Spotlight on Color Play: Meet Rachel Allai and Syrhea Conaway!

Two cities. Two arts centers. Two early childhood community partners. One show. Color Play.


Meet Rachel Allai and Syrhea Conaway, the musicians for Color Play, a performance for very young children at the Lawrence Arts Center and the Center of Creative Arts!

Rachel Allai (LAC) is a tree-whispering, bird-loving violinist who loves to travel and be creative. Her favorite thing to do is monkey around in the jungles of Costa Rica with her life partner and fellow musician, Brandon. At home in Kansas, you can find her in the garden, climbing trees, rehabbing wild animals, and snuggling her cat, Wally, and rescued rat, Luna. She performs with two area bands, Signal Ridge and The Skirts. She is thrilled to be part of Color Play!

Syrhea Conaway (COCA) is an artist, multi-instrumentalist, and music instructor. She loves figuring out sonic frequencies and rhythms of traditionally non-musical objects. (Ya know? Like she’s that woman who’ll make up a song to her washing machine that shakes a little too hard and has a low hum.) She sometimes wishes she could plug cables from her ears to a PA system so people can hear the music she hears in her head. Her favorite color can be easily spotted as she’s wearing, carrying, or using it all the time. She’s a bit of a nerd for gadgets, classic video games, and the push and pull of life. Check out more of her work here!


So what is Color Play?

Welcome to our Theatre and Dance for the Very Young series!

In August of 2018, the Lawrence Arts Center partnered with the Center of Creative Arts (COCA) in St. Louis, MO and continued its Play Lab Series for 2-5-year-olds. In these research sessions, we collaborated with two early childhood centers to work with children in both cities using dance, music, and imaginative play. These sessions were recorded and served as research for our upcoming performance for children ages 2-5, Color Play. All of the ideas explored in Color Play will be performed by adults and based on our interactions in the Play Lab Series. We ask the questions: What does blue sound like? What does green do when it wakes up in the morning? How does orange dance? Very young audiences will enter an interactive world where colors can make noises, have wild dances, and create delightful surprises. The performance itself will involve live music, exploratory art, and moments of interaction with the audience. 

What are Rachel and Syrhea making?

Rachel and Syrhea composed all of the original music for Color Play. The performers built sections of the performance ranging from one to five minutes in length and these musicians improvised and developed music with them as they created. You’ll see them playing the violin and other percussive instruments in order to make soundscapes, rhythms, noises, and other surprises.


Get your tickets for Color Play in Lawrence here!

Get your tickets for Color Play in St. Louis here!