Childsplay Produces Four ‘Virtual Field Trips’ for Educators

Posted By on October 5, 2020
Artwork from Seen, one of four virtual field trips.
Childsplay Theatre is launching new programs for schools, including virtual field trips designed for the digital classroom. 

Its ensemble has taken books, short stories, and drawn inspiration from the world as we know it today to create four brand new plays. Rehearsals also had a different look, as they recorded the shows over the summer amid the pandemic.

Using cameras instead of stages and boom mics instead of soundboards, the entire rehearsal process transformed with directors giving notes over Zoom, and actors and key staff in masks at Childsplay’s Campus for Imagination and Wonder in Tempe.
The four virtual field trips are:
· Seen (directed by Jenny Millinger and starring Jon Gentry) blends physical comedy and heartwarming gentleness. This play reflects on the experiences of young people who are being “kept in.” This charming story explores what it means to be on your own — for amusement, for friendship, for comfort, for inspiration — and what happens when technology provides you with a connection to other people. In a time when we are all communicating through screens, what makes a connection real? 
· Pandora’s Box (directed by Dwayne Hartford and starring Debra K. Stevens) updates Nathaniel Hawthorne’s take on the Greek myth. Pandora and Epimetheus are not married adults, but rather children. Is curiosity a good or bad thing? When everything in the world seems terrible and cruel, what gives us the strength to go on? Hope.  
· The Book of Dragons (directed by Dwayne Hartford and starring Katie McFadzen) is a blend of short stories, reimagined from tales by Edith Nesbit. Audiences will find a dragon story for every need. Delight in three exciting, funny, and all-around entertaining tales of brave children who save their world from dragons… and a few more things along the way.
· Dreamers (directed by Ricky Araiza and starring Anya Hernandez) is a poetic adaptation of Yuyi Morales’ story that tells of resilience, hope, and the courage it takes to find one’s voice when navigating a new place. Dreamers honors the passion, strength, and hope that is born from the challenges experienced in an immigrant’s journey and reminds us that, “Someday we will become something we haven’t even yet imagined.”
The virtual field trips are free for teachers to use.
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