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Parent’s of young children in Atlanta, take note. We saw Waiting for Balloon last year and it was so good I can’t wait to take my boys back. I am SO excited that there are now other productions in the Theatre for the Very Young series. Check out what’s on board for the ’13/14 season below!
Atlanta’s nationally acclaimed Alliance Theatre and Rosemary Newcott, the Sally G. Tomlinson Artistic Director of Theatre for Youth & Families, are proud to announce the 2013/14 Season for Theatre for the Very Young. Now in its third season, Theatre for the Very Young is an artistic experience for children ages 18 months – 5 years that overcomes age and developmental barriers, expanding the consciousness of the very young audience members. Each production nurtures creative thinking, allowing the very young to experience art and culture on their terms.
“It’s thrilling to be offering the youngest members of our community a full season of our fully interactive, wholly original Theatre for the Very Young,” said Christopher Moses, Director of Educational Programs. “This season will find us creating new work inspired by such diverse topics as Japanese culture to Woody Guthrie’s beloved children’s songs to Beckett. As always, our Theatre for the Very Young program is committed to inviting these little ones into a true artistic experience and connecting them not only to the theatre but also to each other in a powerful and artful way.”
Beginning October 17, the season will open with an encore production of Waiting for Balloon, directed by Rosemary Newcott and written by folk artist TMarq, loosely based on the classic play Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett. Through delightful trial and error, exploration and interaction with the audience, two clowns piece together what makes a balloon a balloon and celebrate all that is discovered while we “wait!” Waiting for Balloon is a joyous introduction to gentle clowning and the joy of creating puppets from found objects, designed by the creative mind of Puppeteer Michael Haverty.
The next two productions in the season are brand new productions created for very young audiences. Little Raindrop Songs is a whimsically theatrical and imaginative journey through an anything-but-normal day, with original music by the Japanese ‘pajama-pop’ band Lullatone. The audience is led through a fully interactive world made completely of brightly colored paper which transforms dramatically into multiple settings. Combining unexpected puppetry, a vibrantly colorful and transformative two-dimensional set design, whimsically comic performances, and the catchy pajama-pop of Lullatone, this fully interactive theatrical performance will connect with the very young and invite them into the wonder of the artistic experience. Little Raindrop Songs is directed by Puppeteer Michael Haverty.
The final production in the season is Songs to Grow On, directed by Rosemary Newcott. Inspired by the fun and inventive children’s songs of Woody Guthrie, Songs to Grow On invites children on a one of a kind journey across the country in search of the sounds of America. A tale of friendship, travel, and most of all the love of song, this unforgettable experience celebrates the joyful noise of harmony. Developed in partnership with Bright from the Start: Georgia’s Department of Early Care and Learning, this engaging show is fully aligned with GA’s pre-K content standards.
“Theatre hopes to enchant, connect and inspire an audience, and Theatre for The Very Young does all of these in such surprising and powerful ways,” said Rosemary Newcott. “Watching the youngest of our community engage so completely and so joyfully in a theatrical experience reminds all of us the reasons we love this art form so much! It takes us back to a time when we could allow ‘play’ experience to envelop us and invites the child of any age to know how powerful it feels to be part of the story.”
THEATRE FOR THE VERY YOUNG 2013/14 SEASON DETAILS
WAITING FOR BALLOON
October 17 – 19, 21 – 26, November 2, 7-9
Written by TMarq
Directed by Rosemary Newcott
Two childlike hobo-clown characters are waiting near the railroad tracks for “balloon”. The problem is that neither of them knows exactly what “balloon” is. Through delightful trial and error, exploration and interaction with the audience, the two piece together what makes a balloon a balloon and celebrate all that is discovered while we wait! This is a joyous introduction to gentle clowning and the joy of creating puppets from found objects.
