An enchanted adventure where kids can be themselves
A magical forest has sprung up in the heart of Pittsburgh’s Cultural District as local theater Bricolage Production Company opens their immersive children’s adventure, The Forest of Everywhere. This whimsical journey takes the form of a personal quest into a land filled with furry and feathered forest friends in a playful open-world environment.
Unlike traditional theatrical productions, Bricolage’s immersive work places audience members at the center of their experiences and The Forest of Everywhere will be no different. Instead of watching a show unfold on a stage, participants will be an integral part of an interactive story where they get to be the hero.The Forest of Everywhere’s writer and director Tami Dixon explains, “This experience takes your kids out of their seats and into a real-life adventure. They’ll explore the forest, have one-on-one interactions, and play without the restrictions and rules of traditional theater. Sitting is not a requirement. Being quiet for long periods of time is not a requirement.”
To create the lush, immersive world of the show, Bricolage brought on local scenic designer, Stephanie Mayer-Staley. From intricately carved trees to tactile walls and a starry sky, Ms. Mayer-Staley created an enchanted forest environment that is not only beautiful, but also completely interactive and child-centered. The forest features a wide variety of engaging activities such as a log crawl, chalk walk, sliding board, and bug dig. Kids will also meet an array of human and puppet characters such as Don Key the dancing burro, Ranger Roger the guitar-playing forest ranger, or Esther the singing ostrich.
This will be the second time Bricolage has brought the forest to life, following a three-day run in 2016 as part of the EQT Children’s Theater Festival. The company decided to bring the production back this year after receiving a flood of responses and praise from parents, such as this letter from Heather Yoder, mother of two:
“From the moment we were being led into the building, I could see my kid’s smiles growing bigger, and with sweet stolen looks of anticipation to their mom, I knew they were buying into the story-line hook, line, and sinker. I must admit my curiosity was piqued, as well. With giggles, our family was privately led into the room where we could talk to the tree and make our way into the truly enchanted world. It took little time for me to realize the kids were entirely safe to explore on their own- although, selfishly, I followed as closely as I could. Seeing their hilarious dance moves as they helped “Don Key” get his groove back and watching my youngest actually make beautiful music on an invisible harp with Esther Ostrich, were moments a mom shouldn’t miss.”
The Forest of Everywhere runs May 17-June 3 and tickets are only $12 with the first chaperone free.The Forest of Everywhere is mindful of sensory sensitivities and is a place where all kids can be themselves. For accessibility info and additional resources for parents visit BricolagePGH.org.