If you’re a wannabe Paleontologist looking to share your love of dinosaurs with the little ones in your life, check out family-fun 60-minute interactive presentation of dinosaur history in Philip and Lucinda Dino-Show playing at the Toronto Fringe Festival at the George Ignatieff Theatre.
The interactive piece transforms the audience into “Dinosaur Experts.” Philip and Lucinda are dinosaur explorers that debunk the Paleozoic Era with song, dance, and acrobatics.
Upon entering the theatre, audience members are immediately greeted by the characters Lucinda (Zita Nyarady) and Philip (Myque Franz). The actors move throughout the house of the theatre, happily interacting with children throughout the audience before the start of the show. It is clear that audience participation is highly encouraged.
The show incorporates many elements to ensure that children of all ages (yes, adults, too) have an opportunity to wiggle as needed. The audience is encouraged to roar like dinosaurs, cluck like chickens, or flap their wings. I found myself looking forward to these intricate, well-planned out stretch breaks with open arms.
The show also integrated catchy songs and silly dances to reinforce material that was discussed. I found it hard to hide the smile that kept creeping onto my face. It almost felt like I was transported back to my childhood and was watching an episode of Bill Nye the Science Guy.
The characters of Lucinda and Philip prompted children in the audience to share their knowledge. This was particularly effective because it allowed the older children in the audience a different way to participate. From an educator’s perspective, this was a clear way to assess learning. From an actor’s perspective, it was a clearly way to ensure that the young audience remained activated.
The use of multiple props, puppets, acrobatic tricks, and music was well-planned and highly effective. Many props were used multiple times to reinforce learning.
What I found particularly enjoyable was the way that theatrical elements are clearly introduced. Theatre language is explicitly taught by introducing vocabulary such as “backstage” and “performers.” I felt like this was a wonderful way to introduce theatre elements to young audience members.
Nyarady and Franz are a dynamic team. Nyrady is a skilled acrobat with an infectious energy. She is versatile and riveting throughout. Franz uses grand facial expressions, physicalization, and movement is both relatable and lovable.
- Philip & Lucinda Dino-Show plays at the George Ignatieff Theatre. (15 Devonshire Pl.)
- Tickets for Kidsfest shows are $5 for kids (age 12 and younger); adults pay $13.
- Tickets can be purchased online, by telephone (416-966-1062), from the Festival Box Office at Scadding Court (275 Bathurst St.), and — if any remain — from the venue’s box office starting one hour before curtain.
- Content Warning: audience participation.
- The George Ignatieff Theatre is wheelchair-accessible, and has wide aisles for easy mid-show exits.
- Don’t miss the Kidsfest club located on the lawn adjacent to the venue! Free activities for children (3-12) and caregivers run every day of the festival: see website for details.
- Be aware that Fringe performances always start exactly on time, and that latecomers are never admitted.
- The Toronto Fringe Festival is scent-free: please do not wear perfumes, colognes, or other strongly-scented products.
- Wednesday July 3rd, 2:30 pm
- Friday July 5th, 5:00 pm
- Sunday July 7th, 5:15 pm
- Tuesday July 9th, 2:15 pm
- Wednesday July 10th, 11:00 am
- Friday July 12th, 4:00 pm
- Saturday July 13th, 2:00 pm
Photo of Myque Franz and Zita Nyarady provided by the company