Building Bridges

Building Bridges

Trike makes fun a learning experience


When Trike Theatre performs “Three Billy Goats Gruff” this month, it will be the second time the professional theater for youth has mounted the show. Cast member and Trike teaching artist Justin Mackey says it is back by popular demand.

“All of my students have talked about this production — they’ve either seen it or read the book or heard about it,” he says. “I think the excitement is there. They love it so much, they want to see it again.”

“I think that what resonates so well with this show is this idea that the two brothers, the troll characters who do the narrating, they learn, across the course of this play, about the issue of meanness,” says cast member Jacob Christiansen. “I think that’s something that all kids can identify with — that they can be mean sometimes, and they need to learn about that impulse, but also that they’ve had someone be mean to them. I think learning about how to be kind is a pretty universal message.”

“Billy Goats” is part of Trike’s “Little Trike” series, intended for audiences of around 5 or 6 and younger. The series encourages interaction with the actors on stage while, at the same time, helping young children adjust to what is expected of them when seeing live theater.

“I was just thinking a couple of days ago that children’s theater is kind of like adult theater, if the audience is sitting five feet away from you and talking back the entire time,” says Mackey with a laugh. “There’s so much excitement from the kids and a willingness to be a part of the show. You kind of forget that you’re performing for them — it’s almost like you’re playing a game with them.”

“There’s something about the world of theater for youth and young audiences, where they connect with the whole experience in a way that’s different than adults,” adds Christiansen. “The whole experience of going to a show and learning to be in the audience and interacting with people who are telling you a story — when they’re asking for your input and when they’re not. All of that is new. They don’t have some of the barriers and some of the scar tissue from bad performances that adults might have. There’s a beauty in that newness.”



‘Three Billy Goats Gruff’

WHEN — 3 and 4:30 p.m. Oct. 26

WHERE — 902 SW Second St., Bentonville

COST — $6

INFO — 464-5084

Categories: Family Friendly