Treehouse Shakers

Treehouse Shakers
Hatched, BAM Fisher, Hillman Studio

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Logistics of Touring Hatched:: A Baby Drama

Two years ago Treehouse Shakers’ premiered our first exploration into work for the very young, Hatched. Created for ages 0-6, my intent was for babies in the audience to be enticed and delighted by the animal sounds, textures, and movements, while toddlers would enjoy watching and imitating their favorite farm animals as they come to life. Since premiering the piece in New York City in 2012, we have continued touring this work. Touring the show has brought this intimate genre to new audiences and has also faced some unexpected challenges.

Photo Credit Christopher Duggan
I made Hatched for smaller spaces, and for a smaller audience capacity. It is not a piece for large 2,000 + houses. I was adamant in creating work that wouldn’t overwhelm this very young age. I want every audience member to have a chance to explore the feedings of the animals, to have a complete tactile experience when petting the animals, and to watch the piece in an environment that feels safe and nurtured. This is not always an easy sell when touring the piece. Understandably, presenters worry about ticket sales with a smaller amount of audience members. We have performed at many wonderful theaters, and have found that touring can work with this genre, despite the initial hesitations we were facing. Some presenters have chosen to do the piece three times a day, with limited seating, others push the capacity to 120. And even some, who don’t have a smaller studio space, have moved the entire piece, and their audience members, onto their large presenting stages. The show has worked in all of these capacities.
 
Photo Credit Brent Hankins
Treehouse Shakers, is possibly the only American company attempting to tour a piece geared towards babies (we have, though, met other numerous artists making work for this age.) I have discussed at length with fellow touring International artists what problems they face when touring this genre, and was quickly stunned to realize Treehouse Shakers wasn’t alone in having to sell the small-sized audience idea. Many presenters have also told me that Hatched is bringing brand new audience members into their theaters. The plus side of a baby drama; it is a great way to hatch an audience.
 
Feeding the Baby Birds/ Photo Credit: Bob Bader

So for now, Hatched will continue on our baby tour, performing to selected audience members, and building this genre in the U.S. I am so pleased to see so many new presenting seasons featuring work for the very young, and can only hope this wonderful trend of theater will continue. It is my dream  that more young people will have the delightful opportunity to experience Hatched

Hatched Company with Krista Bradley,
Executive Director at BlackRock Center for the Arts in Maryland

2 comments:

  1. You have incredible vision and I admire your creativity!!! Bravo!!

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    1. Thank you Kelly for your support and kind words! So happy to have connected with you on IG!

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