With Wanda’s Monster opening this Friday, I’ve got audiences on my mind. What is a good audience member? Is it only someone who is willing to pay the ticket price? Or is it more than that—is it someone who laughs and responds and listens at all the right moments the creative team wants them to?
(It’s a lovely, lovely pipedream to think that we can control our audiences.)
For the last few shows I’ve been a part of at NYC Children’s Theater, we’ve had pretty diverse audiences, from little ones to grandparents. In general, they’ve all been engaged, responsive audiences, leaving us very little to complain about.
Wanda’s Monster, unlike The Butterfly or Louis Armstrong: Jazz Ambassador, is aimed at a very young audience, 4 to 8 year olds (Even though I know we will have some babes in arms). The expectation from our audience is completely different. We’ll be doing well if the little tykes dance and bounce and clap in the aisles.
What kind of expectations do you have of your audiences, if any? Do you think it’s best to prepare your audiences, or do you just roll the dice and let them respond and behave naturally?
Wanda’s Monster tells the story of Wanda, a spunky 5 year old with a vivid imagination, is convinced there’s a monster in her closet. Granny agrees, and contrary to Wanda’s expectations, convinces Wanda that “Monster” is in her closet because he is shy and friendless, not because he’s scary. With Granny’s encouragement, Wanda befriends “Monster,” turning a potentially fearful situation into a lesson in acceptance and friendship.
Filled with catchy new songs from children’s music star Laurie Berkner and featuring “Monster Boogie,” one of her all time hits, Wanda’s Monster will delight 4-8 year olds and their parents too!
NOTE: Laurie Berkner will NOT be performing in Wanda’s Monster, but we hope you enjoy her new songs!