LITTLE RAINDROP SONGS
December 27 – 29, January 3 & 4, January 6 – 11, & 18
Directed by Michael Haverty
A whimsically theatrical and imaginative journey through an anything-but-normal day, created especially for the very young with original music by the Japanese ‘pajama-pop’ band Lullatone. The audience is led through a fully interactive world made completely of brightly colored paper which transforms dramatically into multiple settings – from the bedroom where we wake and get ready for the day, to the kitchen where we learn to eat a healthy breakfast, into the big world beyond where we experience sunshine, birds, bugs, and animals, a garden, a playground, and finally a big rainstorm which washes us inside for a bath and bedtime lullaby. Combining unexpected puppetry, a vibrantly colorful and transformative two-dimensional set design, whimsically comic performances, and the catchy pajama-pop of Lullatone, this fully interactive theatrical performance will connect with the very young and invite them in to the wonder of the artistic experience.
SONGS TO GROW ON
March 10 – 15, 22, 27 – 29
Directed by Rosemary Newcott
Inspired by the fun and inventive children’s songs of Woody Guthrie, Songs To Grow On invites children on a one of a kind journey across the country in search of the sounds of America. A tale of friendship, travel, and most of all the love of song, this unforgettable experience celebrates the joyful noise of harmony.
The Alliance Theatre now offers a season ticket package for Theatre for the Very Young.
TVY Build Your Own Season –
- 2-play package: $20/person
- 3-play package: $30/person
In addition to guaranteed seats, all TVY season ticket holders receive:
- 15% off additional single tickets to all Alliance Theatre Productions
- 10% off acting classes
- $5 off return tickets to enjoy Theatre for the Very Young performances again
Tickets for single performances are $10.
Center for Puppetry Arts offers unique opportunity to support the Arts and have a fun, affordable birthday party!16 Mar
| Book your child’s birthday party at the Center for Puppetry Arts and you’re sure to be enthralled by these hilarious tales of a cunning rabbit, his infamous friends, and their amusing attempts to stay out of a briar patch of trouble. Featuring live music with a range of Southern African American styles, this sprightly competition of the ego invites audiences to see who is the swiftest, the strongest, and the smartest of this gang of friends.
Party spaces are available on Saturdays and Sundays and include tickets to the Center for Puppetry Arts’ original production of Brer Rabbit & Friends, your very own birthday party room, and the all-important birthday throne!
Extras like the Create-A-Puppet Workshop (make your very own Brer Fox Hand Puppet), balloons, hand puppets, and invitations add to the fun! Just bring your party supplies, decorations, and food. Or call our friends at Papa John’s at GA Tech for a special Center for Puppetry Arts discount.
Birthday Parties are a special privilege for Members at the Family level and above, but don’t worry, it’s easy to join! Just click here.
Does your child’s program meet all areas of their needs? Do you understand your rights and how to manage the IEP process?
Learn how to participate as part of the IEP Team. Join us for small group sessions to address individual questions and concerns of parents:
Session 1: March 17, 2013, 2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.
Topic: IEPs: Creating a program, not just a document, including evaluations, present levels of performance, placements and services, accommodations/supports, and testing
Session 2: March 24, 2013, 2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.
Topic: How to write measurable goals and objectives, progress monitoring and data collection; and how to design ESY to meet your child’s needs
Session 3: April 21, 2013, 2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.
Topic: Program Transitions, preparing for the next big move, managing your IEP team meeting and avoiding IEP pitfalls
Where: 1202 Springdale Road, Atlanta, GA 30306
Cost:$50/session; $125/ 3 sessions
Janet Haury, Special Education Attorney, On the Same Team
Jill Bender, Special Education Advocate
*RSVP required, limited space available: firstname.lastname@example.org
…presented by the Atlanta Puppetry Guild and the Academy Theatre.
I’ve been having a rough go of it lately. There’s just a lot going on and I don’t seem to be able to successfully tackle much of it. For every one step forward, I find myself three steps (at least!) behind. My (mostly self-induced) to-do list is unbearable and I just want to hibernate. This weather doesn’t help. There’s a reason we live in Atlanta, right?
