King Center introduces world of theater to children


“The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Other Eric Carle Favorites” will be performed Feb. 28 at the King Center.

Courtesy of the King Center

Learning made fun, fantastic and fascinating is the key to theater through the Maxwell C. King Center for the Performing Arts Brevard County. Area school students are fortunate to participate in the youth and outreach program at the center.

“Basically the program was introduced in the 1993-94 season to target students through all school systems to introduce them to live theater and building appreciation for theater arts,” said Karen Wilson, the director of theater for youth and the outreach program at the King Center. “We select groups that produce these programs by a lot of regional and touring artists. We book them in, they do their work and we bus the students to see the productions. The goal also is to be student-friendly so they are accessible, taking that into consideration. In the school, not all students are able to afford the program cost.”

Wilson explains the program tiers with the standards met in the classroom. Florida artists are aware of the Florida guidelines for school. However, out-of-state artists are present, too.

“They (students) are learning when they come here, but they are also having fun,” Wilson said. “It is a really valuable experience.”

The theater presentation is building knowledge connecting to the grade and age group, labeled as to elements taught as math or science and the entertainment.

On Jan. 22, the production “ERTH’s Prehistoric Aquarium Adventure” will be presented.

“It tackles paleontology of the dinosaurs and ties in earth science,” Wilson said. “We have partnered with a dinosaur store in Cocoa Beach. They jumped on board and have some collaboration helping to promote with a ticket give-away drawing that is taking place Jan. 12 at 1 p.m. at the store. Winners receive show tickets. Students come bused in for an hour-long show of a program of life-sized dinosaurs very interactive aimed at grades first through sixth.”

Other shows coming up include Jan. 29, grades third to eighth, curriculum connections science, math, vocabulary and theater, “Michel Lauziere: Science of Sound;” Feb. 21, grades third to 12th, biography, history and music for “Buffalo Soldier;” Feb. 24, all ages, science, math, music and theater, “B-The Underwater Bubble Show” of mime, puppetry and bubbles;”
Feb. 28, pre-kindergarten to second grade, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar and other Eric Carle Favorites,” literature, visual arts, music and theater learning with one-hour storytelling; and April 12 is “Artrageous,” two performances, all ages, incorporating an array of art forms.

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