Saturday, April 19, 2014

Theater Mania, part two

All parents try to pass their values on to their children. Paul and I do what we can to encourage our girls to embrace creativity, love of learning, faith, respect for others, and myriad other values that characterize who we are as a family. In my last post, I described one of my values that I want to share with my children: live theater. 

I realize, of course, that this value doesn't carry the same weight as others. It won't break my heart if my children don't love theater as it would if my children rejected certain other values that are important to me. Still, I want to share something I love with them.

One tricky part of sharing theater with them is the expense. Our family doesn't have a lot of money to throw around, but good theatrical experiences often cost money. I don't want to take them to bad shows. That won't inspire them to love theater. I want to treat them to good shows. So this year, I've decided to work theater tickets into the budget.

In years past, I have taken my kids to children's productions at a nearby resort. These have be great experiences for them. The shows they produce are excellent, professional shows that are just one hour long. Young theatergoers can enjoy the performance without being confined to their seats for too long. At the end of the performance, they bring up the house lights, and the actors will answer questions from the children. 

This year, I wanted to expand my girls' theatrical boundaries. I took Juliet to see Phantom of the Opera at the Palace Theater in Chicago. We had to sit way in the back an account of our budget, but we could still enjoy an amazing show. Juliet, like me, was captivated. I'm so glad she and I had that moment together.

Caroline and Laura are still a little young for me to spend that kind of cash on their theater tickets. I want to make sure they are old enough to sit through a long show without a lot of complaining before I make that commitment. But I wanted to treat them to some theatrical fun, too. Chicago has many theater companies that offer shows for children including Emerald City Theatre. I took my two younger girls to a production of Ramona Quimby. Like the children's theater at the resort, this company offers a question-and-answer time following the production. I appreciate everything they do to make the event memorable and fun for the children. They are helping me in my efforts to instill this value in my girls.