Thirty minutes ago, I walked outside to take Halloween decorations to the basement for storage until next year. Just. check. one. thing. off. the. list. On my way down the steps, I glanced further out into the yard and discovered that the babysitter had allowed my son to leave his shoes outside over the weekend and there they had remained during the past three rainy days. Where were they? Next to the uncovered sandbox, which was now filled with four inches of mucky rainwater, leaves, and pine straw. I gruffly walked over to clean up the mess, fully prepared to do so and then promptly stomp back inside to write about how life really had thrown lemons at me. This was evidence. Rotten lemons, at that!
Except, about 25 or so buckets of cold, stale, rainwater later, I found myself in a completely different place. This mundane, uncomfortable, and presumably time-wasting task had revealed something to me that was becoming more clear with each and every scoop.
I am so blessed, I thought. My baby is so exhausting. But also? He is the happiest, sweetest little boy ever. And? He’s sleeping peacefully inside while I scoop this water. And? He’s for the most part healthy and developing well. My older son has some challenges that have been coming more to a head recently. But? He has more zest for life than nearly anyone I’ve ever met. And? He’s got the best teachers ever. And, by a miraculous twist of luck, fate, or God’s grace, he’s in an environment that suits him so well for most of the day. I can be sure he’s learning, and growing, and even loved there. Even more-so, I have a safe, dry home over my head.
You see, instead of a silly, plastic sandbox filled with a few toys, I am so aware that I could be digging through a flooded home searching for salvageable belongings. Instead of returning inside to a peaceful home with soft music playing and a white noise machine whirring from my toddler’s room, I could be mourning the loss of life of a loved one. God spoke gently, but strongly, to me today through that yucky sandbox. “Be grateful,” I heard, ever so firmly, but kindly. “Even this task, this time, is a gift. I am with you and you have so very much.”
When I was growing up I always said I wanted to have three children. Maybe it was because I am one of three myself.
~Meet my siblings~
Maybe it was because all three of my parents were technically one of three in their families (my stepmother lost a teenage brother when she was 13). Or, later on because my husband is also one of three. It seemed like everyone around me had three kids.
I pictured myself with a little girl, I think mostly because of the clothes. I’ve always loved fashion and dressing someone else is so much more fun than (and easy than, right?) yourself.
After I had my PPD baby (which happened much later in life than expected on my 31st birthday due to some unexplained infertility the first few years of marriage), I was certain I was DONE. I was so ill physically and emotionally from a traumatic birth and postpartum period that I couldn’t imagine having anymore kids.
Thank God, I didn’t go ahead with having my tubes tied, as I had begged my OB to do back then. Because, of course, I got well and eventually got up the nerve to have another baby. Things were totally different the second time. I had a little more difficult pregnancy, but the birth was beautiful and I only had a couple of weeks of postpartum challenges. And that’s when I fell in love with the newborn and early infant stage that sadly I could barely remember with my first son.
In fact, I remember blogging about that very thing the day that I took the above photo in late May 2011. I believe I named the post “Best. Decision. Ever.”. And it has been.
Since I had never dreamed I would have a second child, after all the difficulty becoming pregnant the first time and then my emotional challenges that had to be overcome to reconcile my PPD experience, you can imagine my surprise when I became pregnant with L2 after just a few months of trying. It was meant to be. Except, about halfway through my pregnancy I got a pretty bad bout of antenatal (or pregnancy-related) depression. Because it occurred right around the same time we had our 20 week sonogram (and this time chose to learn the gender of our baby, which we had not done the first time around), I blamed it on gender disappointment. I cried for three weeks straight. I told only people who directly asked me the gender that I was having a boy. I refused to shop for the baby or his room and denied my pregnancy in my mind, despite my expanding belly. Thank goodness my hormones leveled out after a few weeks and I began to accept and acknowledge that I was going to be the mother of two boys. Also, gratefully I was in the care of a psychiatrist (though I had decided not to medicate during pregnancy) and a therapist who helped me work through this difficult period.
I had deemed myself to be “done” prior to even conceiving L2, so it seemed obvious to me and everyone else (many of whom were also secretly disappointed I wasn’t having a girl), that I would never be a mother to a female. I made plans to give away my maternity clothes, infant clothes and paraphernalia and toys as soon as L2 and I grew out of them. I had labeled bins and bags ready and waiting in the closet.
