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Mini-Musical Workshops Recreate 'Wizard of Oz' and 'Under the Sea' for Kids

By Nikhita Venugopal | November 6, 2013 8:04am
 Child's Play N.Y. is hosting a theater workshop for young children with musical performances like "The Wizard of Oz" and "Under the Sea."
Child's Play NY
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CARROLL GARDENS — From Oz’s cowardly lion to the villainous Ursula, children can transform into fantastical characters at a kids’ theater group this winter.

Child’s Play N.Y., a group that specializes in theater classes for young children, is hosting two mini-musical workshops in Carroll Gardens, where children can choose between “The Wizard of Oz” and "Under the Sea," with characters and songs from the Hans Christian Andersen stories and the Disney favorite "The Little Mermaid."

“They step inside their shoes,” said Jocelyn Greene, founder of Child’s Play N.Y., referring to the 3-to-6-year-olds playing various fictional characters.

Using a technique called “long-form improvisation,” children get to imagine themselves as characters, play theater games and make their stories come to life, said Greene.

At least two teachers instruct each class, encouraging children to think outside the box and play not just as Dorothy or Ariel but as evil characters too, she said.

“They’re not just the two-dimensional picture of a pretty mermaid,” said Greene.

The young performers work together in an ensemble cast and regularly perform activities in character.

Games like a “flying monkey talk show,” an “Under the Sea” trip to the veterinarian’s office and hailing a cab to escape from the Wicked Witch of the West allow the little actors and actresses to bring a level of creativity and dramatic play to the workshop, said Greene.

“It’s genuinely that power of belief that is propelling this class forward,” she said.

Child’s Play N.Y. is accepting applications for their winter semester, which begins in January, at Area Yoga’s 389 Court St. location. Ten sessions are priced at $275.

For information on applying, visit this website.