Weekend Showcase: Stages Theatre Presents “On the Railroad”
The latest offering at Stages Theatre Company in Hopkins provides a theater experience for the youngest of the young. This summer’s show “On the Railroad” is geared for children age 4 and younger.
“Two or 3-year-olds are not really just tiny adults. They interact with the world in a different way, they learn in a different way,” said director Melanie Salmon-Peterson. “They learn by playing, by multi-sensory ways, by smelling things, by putting things in their mouth. All those things that we don’t do anymore as adults.”
Salmon-Peterson said theater for the very young meets these kids right where they’re at in their stage of development. She says it’s a mixture of play and fun and storytelling.
“I do know kids get obsessed with trains, so it began with the song ‘I’ve Been Working on the Railroad,’ and then we thought about how we could explore trains,” said Peterson.
Young Cast Grows Into Roles
The show is very interactive and alternates between times of sitting still, listening and watching. And then getting up and doing. It was almost as much fun for the parents and grandparents as it was for the toddlers.
One of the young cast members, Miranda Muilenburg said, “I personally love when a kid comes in, and he or she’s really shy and then as you get to play out the show, they become more and more outgoing and more engaged in the show.”
Cast member Claire Chapman said, “And I love when they get that they found out they know something and they just want to tell you and it’s really fun ’cause they’re sitting right next to you and they’re like, ‘oh, oh I know what’s next,’ ‘oh that’s a stock car’ or ‘that’s a box car.'”
This weekend is the final one to catch “On the Railroad” with three shows on Saturday and two on Sunday. Details, showtimes and ticket information can be found at Stages Theatre.