Okay, you've all heard enough about my knitting for now, I need a little ranting space. Something is bothering me. It's not earth shattering. It won't change the fate of mankind (okay darn it, it will a little) but it's bugging me.
When I was a kid I can remember going to the Children's Theater to see Huck Finn, James & The Giant Peach and I think Charlotte's Web (honestly, could this be a sadder story to subject children to?). I saw Romeo & Juliet and A Christmas Carol. No, I wasn't seeing Albee or Brecht as a child but at least they were real plays or based on works of literature. Apparently that has all changed.
I feel sorry for Children's Theaters all over the country because what is now considered theater is very different. When did theater for kids become "Elmo Live"! or "Go Diego Go, Live" basically whatever cartoon kids character you want LIVE. I've been to one of these productions. Once was enough. The house lights are on, the kids are loud, the story is thin and there are vendors hawking Officially Licensed merchandise.
We wonder when kids get older why they are talking on their cell phones in movie theaters and breaking up their styrofoam drink cups during Shakespeare. (I had this happen to me in college during a monologue and the urge to jump off the stage and whack the teenager upside the head was nearly overwhelming).
Gee, I wonder. Do you think it's because we are raising our kids to be culturally illiterate? Theater to them is now an officially licensed light-up plastic toy and a glow in the dark t-shirt? I blame Big Bird. I think Sesame Street was the first production to go "Live" and it's been downhill ever since. Damn Big Bird.