BWW JR: HELP WANTED: PIRATES! Babysitters, Pirates and Artists, Oh My!
Over at MamaDrama, we've had the honor of working with PLAYTIME, the first-ever childcare service for theatre-going parents. We've been wowed time and again by the incredible new work going on at Playwrights Horizons, Signature Theatre and The Westside Theatre while our kids enjoyed an afternoon or evening of the arts with the incredible "Artisitters" from Sitters Studio…the babysitting service that sends professional artists, actors, musicians, dancers and the like to your home to care for and inspire your child. So when I heard that Sitters Studio founder Kristina Wilson was producing a play for kids, my little guy and I couldn't wait to check it out.
Help Wanted, Priates! Is an interactive pirate musical that travels between two different performance spaces and invites your kids up on stage to be a Pirate. They switch between traditional fourth wall storytelling and workshop style theatre games (like collecting pretend bugs for a deserted island "pirate stew"). It's a perfect first theatre experience for kids ages two to six, containing all the elements of an Off-Broadway musical while moving little ones out of their seats and on to a new adventure before any little pirate attention spans wear out.
"It has always been the vision of our company to support art in the lives of children and artists and we are so excited to be able to take this dream to the next level with a children's musical starring our very own artisitters!" says Wilson. "These are the same artisitters that the kids got to see and play with at Playtime!"
My son loved the pirate adventure and couldn't get over the fact that "the pirates were babysitters!" After she show I spent five dollars on a plastic eye patch and sword and my son spent the rest of the afternoon breaking all of my pre-child parenting policies ("My children will NEVER play with toy weapons") and playing out his pirate fantasies with gusto. For me, that's always the measure of how well a show has connected with my kids…if my three year old spends the afternoon re-enacting what he's seen on stage, I know he was paying attention. And if a cast can get my future little ADD diagnosis to engage, I know they are doing something right.
Help Wanted: Pirates is playing at the Magnet Theatre weekends through July 9th. I recommend it for younger kids, as I think my eight-year-old would have injured her face from 45 minutes of sarcastic eye rolling but my almost-four-year-old was in pirate heaven. If you like what you see on stage, don't forget that you can catch an off-Broadway grownup show while your kids spend the time in one of Playwrights Horizons' rehearsal studios doing art projects and improv with these very same pirates for only $15 through the not-for-profit PLAYTIME! program. And don't judge me for letting my kid play with a toy sword. He only uses it to protect me from bad guys and we left his light saber at home.
GET TO THE POINT, MOM!
- An interactive pirate musical featuring a cast of actor/artist/singer/dancer babysitters who really know how to connect with kids.
- Best for kids ages 2 to 6.
- Playing through July 9th at the Magnet Theatre, located at 254 W 29th St.
- Showing Saturdays at 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM and Sundays at 11 AM.
- For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the Sitters Sudio at http://www.sittersstudio.com/theater/buy-tickets/
- Don't judge me for the plastic sword thing. And yes, I realize the eye patch is also very un-PC.