Seattle's Child

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From "Earth to Kenzie": Melissa Plagemann as Mother, Ivy Zhou as Kenzie, and Lucy Weber as The Avatar. (Photo credit: David Jaewon Oh)

New show at Seattle Opera is perfect to see with kids

"Earth to Kenzie" is a short, accessible production with a timely theme.

Opera for kids: Here’s a chance to introduce children to opera while also looking at a tough, timely topic.

Seattle Opera is putting on “Earth to Kenzie,” a short, heartwarming and family-friendly production.

It runs for four shows, 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, June 4-5 (2022), at Tagney Jones Hall.

The 45-minute performance is suitable for all ages. It explores homelessness, empathy and strength with accessible songs and relatable characters.

Opera for kids: ‘Earth to Kenzie’

Here’s how Seattle Opera describes “Earth to Kenzie”:

“Kenzie is a fifth-grader with a vivid imagination and a taste for adventure. But when her home is threatened, sending her to a family shelter with her mother, her world is thrown into a newfound state of uncertainty. Faced with unwelcome questions at school, Kenzie yearns to disappear into her favorite video game — a world where the possibilities are endless and her only concern is wrangling space-kittens — but her asthma reminds her that life isn’t all starships and spacesuits. To find her home, Kenzie first has to face her fears— and realize that she’s not alone after all.”

The fully staged and costumed opera is performed with professional singers and live piano accompaniment.

It is appropriate for all ages, and families are invited to bring “lap children” (2 and under) without buying the child a ticket.

In addition, the 11 a.m. show on Sunday (June 5) is a sensory-friendly performance. Occupational therapist Tiffany Sparks-Keeney, who has worked with Seattle Children’s Theatre, consulted with the opera on designing a show to meet various needs. Additionally, the 2 p.m. show that day will have American Sign Language interpretation.

And to tie in with the discussion of homelessness, Seattle Opera is conducting a donation drive for Mary’s Place, which helps women and children. People are invited to bring items for Mary’s Place. Needed items include disposable masks, twin-size bedding, towels, new pillows, new underwear, stroller covers and maternity clothes. (More information here on what Mary’s Place needs.)


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About the Author

Julie Hanson

Julie Hanson is a longtime journalist, South King County resident and mom to a 15-year-old girl.