A youngster who's been fortunate enough to experience the thrill and excitement of a live performance in a darkened auditorium is likely to remember it for years.
For those in our area an ideal introduction to professional children's theater is provided each year by the
The big news this year is that the series is expanding -- six shows are being offered with tickets available in four, five or six pack options. The series kicks off
Some shows are designed for kids as young as age 3, for others the suggested age group is 8 and up. In addition to each presentation, the special afternoons feature a pre-show live organ concert as well as creative family activities.
The new show times -- 1 and 4 p.m -- are designed to allow more time between shows for the Act-ing and Art-ing Workshops that are offered at
Workshops are themed to each show
Kids from ages 4 to 10 can learn how to bring characters to life in 45-minute sessions the day of the show that are themed to each production. Art-ing participants create a show-themed craft. The workshops are conduced by VTA teaching artists and registration is required in advance. There's no charge for parents, it's
The folks at
A great example is the bank's sponsorship of the Victoria's Family Series. In addition to underwriting the children's shows for the past four years, PNC also provides volunteers who host an interactive story time on the day of the shows. Books are selected by librarians at the
For each performance, PNC also gives out 80 free tickets to families who are part of its "Passport to Kindergarten" program.
"We believe that investing in the arts is a long-term strategy to build stronger communities, not just from a cultural aspect, but also from the standpoint of economic development," explains
She says each bank employee is given 40 hours of paid time-off to volunteer time to PNC's 'Grow Up Great Initiative,' a bilingual, multi-year initiative that helps prepare young children for success in school and life. Some volunteers choose to read to kids on the days of the shows.
One of them is
Oliver, who is from
"I try to choose books that will hold their interest," she says, explaining that the youngsters gather around her for the half-hour sessions.
"There is no greater satisfaction than bringing a smile to a child's face," Oliver says. " Knowing that I may be able to change the life of a child because I volunteered is the most rewarding feeling."
Here's the rundown of shows for 2014-2015:
This black-light puppet show transports audiences to a magical undersea adventure. Tank, Bubbles and Dorsel are three best friends who just happen to be fish -- and they're about to set out on a remarkable journey of discovery! They sing, dance and make new friends.
Grades PreK-2nd, ages 4-7.
THE VELVETEEN RABBIT
This production by
Grades K-6th, ages 5 and up.
JUICE BOX JAMS with BIG BANG BOOM
This creative take on kids' music is a high-energy live concert with live musicians and lots of audience participation.!
Grades K-6th, Ages 5 and up.
PINKALICIOUS THE MUSICAL
Grades PreK to 3rd, ages 3-10.
DINOSAUR TRAIN LIVE! BUDDY'S BIG ADVENTURE
This production brings the stars of the hit
Grades PreK to 1st, ages 3-6
THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD
Grades 4th-10th, ages 8 and up.
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