The Secret to Children’s Theater That Sells

A young theater performer workshop at Ryan Radebaugh's Hale Centre Theatre. Photo Credit: Melanie Budge

A young theater performer workshop at Hale Centre Theatre, where Ryan Radebaugh teaches. Photo Credit: Melanie Budge

Now that you’re convinced you need to “get ’em while they’re young,” the trick is figuring out just how you’re going to get them. Disney and Dreamworks have done a remarkable job creating movies that appeal to both youngsters and adults, but how does that translate to live entertainment?

Utah’s Deseret News looked into just that in a three-part series on children’s theater. They asked a few local experts what’s worked for them and came away with some great advice for anyone looking to stage a family friendly production.

One of the most important lessons comes from Hale Center Theater Orem theater school instructor Ryan Radebaugh: “You cannot play down to kids — or their parents. The show must be witty and truthful. We direct our actors to give honest, real performances because the audience will see through them if they don’t. The show needs to be something that adults will enjoy as much as their kids.”

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