And when that little head popped out of my belly and L2 greeted me with a wave and we locked eyes, I felt instantly that our family was complete. My heart felt full and my eyes welled with tears, and this time they were tears of joy!
But here we are 15 months later, and all of that stuff having been donated, consigned or gifted. And there’s still a little part of me that sighs when I walk past the maternity section at Target. When I catch a glimpse of a mother nuzzling those soft hairs on her baby’s newborn head. And mostly when I think about the future. I always pictured big family holidays and reunions with lots of kids and in-laws and grandchildren. With just two boys, will we always be just the four of us? Or, will my boys marry and go to be with their wives’ families, leaving my husband and me (or even just me, if something happens to him later in life) to eat turkey alone?
I know lots of things rationally. Sure, having lots of kids doesn’t guarantee they’ll be close to you or each other later in life. It doesn’t mean that you’ll get to have a child of each gender. Then there’s the advanced maternal age label and the associated risks now that I am over 35. There’s the fact that I am still taking a small dose of medication to deal with anxiety that accompanies the first couple of years postpartum for me. There’s my workaholic, traveling husband and the fact that I live far away from all of our family. I can rattle off a thousand reasons why I should be able to proclaim “I’m done!” and mean it.
I know it’s what’s right in my head. I know that my capacity to be a good mom is greater with just two very active boys. But somewhere in my heart, not down very deep I yearn for another baby. And if not for that, then for the courage and confidence to say “Just two for me.” and mean it.
Am I alone in this dilemma? How did you “know” your family was complete? And if you feel like you don’t know if you are “done”, then how do you believe you’ll decide whether or not to have more children?
Bless your heart ;-),
My baby had his meet and greet at Mother’s Morning Out yesterday. He’s in a great classroom with three very kind and gentle teachers. The surroundings are warm and comfortable and the table and chairs appropriate for his size. I fully expected him to wail the moment I put him down, even with me in the room, as at home, he often does this, and at church, well it’s a guaranteed cry at the Nursery drop-off. But at preschool? He took off exploring the new-to-him toys and didn’t seem to even notice whether or not I remained present.
All that is great. I’ve always really been blessed with wonderful, caring teachers and babysitters for my kids.
But, in the midst of these moments, these next steps or stages of their little lives, if I stop for just a second, I realize that milestones also represent a “moving on”. When your baby gets his first tooth, it somehow jumpstarts that “they grow so fast” movement. And when your child walks, it signifies that you no longer have a “baby” in some ways. When he begins speaking, you realize that you have a full-fledged toddler. And when he goes to school, well, it feels kind of odd being in the house all alone for the first time in years and you realize that those times will expand and continue for most of the rest of the time they live with you.
Milestones are awesome. We record them in books. We post photos and updates to Facebook. We send text messages to friends and family. But, they also bring with them a sense of loss sometimes. Loss of an age or a stage. Loss of control as your child becomes more and more able and independent. And anticipated loss, as you realize they’ll be out there in the big world alone at times, and then maybe most of the time, in the somewhat near future.
My kids are only one and five years old, but I can’t help myself some days. I think forward to their teen years and wonder if they’ll enjoy spending time with my husband and me or be the stereotypical kids who think mom and dad are so lame and annoying. I then anticipate them being grown men, and while praying that I live that long, I simultaneously think about things like whether they’ll remember to call they mom once in a while or if they’ll get married and have kids and move to Sri Lanka and spend all their holidays with their in-laws.
Sure, some of these thoughts or feelings are a little exaggerated. But, I don’t think I’m alone in finding milestones, big and small, a bit bittersweet. And maybe that’s a good analogy for the entire parenting journey. Each joy is equally matched with a challenge, and likewise all those moments of stress and strain are overcome by fleeting, but very real, moments of bliss when you look at your kids and realize they are yours…all yours to share this life with. What an incredible gift!
Bless your heart :-),