Interviewing Johnny Tartaglia was amazing. First of all, sitting in the audience watching him act, sing and puppeteer on Avenue Q gave me the chills. I just knew he was the real deal. And getting to know him as a person made me realize just how creative, funny (really funny!) and inspiring he is. He has so many grand ideas that I was quite excited for him when he launched ImaginOcean. He spent a lot of time with me and my girls explaining how he created the puppets, the sets, the black light that gave the show a flourescent underwater “feel” and where his ideas for the story originated. My girls are mesmerized by live theater and we spend so much time in our basement watching their plays on a make shift “stage” that Greg had built (with a red sparkly, functioning curtain, room for drums, etc). Their understanding of how theater comes together allows them to think about detailed aspects of theater and their creative play has blossomed. They think about the music, the directing, the story, they choreograph dance numbers, and think about the props and backgrounds. I know they are learning a lot through this dramatic play and their self esteem builds with every performance. So, thanks Johnny, for inspiring my girls among the millions of kids you inspire every day!
– Read How Does the Show Goes On by Tom Schumacher. An amazing book about all aspects of theater with real tickets that come out, a script excerpt, and a playbill!
– Encourage all kinds of creative, dramatic play. Just like pots and pans could be drums, a paper towel role could be a telescope or a scepter or a baton!
– Listen to the music of a Broadway show before seeing the show or movie and have your kids act out a song from their imaginations. (Examples: Annie, The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Prince)
[See Angela’s interview with John Tartaglia on PBS.org]