- Written by Julia Tasheva
- Directed By Julia Tasheva and Lilia Slavova.
- Produced by Classika Theater
- Reviewed by Hunter Kieserman.
I was glad I had bundled up for Classika Theater’s production of The Snow Child, which is set in a winter wonderland. I had never heard the story of The Snow Child before, which is not surprising since it is based on a Russian fairy tale called Snegoruchka. This puppet show production of the fairy tale tells the story of an old man and a woman who want a child so they build one out of snow. When spring comes, the child must leave for the frozen north (where the ice queen has the scoop) otherwise she will melt. In the end, the Snow Child returns to her “parents”.
When I entered the theater, I saw the stage set with just one large set piece and some curtains, all done in white to represent the winter scene. As the show began, I realized that the one large set piece was a revolving puppet stage that the puppeteer could move around to reveal different settings for the show.
The puppeteer, Julia Tasheva, energetically switches between her role of Crystal, Queen of the Snow Flakes and all of the puppet roles, which included the grandparents, the snow child, children, a snowman, and snowflakes. I was surprised that only one of her puppets was a traditional marionette. The others were shadow puppets or illustrated puppets. The snowman was cleverly done – he seemed to magically grow before our eyes.
Ms. Tasheva’s performance was clearly geared toward the younger set and might not be appreciated by audience members older than 7. However, Ms. Tasheva did a good job entertaining the smaller members of our audience by asking everyone to clap along and interact with her. My favorite part of the show was when the audience was asked to participate in a foam “snowball” fight with the audience. This was quite a good idea, until a rude smaller audience member threw a snowball back at her in the middle of the show. Ouch!
All the children in the audience seemed to enjoy the production. The music by Dimitar Naumoff and the lighting, designed by Lawson Earl helped to capture the children’s attention.
The audience was primarily made up of guests attending a birthday party for 7 year old Meghan, who received an autographed poster from the show. This is a great show to see for children’s parties or field trips for elementary school. I would recommend this show to children ages 7 and under.
- Running Time: 45 minutes with no intermission
- When: now thru January 23rd, Saturdays and Sundays at 12:30 pm
- Where: Classika Theater 4041 Campbell Avenue, Arlington, VA 22206 in Shirlington Village
- Tickets: $12 advance, $15 at the door.
- Info: Box Office: 703 824-6200 or on the Classika website.
- Recommended for ages 3-7.