Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wolf Trap's Children's Theatre-in-the-Woods

Today I headed out to Wolf Trap's Children's Theatre-in-the-Woods with my 8-year-old, Sam, and my 5-year-old, Quinn. There were two performances this morning: The Maryland Youth Ballet's Caroline Goes to the Zoo and Bob Brown Puppets' Dragon Feathers. We planned on attending both.

I have to say, I was a little worried about how the morning was going to go. I knew that there were two performances, separated by about 45 minutes. I knew we were going to have to walk a ways to get to the stage. I didn't know how my often antsy children were going to react to the performances. I was also a little concerned about time considering I had to rush home to pick my middle child up off of his summer school bus.

I shouldn't have worried. Our morning was FANTASTIC!

The walk was about a 10-minute jaunt into the woods to a shaded seating area in front of a small stage. We had brought a blanket, but didn't need it, as there were benches to sit on. Even though we arrived a couple of minutes late, there was plenty of room to sit. I also appreciated that the venue didn't require silence from the audience. As it is theater intended for children, the performance grabbed their attention. Furthermore, exclamations and comments from kids in the audience were no big deal.

The ballet was wonderful, with dancers acting as different animals. My kids, and especially Sam, were enthralled. After the performance, the company came out and answered questions from the audience. It was lovely.

We had met a friend for the morning, and she was smart enough to bring snacks for the time between the performances. Even though you are only allowed to bring water into the theater area, you can picnic off to the side a smidge between shows.

As much as my kids liked the ballet, they loved the puppet show even more. Bob Brown is amazing. My kids (and I) laughed a lot as he put his little dragon puppets through their paces. All three of us were sad that we had to leave a little early to get home to pick up my other kid.

Quinn was so excited. He ran to find his own stuffed monkey puppet as soon as we got home and told me he wanted to take it to show the puppet guy. Bob Brown definitely has a new fan.

Much as we had fun, I was so sad that my middle son hadn't been able to come with us. He would have LOVED the puppets. But we had so much fun that I think we're going to go back next week when Project Trio presents From Hip-Hop to Bach and Wolf Trap Opera Studio presents Instant Opera! (The following week the Dance Institute of Washington will be performing West Side Story and Rocknocerous will perform.) I also know that we will be checking their schedule early next summer and will definitely attend several of the shows.

Children's Theatre-in-the-Woods runs Tuesday through Saturdays, with the first performance at 10 a.m. and the second at 11:15 a.m. Tickets are $8 each for one show or $10 each for both shows on the same day. Definitely worth checking out!

Honesty Clause: Wolf Trap provided me with free tickets to today's Children's Theatre-in-the-Woods performance.