sound and Props)
- The Audience
- The script is the blueprint on which the world of the play is created.
- Props are used by the actors to further the action of the play or to enhance the physical environment.
- Costumes are the clothing a character wears which illustrates the character's function in the play and reveal the qualities of the character.
- Makeup assists the actor in the physical representation of the character in the play.
- The set is the physical environment created on which the play unfolds.
- The stage is the blank canvas upon which all the theatrical artists will work to create the world of the play.
- The lighting is a force in a play that directs the eye, sets the mood, and adds the spectacle.
Onstage and Behind the Scenes offers visitors an opportunity to learn about the world of theatre by exploring the different elements needed to produce theatre and how the elements all come together to create a theatrical production.
- Onstage and Behind the Scenes uses an age-old story --"King Arthur"-- to illustrate how theatre communicates through stories to entertain and educate.
- The exhibit introduces visitors to the various people and skills needed to bring a story to the stage.
- The exhibit offers many different experiences that reflect these skills/tasks for visitors to try out for themselves.
- The exhibit showcases the museum's collections to illustrate the concept that theatre is universal -- forms of theatre are found around the world and throughout time.
- The museum's fall theatrical production of "Young King Arthur" in the Lilly Theatre provides visitors with an opportunity to see a full theatrical production in a theater setting.