Kat #ONSCENE at ‘Pip’s island’ - The Magic of Kids' Theatre
I surprised my younger brother with Pip’s Island tickets for his eighth birthday. As happy as I was that he enjoyed his experience as an explorer on a mission to save a light-powered island, I was also upset. WHY AREN’T THERE INTERACTIVE SHOWS LIKE THIS FOR ADULTS?!
From the moment we stepped into the elevator, the staff and actors did a great job of taking us out of the real world and throwing us into this imaginative and hella fun adventure. The scout master Teddy pulled a curtain over the giant window and said, “The worries of the world will no longer matter here, they’re gone!” Oh man, how I wish it were that easy. It still felt like maybe he was right, at least if you are (or chose to be) a kid for the next hour.
All of the kids got these adorable little scout vests with their names on them! As we went into different rooms, the actors called on the kids individually after each task, and I could tell each child felt special and noticed. If my professors took this level of interest in their students, then maybe I wouldn’t fall asleep so much in my classes (although I probably still would though cause who actually sleeps in college?).
Experiencing Pip’s Island made me think about the magic of my childhood. Are we all doomed to lose it as we get older?
I turned 21 the week before I took my brother to the show. Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about something that I have been told over and over again: “It’s time to grow up.” And yes, I guess I have to start the process of becoming an adult, doing things like paying my bills and my taxes, and taking undesirable office jobs. But what if I don’t have to?
If growing up means I have to be marginalized in a world where money talks and morals are thrown out the window, is that really growing up? Maybe that’s just what we like to call it. Let’s face it, if kids ruled the world, the biggest problem would probably be a toy shortage or an epidemic of stomach aches caused by the high consumption of ice cream. I’m caught in an awkward stage where I’m still young enough to want to believe in magic, but old enough to know that my peers will make fun of me for it.
At Pip’s Island, I felt comforted by the inventive special effects, like paper shreddings that became snowflakes. I smiled at the illusion of spinning wheels that made the kids feel like they were really on a flying ship. The underwater queen who pulled me into a conga line made me realize Ariel didn’t appreciate how cool it was to live under the sea (still love you, Ari!).
But most of all, I loved watching my brother get overexcited about answering questions from Pip and Finn, his elation at being chosen as the guidebook holder and the moment he found the gems that defeated the villains. He is living in a world that wants him to grow up too quickly. I feel like my purpose as his older sister is to help him see that the world can still be a playground. That magic doesn’t die cause you get older, it just transforms into something else.
After we left, he told me repeatedly how he wanted to go back. I wish I could go back, too. Maybe if we had immersive theatre like this that INCLUDED adults, grown-ups would be reminded that the world is not just a harsh place on a downward spiral. The world is what we make of it. We decide what to put into life, we breathe things into existence. Why stop exploring just because we grow up?
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