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Theatre for Early Years

Research in Performing Arts for Children from Birth to Three

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Edited By Wolfgang Schneider

There is an old phenomenon in theatre arts: Education! And there is a new tendency: theatre arts for the very young! The relationship to education is clear, but what about the profit for the arts? The world of children as a horizon of experiences? The role of music as a dramaturgical element? Is it needed to divide the performance in actors and spectators? Is there a special age for a successful reception? How much should theatre artists be confronted with the physical and psychological development of children? It seems that Theatre for Early Years is a work in progress. There are more and more examples on the stages of the world: In Europe, in the States, in Australia. A variety of different perspectives are included in this research in performing arts from birth to three. The authors are reflecting their work, their observations, their directorship – to discover a new audience, to accompany the new generation in aesthetics, to make the signs of the time transparent. And maybe the development of Theatre for Early Years is a new challenge to renew the language of theatre, to establish an art of simplicity for the complexity of theatre.

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Preface by the editor

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Theatre for Early Years? Questions about Qualifications by Wolfgang Schneider There is an old phenomenon in the arts: Education! And there is a new tendency: Arts for the very young! The relationship to education is clear, but what about the profit for the arts? Theatre for Children started in former times from six years, since a couple of years there is a kind of theatre for children between three and six, nowadays we find examples on stage for babies – from birth to three! What does that mean for the theatre arts? First – The world of children as the horizon of experiences? To duplicate the images: The Teddy bear as a Teddy bear, the duck as a duck, and the snowman as a pic- ture of the snowman? Where is the new experience? Second – The role of music as a dramaturgical element? Could you see the music, could you feel the music, could you recognize the music? – Songs as literature art? – Melodies from the record? Third Is the performance divided into two pieces – the actors and the spectators, the stage and the audience, the one who tells the story and the one who is told the story? Why do we need the traditional confrontation? Are the very young chil- dren much more interested in the whole situation, with other very young chil- dren, with the mums and fathers, with the nursery nurse, with the lighting- system and so on? Fourth Is there a special age for a successful reception of a...

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