Kids' Week at the Theatre, a joint promotion of A.S.K. Theatre Projects and Theatre L.A., is taking place for the third straight year at various theatrical venues around southern California. The promotion, which began April 30 and ends May 7, offers free tickets, backstage tours, open rehearsals and hands-on workshops for youths 18 and under. To date, 46 different events have been scheduled by 39 companies. New groups continue to come on board daily.
Free acting, improvisation, voice, movement, monologue and story telling workshops will be sponsored by Santa Monica Playhouse, Comedysportz, Pasadena Playhouse and Theatre of Hearts/Youth First. The Odyssey Theatre Ensemble will offer backstage tours. Teens are invited to an open dress rehearsal of Bed and Sofa, Polly Pen's chamber opera based on a Russian silent film, at International City Theatre. The L.A. Public Library will present several free events at its central branch, and over 30 theatres are offering discounts and free tickets for kids 18 and under with the purchase of just one adult ticket.
Shows suitable for the whole family include The Scarlet Pimpernel, Oliver!, The Music Man and The Umbilical Brothers' Thwak. For the younger crowd there's Aladdin, Hansel and Gretel, Red Riding Hood, Alice and the Wonderful Tea Party, Puppetolio! and Rumplestitskin.
"We want to develop young audiences and make theatre a desirable option in a world filled with entertainment choices," said Kym Eisner, executive director of A.S.K. "That's why 'Kids' Week' is for older kids and teenagers as well as for little ones. Studies have shown that if you're trying to get a 35-year-old into the theatre, you have a much better chance if they attended live theatre as a child."
For schedules and details about free events, free tickets and special discounts call (310) 281-1910, or stop by any branch of the L.A. Public Library, or visit www.kidsweek.org -- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent