I can't imagine a more enchanting introduction to theater for little ones than Seattle Children's Theatre's The Green Sheep. Music, movement and puppetry bring the delightful book by Australian authors Mem Fox and Judy Horacek to life. (Don't worry – there are no scary people dressed in giant sheep costumes.)
The play begins in the lobby when the actors come out in search of the green sheep and invite little ones and their parents to follow them into the auditorium and right up onto the stage.
Parents don't have to keep wiggly children still in flippy theater seats. The audience sits right on the stage on the floor of a sheep pen. The action happens all around, so there isn't a bad seat in the house (or the pen in this case.)
The play reinforces preschool concept words for colors, actions and adverbs. It even emphasizes a couple of safety issues such as wearing sunscreen and buckling seat belts.
My 3-year-old loved every minute. It was incredible to see a whole pen filled with 1- to 4-year-olds completely transfixed by the action – no whining, no tears, just mesmerized children.
The play is roughly 35 minutes long and children are invited to stick around after the show to look at the props. My little one went around and said "Hi" to each sheep. Kids also may play with the musical instruments used or listen to one of the actors reading the book.
Be sure to bring your camera. You can't take photos during the show, but there is a great photo op in the lobby where kids can put their faces through a hole in a canvas painted with three of the sheep and pretend to be one.
Lucy couldn't wait to tell her daddy and big sister all about the show. When I asked her which sheep was her favorite, she said "All of them," and asked if she could see the show again tomorrow.
We bought the book so she could re-live the magic at bedtime.
IF YOU GO
Where: Seattle Children's Theatre's Charlotte Martin Theatre, 201 Thomas St. in Seattle, located at the west entrance of Seattle Center, just north of Pacific Science Center and west of the Space Needle.
When: Through Sept. 12. Wednesday through Sunday at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., and/or 3 p.m., depending on the day. ASL-interpreted performance Oct. 12 at 11:30 a.m. and two Spanish-language performances, Aug. 27 and 28 at 11:30 a.m.
Admission: Tickets are $16. The Children's Theatre recommends this production for children ages 1 to 4.
Contact: 206-441-3322; www.sct.org.
Laura Spruce Wight is a Seattle-area freelance writer and mother of two.