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At Teatret Zeppelin, we show deep consideration for a child’s inner world. As a touring theatre and as a resident theatre, we have more than 40 years’ experience with younger audiences. Based on this experience, it has become our clear approach to understand and meet children as whole human beings.
LIFE IS BOTH BRIGHT AND EASY AND DARK AND DIFFICULT
Teatret Zeppelin’s theatre plays address big and often philosophical themes in ways that spur further thoughts and conversations. It is neither given nor necessary that children fully understand their current stage in life. Yet, we believe it is possible to tell children a story with a big theme as long as they can relate it to some part of their own reality. Life contains both good times and tough times. Teatret Zeppelin’s theatre plays are not afraid to illustrate the dark parts of life while still putting an emphasis on the bright parts and future hopes and also inspiring the children to have a greater belief in their own strength and worth.
WHY CHILDREN DON’T SEE THE SAME AS ADULTS
The plot and the serious themes in some of our theatre plays often move adults and may remind them of healed wounds from their childhood. In this case, it is important to bear in mind that children do not make connections to past traumas or repressed memories in the same way as adults do. Due to their sparse life experience, children are on a different level of understanding and much more immediate in their way of processing the things that the world presents to them.
CHILDREN’S LEARNING THROUGH BOTH THE TOUGH AND HAPPY PARTS OF LIFE
Whether we like it or not, children are often familiar with feelings like loss, loneliness, and sorrow and different dynamics such as bullying and hierarchy of power. When our theatre play presents a children’s audience with a new take on themes like these, the children can relate to it and process it in such a way that their compassion is given free rein which is beneficial for the development of their empathic skills.
OUR ADVICE TO THE ADULTS
In our experience, the fact that children recognise themselves in the story – whether it is about bullying, flight, loneliness, or the like – does not scare nor upset them. On the contrary, it enhances their interest in the characters actions and makes them more energetic in their own reactions. They form opinions and take sides.
We advise adults not to comment on the storyline during the theatre play. Instead, we recommend that you let the children experience the theatre play in their own way. As an adult one must be careful not to let one’s adult perspective shadow the experience by assuming that the children share one’s perception or feelings. Children do not share their adults’ frame of reference. After the theatre play, the adults can address the themes by asking the children if there was something specific that they noticed, thought, or felt.
HOW TO PREPARE CHILDREN FOR THE THEATRE EXPERIENCE
Theatre works differently than films. It is more engaging and thus experienced more intensively using more senses. Therefore, it can be a good idea to prepare the children for the experience. If you would like to know more about preparations for a theatre visit, we recommend you read our article Preparing children for the theatre experience.
See the programme for future theatre plays here: https://www.zeppelin.dk/saeson/
As a silver lining, the pandemic inspired us to focus even more on the safety of our guests. At Teatret Zeppelin, we carefully follow the guidelines provided by the government. We have provided access to hand sanitizer in all crucial places, stocked the bathrooms with disinfectant and disposable towels, made better signposting, and implemented extra cleaning plus daily routines of washing down with spirit. If necessary, we will guide you to the best way of sitting or walking around in the auditorium or other areas of the theatre.
At the moment, the pandemic is under control in Denmark, and therefore the government has lifted most restrictions such as face masks, Covid passports and space requirements. Also, experts have made the assessment that going to the theatre no longer constitutes a significant health risk.
To ensure a safe theatre visit for everyone, we will continue to follow the situation closely and keep an eye out for updates on government guidelines.