Dallas Children's Theater Blog

Astonishing Kids And Families With The Fun of Broadway-Like Plays and A Lot More!

Chi Omega Christmas Market Offers DCT Supporters A Great Excuse To Go Shopping!

cocwreath_noyearWe are so excited to be a beneficiary of the 2014 Chi Omega Christmas Market.  The funds we receive from this organization will support our Curtains Up On Reading Program.  This program pairs a teaching artist from DCT with a classroom teacher for several weeks of creative learning exercises focused on helping students with an area that they might be having difficulty with. Christmas Market co-chairs Jenny Kaiser, Allison Cox, Sarah Koda were among those who selected DCT and other local beneficiaries.  They talked about why it made sense for their organization support this program through their annual fundraising efforts.

DCT  student performance at Notre Dame School 3/3/2011

According to Jenny Kaiser, “The style of teaching students the basiccurriculum through the arts opens new doors for the children to create, direct and explore allowing them a new voice and lots of pride.  Students not only  learn the curriculum but they  retain the information in a way that will forever leave an impression.”

Now in its 37th year, the 2014 Chi Omega Christmas Market will return to Centennial Hall at Fair Park November 19th – 22nd. Boasting 160-plus national vendors and attracting upwards of 10,000 shoppers, this anticipated annual event tops must-shop lists across the region.

At this year’s market, themed “Christmas in the City,” attendees can expect to find jewelry, home décor items, women’s fashion, toys, linens, and original art. What’s more, following the four-day event, thousands of dollars will be donated to area beneficiaries including Dallas Children’s Theater, Bea’s Kids, Children’s Advocacy Center of Collin County, CitySquare, Dallas Area Rape Crisis Center, Dallas Police Association’s Assist the Officer Foundation, Letot Center Capital Foundation, Make-a-Wish Foundation of North Texas, Project Transformation and Collegiate Scholarships.

“Each year, we strive to top the year before, and after a record-breaking year in 2013, we have our work cut out for us,” says Sara Koda, 2014 Chi Omega Christmas Market Co-chair. “This year, we have pledged $206,500 to our fantastic beneficiaries, and we would love nothing more than to surpass that goal.”

Ticket prices range from $12 advance purchase to $75 for a special preview party. For more information and to purchase tickets visit ChiOmegaXmas.org.

Kathy Burks, Frosty and Friends

There’s nothing quite as magical as puppets.

DSCN0976I dropped by Kathy Burks Theatre of Puppetry Arts to witness what looked like elves on a mission as they work to create the all new musical revue for the holidays, FROSTY & FRIENDS.  When I asked Kathy about the process, she responded as if she was telling me about her family. She told me about how hard the elves, Barry, Surly, and Zoe have been working and how Surly gets grumpy sometimes.  She then just paused, smiled and said, “This is fun. It’s always been fun.”

Many people consider puppets to be toys for children, but the true art of puppetry is an ancient and ever-evolving one.  When the Master Puppeteer picks up an inanimate puppet, he can make you believe that the character truly lives.  It is the result of intense training and hours of rehearsal, but the puppeteers make it look like magic. For FROSTY & FRIENDS, Kathy’s team chose to work in the styles of black theater rod puppets and marionettes, always searching for the best way to tell the story.

Several months ago, I saw Kathy in her studio creating one of the elves, DSCN0974precisely sculpting the face for just the right expression.  She cradled it in her hand as if she was listening, waiting for guidance. Zoe’s eyebrows weren’t quite right, so she’d continue working until it was her face.  Then, Sally Fiorello would take over to paint the faces, again making changes until they were just right, and then Lyle Huchton created original costumes for each of them.  If Zoe was being played by an actor, she had landed an enviable gig.  Actors don’t always get this kind of undivided attention.

DSCN1279Of course Zoe will do her part too, accepting the careful manipulation of her Master Puppeteer and propelling the energy into an audience who has been promised some holiday magic. No wonder Kathy has so much fun. She reflects, “To see these things from your imagination come to life is great fun. I’ve always liked what I do, and I hope the children are going to like it, too. We’re like the elves, working feverishly to prepare for the holidays, and laughing through the hard work. I’m just so lucky.”