By Bob Hicks
Today I posted this essay, Doing the Locomotion with kids’ theater, at Oregon Arts Watch. It’s about Oregon Children’s Theatre‘s terrific production of Locomotion, Jacqueline Woodson‘s stage adaptation of her National Book Award-finalist children’s book, which is something of a tree-grows-in-Brooklyn tale. In Bedford-Stuyvesant, to be exact, where a kid nicknamed Locomotion learns to deal with some tough stuff through the power of poetry. An excerpt:
… I like to drop in every now and again on a show for kids. No audience experiences the give-and-take between stage and seats more directly or honestly. If an audience of kids tunes out, it doesnâ€™t necessarily mean you have a bad show: It might just not be right for kids. But if youâ€™re an actor or director itâ€™s a good idea to pay attention to where the kids zone out, because maybe youâ€™ve got a problem on your hands. And if the kids are with you, theyâ€™re gonna let you know. Loudly.
Above: Tyler Andrew Jones and Andrea White in “Locomotion” at OTC. Photo: Owen Carey.