Theodor Geisel, also known as Dr. Seuss, first published the Cat in the Hat in 1957 as a response to an article that said the current school primers were not beneficial to students. It is targeted at six- and seven- year olds who have mastered the mechanics of basic reading, making it the perfect summer reading series (The Cat appears in six Dr. Seuss books) to keep your little one’s minds spry over summer.
We had the privilege of seeing The Cat in the Hat at The Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta, GA. This beloved story comes to life with Sally and Nick left at home on a rainy day, seemingly destined to overcome their boredom by themselves. Things take a turn toward fun when The Cat in the Hat shows at their door, demonstrating a series of boredom busters, including the clever balance of the Fish on his umbrella while steadying himself on a ball…with a cup of tea, some books, a cake….and the list goes on.
As Sally and Nick try to decide whether they are delighted or frightened, The Cat reappears with a large wooden crate. Inside are Thing 1 and Thing 2, who edge the chaos up a notch or two, destroying the house and driving the Fish to a new level of anxiety. My son later indicated that this upheaval was his very favorite part.
Once Nick finally corrals the Things, The Cat comes to the rescue with his incredible Picking-Up Machine, cleaning the house and destroying any evidence of mischief and frenzy.
While based on a play originally produced by the National Theatre of Great Britain, it is Atlanta’s Center for Puppetry Arts that created on site the puppets and set of this production. They are masterpieces of design, and draw the audience into the house and hearts of Nick and Sally, using clever color and puppetry techniques (and bubbles from the ceiling don’t hurt, either.) I felt like I was actually experiencing Dr. Seuss’s original classic.
If you live in Atlanta, or are passing through June 13 – July 28, 2013, be sure to set aside time for this treat. I have seen many shows at CPA, but this one will surely be marked as legendary, on caliber with their Rudolph Christmas show!
The mission at Center for Puppetry Arts is as follows,
“The Center uses the art form of puppetry as a means to provide educational experiences that encourage creativity, support school-day learning, fuel holistic development, and provide accessible, hands-on opportunities to participate in arts activities. The Center’s live puppetry performances, hands-on workshops, and guided museum tours provide creative arts experiences to students that aren’t available in classrooms while also providing teachers with opportunities to infuse the arts into their curriculum goals.”
If you are not a resident in the Atlanta area, you can still learn about this wonderful art form through their distance learning events and educator resources.
Are you interested in learning more about The Cat in the Hat, or using some FREE Cat in the Hat resources for encouraging your young ones to read over the summer? See our Cat in the Hat Homeschooling Pinterest Board.
Cat in the Hat performances around the country:
- Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta, GA June 13 – July 28, 2013
- Broadway Playhouse in Chicago, IL June 15 – Sept 1, 2013
- Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis, MN May 22 – July 20, 2013
- Water Tower Place in Chicago, IL June 15 – Sept 1, 2013
Disclosure: Many thanks to BravePR and Center for Puppetry Arts for our complementary tickets. While the event was gratis, the opinions here are honest and completely my own. Find Lesli on Google+.