A new theatre podcast especially for kids has been launched by St Paul’s CLIMB Theatre. Each weekly episode of Faraway Woods involves a magical adventure and incorporates interactive elements.
‘This is unlike any project we’ve done before,’ said CLIMB’s executive director Peg Wetli. ‘Typically, theatres are limited in the audiences they can reach due to geography. Podcasting is a new technology that lets us create innovative, interactive programmes that can be easily delivered to children around the world.’
Professional actors play characters like Sticky Wicky, Whimple Snivel and Pladapellaphant in a show that lasts eight to 20 minutes. Aimed at children aged 4-9, participatory elements include movement, games and activities for parents and teachers to use once the podcast is over.
‘We’ve received lots of positive feedback about the interactive nature of the podcast in our pilot programme to children in Minnesota,’ said Wetli. ‘By making episodes interactive, Faraway Woods allows us to provide creative learning for mind and body using only audio.’
CLIMB works exclusively with young people, taking plays to over 400 schools and 200,000 students each year in the Midwest states of Minneapolis, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Illinois and Wisconsin. Many parts of these states are sparsely populated, making podcasts a viable alternative to theatre or school-based shows.
Faraway Woods episodes are available through the programme website, with 14 planned for the first series that began on 15 March.