Two years ago, The Myrna Loy began to develop a Family Programming arm to our Education Program. We committed to providing high quality arts experiences to engage the full family. We dipped our toes in by introducing Helena audiences to a New York based theatre company called Double Image Theatre Lab and their charming puppetry piece, I Laid an Egg. The show was so popular that many of the preschoolers who attended with their classes brought their parents back over the weekend to see it again. Everyone at The Myrna Loy loved having the energy of children and families filling our space.
Inspired by the success of I Laid an Egg, we decided to present The New York International Children’s Film Festival’s program, Kid Flicks. Again we were overwhelmed by the enthusiasm from Helena audiences for family events. Adults grabbed a glass of beer and some popcorn and enjoyed watching and discusssing film shorts from around the world with their kids. Our staff wanted more of this and eagerly booked a number of programs for the 2019-2020 season.
COVID may have forced us to cancel the majority of our 2020 plans, but we were thrilled to keep our first ever Puppet Festival on the calendar for 2021. Those who were lucky enough to catch Tom Lee’s performances of Tomte in April marveled at how inventive and impressive his detailed shadow work was! And audiences who attended the Puppet Shorts! event got to experience a wide variety of styles from Cantastoria to Suitcase Theatre. Check out our wonderful photo gallery of all the Puppet Festival events (Tom Lee’s performances, his workshop for teaching artists, and the Puppet Shorts! production).
This fall, we will present two wonderful Family Programming events! Get excited to grab some popcorn and a drink and enjoy some quality arts-centered family time.
The Joshua Show will come to The Myrna Loy on October 7th. Joshua Holden was described by the New York Times as an “unabashed ambassador of joy.” His performance combines physical comedy, puppetry and tap dancing! Learn more here: http://www.joshuashow.com/
Kid Flicks will return with two programs in October (one for 5-8 yrs old and one for 8+). Learn more here: https://nyicff.org/nyicff-national/tour/
We can’t wait to invite you all back into our space to celebrate the return of family outings.
Photos by Jeanie Warden and Ross Peter Nelson