It's a typical theatre-meets-education scenario. Kids talk with their teachers about a show, then see a matinee, then chat with the cast after the performance.
Camp Broadway's interactive Stages For Learning series is doing that -- and much more. For example, at 10:30 AM, Jan. 27, 185 students will gather at the Broadway Grill restaurant for a full day of Titanic experiences. Librettist Peter Stone is expected to attend.
Spokesperson Susan Lee told Playbill On-Line the interactive seminar allows kids to imagine what it would actually be like to be a passenger on the ship. "They come aboard the Titanic under the name of an actual passenger -- though not one who's actually in the show. They stay that character the whole time, and they're seated in three different classes, first, second and third class. The seminar's first half hour is about going to America. Then the kids write in a journal about their thoughts until there's a big crash sound effect, which sets up the drama. At that point, we pass around ribbons that stand for life jackets. The kids get a real sense of urgency, though of course, it's still a protected environment. After that, the kids have to write a one-minute play based on what they would do in that situation, and they then perform it."
Also, the children learn a bit about rhythm via the Morse Code and then learn a number from the show. Lunch and a matinee of Titanic (with post-show discussion) finish the big day.
Said spokesperson Lee, "We don't tell them whether their character survives. In the lobby there's a list of all the names, so if they want to know, they can look up that name." "It's all about play," added Lee. Even in the study guide, there are instructions on how the kids can make a fresh or salt water iceberg in their refrigerators."
Camp Broadway's interactive Stages For Learning seminars are doing a similar program with 1776 (the kids come in as northern and southern colonists) and hope to run four such events in repertory next season.
-- By David Lefkowitz