Spotlight: Sandra Robbins and Shadowbox Theatre

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For some of us, taking our children to shows is just another part of having little ones. Whether it be a huge production or a play at your neighborhood theatre, you might not realize you’re giving your children a much bigger gift than a set of tickets. Sandra Robbins,  founder of Shadow Box Theatre says that the gift of theatre lasts a lifetime.

When a family attends shows together, they are allowing their children to experience the arts, they are bonding as a family, and they are giving their child a memory that will stay with them forever. In fact, many of the puppeteers and parents who attend Shadow Box shows today were once kids sitting in the audience themselves.

Sandra Robbins founded Shadow Box Theatre 47 years ago. The theatre’s success is directly attributed to her love for children and theatre. Shadow Box Theatre (SBT) is an award-winning non-profit repertory company dedicated to providing relevant, top-quality children’s entertainment.  Its musical puppet theatre company serves pre-school and elementary age children and their teachers and parents as well as the general public. 

What makes Shadow Box even more special is that in addition to experiencing a super fun and interactive puppet show, children have the chance to take home the experience via books, audio and DVDs. Ms. Robbins is the mastermind behind the book collections which form the basis of Shadow Box’s productions.

Shadow Box Theatre’s home is at PS 3 in Brooklyn. There they have transformed the auditorium into a full functioning magical theatre space with modern lighting and sound. Children get to experience puppets and live music, which are often right from the storybooks they can take home. In addition to shows at their home in Brooklyn, Shadow Box also tours certain shows across the boroughs and can also scale down the show to a traveling two person production.

Children of all ages can enjoy the puppet shows,  with some being geared more towards younger or older ones. Each show is highly interactive and in a comfortable environment for families with younger children.

When asked how to start introducing young children to theatre, Sandra had a great tip:

Familiarize your little one with the story beforehand so that they know what to expect. Give them a sense of familiarity so that the character is a friend.

You know your child best to decide if they are ready for their first show!

Shadow Box tickets are an amazing price for the experience, and a great first show to take your little one to. While theatre might not seem important to some families, whether it be due to financial or other reasons, it is a time for an exchange as a family- an experience that all families should try to make happen. Shadow Box Theatre is a great place to start.

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The theatre’s 47th Season kicks off with Lumpy Bumpy Pumpkin, which premiers on October 16 and runs through Halloween,October 31, 2013.  The show will be produced at various locations.  Lumpy Bumpy Pumpkin tells the tale of a pumpkin who wants to be the most beautiful, prized Jack-O-Lantern in the pumpkin patch despite its appearance.  This children’s story is reminiscent of classics such as The Ugly Duckling, and Cinderella.  Lumpy Bumpy Pumpkin teaches children that no matter the odds, you should continue to believe in yourself. It is these strong values that will persevere through times of doubt.  With the help of his backyard friends, Sally the Scarecrow, Spook the Cat, and Hoot the Owl, will Lumpy Bumpy Pumpkin’s dreams of being accepted as the best Jack-O-Lantern in the patch come true just in time for the holiday season?

And the theatre’s productions don’t stop there.  With each production held through this season, such as The Earth and Me, Big Annie, African Drum, Tobias Turkey, and Lumpy Bumpy Pumpkin; each Shadow Box audience member will be enthralled by the stories told with SBT’s books, complete with a sing-a-long CD for children.  The theatre will also have a multicultural production, African Drum, which teaches children about diversity.

Tickets to Lumpy Bumpy Pumpkin are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Visit www.shadowboxtheatre.org for more information and to purchase tickets.

BronxMama readers can mention us at the show and receive a complimentary Shadow Box Theatre button!

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