Arden unveils family-friendly lineup
Children's events switch to Sunday
Saturday, Aug 02, 2014 06:00 am
Every year the Arden Theatre packs a handful of imaginative performances that are full of fun and creativity. And it’s aimed at enticing young audiences into the magical world of theatre.
Tuneful songs, spirited dancing, mesmerizing theatre and interactive fun – that’s the best way to describe this season’s package of five family presentations.
Launching the family series on Oct. 19 is main stage storyteller Fred Penner followed by singer-songwriter Mary Lambert with two shows on Oct. 23 and March 4, 2015.
Shimmy & Shake Family Dance Party debuts its moves on Nov. 9 and returns again on March 8.
Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia, one of Canada’s most renowned touring puppetry companies returns to St. Albert with Stella, Queen of the Snow on Feb. 15.
“One of the things we’ve come to realize is that families really enjoy going to see the performers they know. Our patrons tend to gravitate towards performers with long-standing reputations,” says professional programming presenter Caitlyn North.
“For instance, we have Fred Penner. There are parents who grew up with Fred Penner and now they’re having fun taking their children to see him. I don’t have children, but I’m amazed at the level of excitement coming from parents and grandparents.”
A new main stage show geared to shake up the concept of family theatre is the Shimmy & Shake Family Dance Party.
“It’s going to be held in Progress Hall. Instead of traditional performers, a DJ will be spinning family-friendly music. It will be a chance for kids to burn off some energy and get people into the groove.”
The third main stage show is Mermaid Theatre’s adaptation of Marie-Louise Gay’s award-winning literary classic for children. Sam and Stella, a brother and sister, discover the beauty of winter through snowballs, snow angels and all that mysterious white stuff.
“They have an excellent reputation for bringing quality work to the stage. It’s presented on the February Family Day weekend and it’s very fitting.”
Noisy Theatre, targeted to the preschool crowd, celebrates the season with two Mary Lambert shows – Pajama Party in October and Monkey Sing, Monkey Do in March.
New to the Arden stage, Lambert is a Juno Award nominee with a dazzling high-energy personality that encourages young tots to break all theatre rules in her lively animated shows.
“Although she hasn’t been to the Arden, she’s well known in the entertainment circuit. She performs accessible work for kids and encourages the use of imagination and dress-up.”
While Noisy Theatre is held at 11 a.m. on their respective days, the main stage shows previously held on Saturdays have been moved to Sundays.
“With soccer, ballet, hockey, music and all the different activities on Saturday, parents and kids were struggling to get to the Saturday shows. The move to Sunday is so families have more time to participate.”
Audiences are encouraged to arrive one hour prior to the main stage show startup. Free pre-show visual arts activities will be available.
Single tickets to Fred Penner and Stella, Queen of the Snow are $15 for children and seniors, and $18 for adults. Single tickets to Shimmy & Shake are $10 for children and free for adults and children under two. Single tickets for Noisy Theatre are $5 for children and $10 for adults.
Call 780-459-1542 or online at ticketmaster.ca.