Cymbeline: Theater for Children

by Nicholas E. Sheets, dramaturg

Now that winter break is over at BYU, the cast of Cymbeline has returned with vigor to the rehearsal room. On Saturday January 11th, director Teresa Love gave the cast a special treat: actual children. This addition made the cast adapt their focus to become very aware of how children will always be present throughout the show. For example, King Cymbeline, Cloten (the queen’s son), the two lost boys, and many others, will be played by children. The experience taught us all many important things as we prepare to take this production to both elementary schools and BYU’s own Margetts Theatre: the importance of interaction before the show in order to help the children feel more comfortable to participate, learning how to adapt to children who might react differently to certain situations and how to take care of children that are backstage.

When the lights go up on January 31st the cast of Cymbeline will once again demonstrate BYU’s commitment to providing family-friendly entertainment, fostering a positive desire in children towards theater. Teresa Love ultimately wants the show to be accessible to children so they feel they could return home and put on their own play. This way, children see how theater becomes an outlet for creative expression and exploration of ideas.

Here are some pictures from this experience. Credit goes to Kelyn Ikegami from the media arts department for these wonderful still images:

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Do feel free to leave any comments you may have about how theater positively affects children. You may also leave any questions you might have about this production.

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