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Last Saturday we saw Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia’s A Brown Bear, a Moon, and a Caterpillar: Treasured Stories by Eric Carle presented in partnership by Carousel Theatre and Axis Theatre Company. It was my daughter’s first experience of live theatre and the first show we’ve seen with all four of us together. Usually, it’s my son and I who attend the shows at Carousel as our special together-time.

As custom, we re-read the stories a number of days leading up to the play. I was quite curious–and a little uncertain–about how my daughter would respond to her first theatre experience, but I knew not to worry. Carousel Theatre has a no shushing rule. For good reason, too. Nothing is more delightful to the adults in the audience than when a child calls out to the characters (as my daughter did): Hi, Hungee Caterpillar!. Or when a child states the obvious with such wonder: The cat went into the house! Or when the children collectively gasp at the bite-marks that suddenly appear in the fruit. Or when the children erupt in roars of laughter as the caterpillar kicks the finished foods off stage.

As a mom, it was definitely delightful for me to hear my daughter re-tell her experience of the theatre over and over: The hungee caterpillar almost fell from the tree. I saw the purple cat and the big horse and brown bear’s bum. But the most pleasant surprise was how much more attached she became to the books since seeing the play. She now recites each story on her own and asks to read or cuddle with them after lights out.

Do you recall your first live theatre experience? What’s your child’s favourite book? Theatre show? Or your favourite theatre memory?

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