Sunday, February 13, 2011

The ArtsCenter of Carrboro and Rags to Riches Theater

What it is: The ArtsCenter in the heart of Carrboro is a full-fledged art complex that provides classes for adults and children, plus exhibition and performance space for artists. Throughout the year, kids' classes have options for kids as young as two, with music, movement, dance, circus acrobatics, and clay. And then in the summer, they have summer ArtsCamp for kindergarteners on up too. They also run concerts and plays, including a monthly Superfun Show for young children. This month, they hosted Rags to Riches Theater, a theater for young audiences, in their presentation of the original story "The Owl and the Turtle." Rags to Riches Theater is the work of a Durham couple, Lou and Melody Peters, who put on the entire shows from storyboard to acting. Their plays run an hour, and include a lot of action, shouting and participation, to hold young kids' attention, carry them through the story, and get them used to theater performance. In the coming season, they've already programmed three other plays for Spring and Summer, and they also offer a theater school for kids 5 and up, with its own performances.

What we liked: The ArtsCenter theater has a lot of seating, and when we went it wasn't crowded so there was a lot of room for wiggleworms to, well, wiggle. We were even allowed to bring our snack in, and the show was at a child-friendly time of 11am. Our two daughters, 3 and 5, are not the passive type. But once the play started, they were pretty mesmerized. At the get-go, the two actors taught some movements and shouts to the audience, and most kids seemed a little stiff and intimidated, so the parents took the lead. But then as the play developed, the actors frequently jumped off stage for chases, games and hide-and-seek among the audience. The plot was about an owl who wants to find a friend to play with, and ends up having a great time with a turtle, but then realizes that everyone is going to make fun of them if they found out. In the end, of course, both of them learn that they should ignore people's nasty words and be friends. We got out and the actors were sitting on the floor in the foyer and kids clustered around, mine gave them hugs! And once we're out, it's a short walk for the lunch spread at Weaver Street Market.

What could be better: There were a lot of empty seats! And with just two actors and small costume changes, my girls had a little trouble differentiating the different characters, until the turtle made his appearance and stayed. Advance tickets are $7/kid, $9/parent, so it's definitely a bit of a treat out of the ordinary. But other Rags to Riches shows are more like $3/ticket.

Important information:

ArtsCenter of Carrboro:
Rags to Riches Theater for young audiences:

Address: 300 E Main St # G, Carrboro, NC 27510-2359

Phone Number: (919) 929-2787


1. The ArtsCenter from the parking lot

2. The Theater

No comments:

Google Ads