The Hungry Caterpillar at DCT

The Dallas Children’s Theater sensory shows are a regular outing for the Camplin family. Just yesterday, we attended The Hungry Caterpillar, which was really four different vignettes of Eric Carle’s works, including The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse, Mr. Seahorse, The Very Lonely Firefly, and The Hungry Caterpillar, respectively. The y all included giant puppets that required people dressed in white to control them. It was very beautiful and quite delightful overall.

In the first one, there was a series of blank canvasses brought out for the painter to paint on. He would turn the canvas around, pretend to paint, then turn the canvas around to reveal different paintings of different animals–such as the blue horse. After several of these were done, Daniel whispered that he was certain the artist was “bringing down a sheet” to create the painting so fast. Which of course was pretty much what was happening, as each of the canvases could have the top flipped down to the bottom so the blank canvas suddenly had an image on it. Daniel, being hyper-logical, quickly understood there was no way he could have painted the paintings so fast.

Between the first and the second vignette, all sorts of props were brought out. Daniel whispered to me that they were changing scenes because they were bringing new things out on stage.

Daniel loves fish, and he would try to guess what kinds of fish were being brought out before they were identified by the narrator. At the end of the vignette, he whispered to me that it wasn’t going to be a single story, but several short ones–which, of course, it was.

Mostly Daniel commented on technical aspects of the play, which is something he had started to do last time. It’s equally notable that today he had wanted to put on a puppet play (with the firefly finger puppets he and Dylan got at the theater afterwards). Daniel has liked “putting on plays” for us, and those plays are becoming more and more narrative in structure. The last play he put on was a fairly accurate–and narratively structured–1st Thanksgiving play, from the trip across the ocean to the settlement at Plymouth Rock and the Thanksgiving feast with the Native Americans. Overall, not bad for an 8 year old. I would like to think that my being a playwright, poet, and fiction writer has something to do with his interest, but I suspect it’s really DCT.

Coincidentally, tomorrow I will be doing an interview with DCT about our experiences with the sensory program. It’s actually my second interview. I’m sure I’ll share whatever comes of it soon.

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