Children will love “E.L.V.E.S. The Experience”

A local playwright partners with Birmingham Children’s Theatre to give children an amazing interactive Christmas experience

by Matthew Allen, publisher, Bham Family magazine

As we have continued to socially distance during 2020, Birmingham Children’s Theatre keeps finding ways to engage young audiences, even when they can’t be at the theater in person. Christmas is a season of celebration and time with family and friends, so local playwright Sina Skates collaborated with BCT to bring E.L.V.E.S. The Experience, a live, interactive Zoom event for children.

Children use Zoom — with parents’ supervision — to interact with JoJo and Francis, two elves who lead the show.

I was invited by BCT to have a sneak peek at this new show, and I took them up on the offer. I will admit, I would be totally fine if I never had another Zoom meeting in my life, so I wasn’t really sure about how this would go. By the end of the show, I had no more doubts. My children (10 and 7) laughed and laughed the entire time, and as soon as it was over, my youngest asked, “Can we do this again next Christmas?” I was won over at that point, but I really shouldn’t have been surprised. BCT has provided laughs and entertainment for children for more than 60 years (did you know they are one of the nation’s OLDEST and LARGEST professional theater groups devoted to young audiences?).

A world premiere show by local playwright Sina Skates, E.L.V.E.S. The Experience opens with Jojo and Francis, two hard-working and enthusiastic elves, as they welcome special kids to a first-of-its-kind virtual tour of the NP (North Pole), but something seems to be going wrong with the reindeer, the toy-makers, and the nice list!

In order to help, participating children must become “honorary elves!” JoJo and Francis send them a special “elf contract” to sign (with help of their parents).

This live, Zoom-centered performance for young audiences is an interactive experience that is equal parts story and activity. Up to 10 kids at a time will embark on a treasure hunt around their own homes to help collect the items needed to save the North Pole! With a little help from parents, participants will find special items in hidden locations in a brand new, one-of-a-kind BCT experience that is sure to be remembered!

Performances begin Friday, November 27th and are currently scheduled to run through Sunday, December 13th. Show times vary, and performances are 45-60 minutes. Additional performances will be added based on demand. It’s perfect for children ages 5-10 years. Tickets and information can be found at www.bct123.org/north-pole. Tickets are purchased per connected device and start at $15 for the first weekend of performances.

While working together to help the elves save Christmas, children will have a chance to connect with other kids in a special interactive performance that will spark imagination and bring magic to your house this holiday season!

Birmingham Children’s Theatre exists to educate, entertain and enrich the lives of children through the magic of theatre. E.L.V.E.S. The Experience is made possible with the support of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP, Birmingham.

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