Early Years Theatre
Every Saturday morning in term-time, from 11am-12noon, a special theatre experience is happening at Archway Children’s Centre.
Babies and children aged up to five and their parents wait in the foyer of the centre in Vorley Road, N19, to be greeted by the latest character in the Early Years Theatre show. They then enter a room with soft and colourful theatre lights, sit down and the show begins.
The sessions are led by Elisa Fontana, a theatre and drama specialist focussing on community art. In 15 years she has worked with more than 10,000 children in schools, festivals and cultural centres across the country, allowing them to explore their social and emotional skills through storytelling and drama.
During the show the children are free to talk, stand up, enter the stage and join Elisa dressed in character. She welcomes this interaction and includes it into the show. The sessions are like an improvisation where, within the structure, there is the freedom for children to enter, play, perform and share the experience, and the interaction with the children becomes part of the plot.
The space encourages children to interact and they are free to do so in different ways. Through the sessions, children become confident with theatre and performing arts and develop skills in expressive art and design, communication and language by listening, being attentive and interacting with the show.
The sessions also support children’s personal, social and emotional development through exploring new feelings and emotions and building relationships with their peers. For the parents and carers it is an opportunity to watch and interact with their children during and after the performance, and to meet other parents.
Archway Children’s Centre is a safe and welcoming place. Having their first theatre experiences in this environment allows children to approach the world of imagination in a gentle and secure way.
Before and after the show, parents and children spend time sharing ideas, doing creative activities together and eat delicious healthy vegetarian treats in the café. The sessions are themed, so far there has been George Meliès, The Beatles, Charlie Chaplin and more.
There is no need to book, just turn up. It costs £4 a session, unless your family meets certain criteria and then it is free. For more information contact Ciara Rush at Archway Children’s Centre on 020 7527 4827.
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