By Elke Thoms
Looking for a way to get your kids hooked on theater this summer? Synetic Theater aims to entertain children without uttering a single word.
Over the next two weekends, Synetic Theater will present two free shows at the Lubber Run Amphitheater in Arlington. The shows—The Music Box and The Miraculous Magical Balloon—are family-friendly and dare to keep your kids entertained without dialogue. The plot of each performance is conveyed through pantomime, physical comedy, sound effects, dance and music.
The Music Box is a series of vignettes set to music, including a janitor and businessman who discover a magical mask, and two cowboys in the Wild West who try to tame a loose bull. The Miraculous Magical Balloon tells the story of a traveling actor and his magical trunk of toys and illusions.
Yulia Kriskovets, the COO of Synetic Theater, says she is excited that these performances will be “getting [Synetic Theater’s] art into the streets and into the outdoors, where [pantomime] originated.”
“Synetic Theater has this visceral aspect of the performance,” Kriskovets says. “It’s not always just thinking about it and processing it through the mind, it’s usually processing on a very emotional level—and for us, kids are usually the best audience.”
The physicality of pantomime makes it great entertainment for kids, says Joe Carlson, Synetic Theater’s educational programs manager and company member.
“Children read expression so well,” Carlson says. “They pick up it and it affects them, whether it’s with their educator or with their parents—they absorb it and they feel it and they sympathize with it even if they don’t understand why. Sometimes language-based plays can lose the interest of them, what’s unmistakable is the language of the body.
The shows will take place at the Lubber Run Amphitheater in Lubber Run Park. The Music Box will be performed on Friday, July 11, and Saturday, July 19. The Miraculous Magical Balloon will be performed on Saturday, July 12, and Friday, July 18. All shows start at 8 p.m.