Native pride dancers
photo courtesy of ordway center
The beautiful thing about taking children to see live theater is that they’re uniquely predisposed to see it for what it is: a ritual of storytelling and communion, an attempt by the performers to engage and entrance, and, more often than not, pretty fun. Strip away the particulars, and just about every stage show has these qualities in common—it’s what gets some of us hooked for life.
The Ordway offers a varied gateway both to theater and global art every year with the indoor/outdoor Flint Hills International Children’s Festival. There are food trucks, art walks, music, and spectacle, along with a slate of shows. This year there’s the Chinese GuGu Drum Group, with projections based around proverbs and legends; the Native Pride Dancers tackling indigenous traditions; the MN-based Flying Foot Forum’s The Mystery of Pig’s Eye Manor, in which the audience follows three sleuths through the Landmark Center; and The Way Back Home, a story of outer space and inner courage.
It’s tailored to the young ones—none of the performances are terribly long, and they’re priced at eight bucks with availability-based “Pay What You Can” seats. Plus there’s another bonus—kids are just about the most fun theater companions around (they hardly ever complain about the lack of leg room).
Flint Hills International Children’s Festival
June 3 – 4
The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts