Sunday, January 22, 2012

Storybook Workshop

Josie had her first Storybook Workshop performance last week.  She was a troll in the cast of Billy Goat's Gruff.  If it was possible to convey over the internet how excited Josie was about this play, then you would be tingling right now.

Storybook Workshop is a wonderful program, created and run by Tina Moran, for children ages 2-8.  Both Georgia and Josie have participated in the classes for years and Henry would have as well had I known about their existence when he was young enough!  In the younger years of Storybook Workshop, the children listen to stories, do craft projects to create props and then dramatically recreate what they have heard.  The older children (in Storybook Drama, like Josie) create scenery, learn speaking parts and perform a play that involves dance and music.  To say all classes are amazing and adorable, would be an understatement.  If only you all had a Tina Moran in your town (and if you do, sign your kids up for these classes immediately!)

When the audience members entered the gym, we found the trolls already hiding under their bridge.  Josie is the fourth troll from either the left or the right.  She is hiding in the dark shadows since, as a Norwegian child, she is well aware of the needs and habits of your common bridge troll.

The goats, on the other hand, were out in the open for all parents to see.  

Tina began the play by giving the audience a brief overview and welcoming us to the performance.

She informed us that in the Storybook Workshop version of this childhood classic, there would be no eating of goats.  Instead, the tale's ending had been tweaked somewhat to encourage a more friendly moral.

and then the fun began:

The trolls erupted from their under-bridge hideout.

Dances were danced (that's Josie, third from left and un-blurred)  and bridges were defended:

The goats grew tired of their grassy meadow and decided to venture over the bridge to new locales:

confrontations occurred:

And negotiations were made.  In the end, the goats and the trolls decided that it would be more fun if everyone just got along and they all became friends.  So they did.

The performance lasted about 15 minutes and it was absolutely delightful, as always.  Josie had been looking forward to her turn "on stage" ever since watching Georgia perform in this play two years ago (she was a goat).  As for me, I can not say enough wonderful things about the Storybook Workshop Program.  In an age of video games, non-stop availability of cartoons on tv and of toys that seem to play for you, it's a relief to find an activity that encourages children to use their imaginations, to dance, to create art and to tell a story.  

It's really what childhood is all about.

(Want to learn more about Storybook Workshop?  Click HERE!)

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