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Lawrence Arts Center production for little ones to hit the playground this weekend | The Lawrence Times

By Andrea Albright

Children’s imaginations will come to life this weekend during Over, Under, All Around, the Lawrence Arts Center’s newest interactive performance experience from the Theatre and Dance for the Very Young program. Six performances are scheduled Oct. 2 and 3 at the Ballard Center playground in Lawrence.

Part of the Arts Center’s Play Lab research series, Over, Under, All Around will be devised by performers working with children at the Ballard Center to create an interactive experience based on their thoughts, ideas, and movements. The performance will then incorporate those ideas into an immersive performance that guides the public audience to unleash their imaginations on the Ballard Center playground, exploring fantastical moments of performance hidden throughout.

Are swings actually rocket ships?

What creatures like to live inside slides?

Are monkey bars made out of bananas?

The Play Lab series is a research-based space for children and their caregivers to collaborate with artists and create productions as part of the Arts Center’s Theatre and Dance for the Very Young program. Utilizing both theatre and dance, these productions are carefully crafted to meet very young children at varying stages of development and to include their families in the process. Featuring several events per year, this program offers both self-guided, performative experiences, as well as seated, interactive performances.

Every production in the Theatre and Dance for the Very Young program has an accompanying Play Lab experimenting with different artistic disciplines such as painting, live music, dance, and imaginative exploration. By creating with very young children, the Play Lab series develops work that is inspired by their ideas, movements, and words. As a result, all productions are highly interactive and reflect the artistry of the very youngest audience members.

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