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Introducing young audiences to theatre

STAGE: Dozens of area preschools and parents brought their kids for a live production of “Go, Dog. Go!” The popular children’s book and television series was presented as part of the Honeywell Center’s student matinee program.

by the WPD STAFF

Three hundred or so elementary and preschool students came to the Honeywell Center on Monday for a special performance of “Go, Dog. Go!” based on the children’s book and television show of the same name by P.D. Eastman.

Performers dressed as canines took the stage, barking at one another in different tones much to the delight of the young audience.

The program was part of the Honeywell Foundation’s educational outreach, which brought preschool groups to Wabash to watch the classic children’s book come to life.

Page-to-stage student matinees, as the Honeywell Foundation refers to them, “use the arts (theatre and music) to bring that literature that students have been reading in the classrooms to life,” said Teresa Galley, director of education and outreach at the Honeywell Foundation.

“Studies tell us that field trips to live theatrical performances help students draw connections to the literature, enhance their knowledge of the plot and can increase vocabulary,” she explained, noting that live performances can help expand students’ world views.

While the students in attendance were younger than the traditional audience, Galley says that many of the students who attend student matinees have never seen a live show before.

“These shows are a great introduction to the experiences students can have through the arts,” she said.