Shakespeare for Kids Brings the Stage to the Children at DeSales
July 24th, 2013 posted by Ryan Hogan
As the summer winds down, parents and loved ones are always looking for new ideas to keep the kids entertained in Lehigh Valley. I am no different. When I was asked to entertain my seven year old nephew, I thought what could I possibly do that he hasn’t done yet this summer? So I asked Joshua if he would be interested in going to Shakespeare for Kids.
After a quick conversation on who William Shakespeare was and a quick Google image search to show Josh a picture of old Bill, he said sure. So off we went to this Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival (PSF) production in its fifth year designed to entertain children ages 4 – 10, and adults alike.
Affectionately known as S4K, this energetic, one-hour production by Erin Sheffield lets children experience Shakespeare’s often difficult to understand language and interesting characters in children’s terms. Featuring a combination of songs, puppets and scenes from Shakespeare’s works, S4K definitely will stimulate children’s imaginations and put a huge smile on their faces.
If you have attended in the past, don’t worry, S4K offers new content yearly to keep things fresh and interesting. Josh and I were fortunate to see the Taming of the Shrew. This 60-minute performance was perfect. It kept Josh’s attention (and mine too), all the while putting Shakespeare’s story into terms that resonated with the youngsters.
“If you want to tame a Shrew, look both ways for who is who . . .” This sing along component was a favorite with Josh and the other young audience members, don’t tell anyone, but I think it was with the parents too.
The four person cast of Henry McDaniel III, Brandon Meeks, Bonnie Jean Witkowski and Leo Bond were wonderful. As the story goes, a headstrong Katharina (Witkowski) must be married before her more beautiful sister Bianca can wed. Katharina’s father (McDaniel III) guides a courtship of his daughter by Petruchio (Meeks) which ultimately ends in a marriage that seems like it won’t work. In the end both let their guard down and realize they are comfortable in their own skin. Once that happens they begin to experience true love for one another. Showbot (Bond), the cast’s robot, helps guide the scenes and breaks down the comedy for the youngsters.
PSF S4K is offered daily 10 – 11 a.m. through August 3. With tickets priced at only $9 it is a great way to experience something new. When I asked Joshua if he enjoyed the show, I was greeted with a resounding, “thanks Uncle Ry I loved I,” along with a fist bump. I guess it was pretty good as you don’t get a fist bump for just anything.
For more information on S4K or any of the PSF shows you’re just a click away. So what are you waiting for Lehigh Valley? Check it out as it won’t be here for long!