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July performances at Wolf Trap's Theater in the Woods
Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem pull into Wolf Trap this summer with two early shows on July 17 and July 18.
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Date published: 7/5/2012
FOR THE FREE LANCE-STAR
Deep in the woods at one nearby national park lies a special treasure for area families. That would be the Theater-in-the-Woods at Wolf Trap, the only national park dedicated to the performing arts. A variety of children's performances and musical genres will be onstage this summer.
"It's a magical venue," said educational outreach coordinator Diane Dickerson. "Families walk down a path through a meadow, cross a bridge over the stream, and follow a nature path to the outdoor stage nestled in a grove of trees."
"Each performer engages every single child in the audience in their own unique way," said Wolf Trap Foundation spokesman Graham Binder. "The setting, combined with the energy, expertise and high quality of performance is something I've never seen elsewhere."
This month's performances range from a German master puppeteer to a string band featuring toe-tapping Americana tunes (Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem) to jazz musicians playing compositions from a child's perspective (Coal Train Railroad).
"Children are a wonderful, very forgiving and fun-loving audience," said Arbo. "When you play for an adult audience, they are there to listen and receive, but when you play for kids, they are ready to play! That ups the 'fun factor' for us, and it's really refreshing and invigorating. We incorporate a lot of audience interaction in our show."
Arbo describes the unique value for children of the experience of a live performance, which provides an opportunity to see what various instruments look like and how they are played.
"They'll see that a fiddle makes a sound when a bow goes across the strings, while a pick hits the strings of a guitar, and a banjo is plucked. I think that when kids watch a person perform onstage they often think, 'I can do that!' and they go home and give it a try."
That may be especially true for youngsters who see this band, given that their drum set is composed nearly entirely of recycled objects--ranging from cat food tins to a vinyl suitcase.
What: Children's performances at Theater-in-the Woods Where: Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, 1551 Trap Road, Vienna When: June through August Cost: $8-$10 Tickets and info: 877/ WOLFTRAP; WolfTrap.org