Friday, January 13, 2006

A play for babies opens in Sweden

Ever cutting-edge and avant garde, a new play opened in Sweden recently -the target audience? Babies.

On one hand, babies love to be entertained - this just takes those silly mama and papa antics to a whole new philosophical level....

Youthful audience finds new play is kids' stuff

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - The audience for a new play at Stockholm's City Theater was getting restive only half an hour into the dress rehearsal. One had crawled stage left. Two others were being discreetly breast fed.

Not that the actors were fazed by the audience's antics. The play is aimed at babies 6 to 12 months old.

"Baby Drama," which opened this week and is already sold out, was written by psychoanalyst Ann-Sofie Barany and directed by Suzanne Osten, renowned for her work in children's theater.

"Babies are the perfect audience," said Barany after the dress rehearsal. "You can't find a more open, unconventional, and honest spectator."

The hour-long play shows the cycle of parenthood, birth and early life with the help of props such as red velvet curtains representing the womb and baby-bouncers that drop down from the ceiling, in which members of the audience are invited to sit.

Barany and Osten said the intention was to encourage tots to develop a new understanding of their existence and make parents rethink how they relate to their children.

Responding to criticism that the babies are too young to understand, Osten and Barany say that part of the message is that we underestimate the intelligence of the new born.

"If you can speak to a three-month-old baby and get laughter from them, you must be able to write an interesting play for them," said Osten.

The 12 babies certainly seemed to enjoy it. The mother of 11-month-old Febe said her daughter was "very happy," adding: "The babies are obviously having fun the whole time they are in the theater

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