Taking your family to see a show can be a magical experience, but research shows that exposing children to the theatre is more than a memorable treat, it also provides a host of developmental benefits from improved emotional intelligence, to increased patience and concentration. But most of us haven’t had many opportunities to venture near a stage for the past 18 months. I’m a mum of two, and since my youngest son has been old enough to sit through a show our theatres have been on a pandemic-induced hiatus.
The good news, however, is that theatre is back and with a wealth of cultural opportunities for families and children now opening up in Geneva, I wanted to explore why (and where) we should venture back into the auditorium with our youngsters this winter.
Taking your family to a theatre for the first time, (or for the first time in two years), will be a learning opportunity as well as lot of fun. Until the curtain rises most children won't realise just how different a live performance is from their favourite TV show or movie and how much they will gain from the experience. Great theatre shares the joy of visual storytelling without the flicker of a constantly changing screen and truly encourages a child’s imagination and creativity to blossom. Through theatre young audiences are introduced to cultures and characters from all over the world and different periods of history, they are immersed in stories about characters from every background imaginable.
Watching a live performance is a visceral and vibrant experience quite different to the screens in our homes. Topics such as love and loss, triumph and disaster can feature in a single production in an immersive way. Like a portal into other people’s lives, theatre enables children to step into someone else’s shoes and glimpse life from their point of view, developing empathy and social understanding. Perhaps that is where the magic lies?
As we venture tentatively out from the shadows of the pandemic many of us want to support the arts and share the delight of live theatre once again. And whilst we may book a theatre trip primarily as a fun activity, be confident that the show you share with your young family will continue to deliver its hidden benefits long after the curtain falls - all without your children even realising.
Here’s my pick of what’s on in theatres in Geneva for families this winter:
A Christmas Carol:
Various dates 27th November - 19th December
We are delighted that Simply Theatre is bringing a slice of London’s West End to Geneva with our professional musical adaptation of Dickens’ favourite festive story. Full of joy, song and magic their enchanting production of A Christmas Carol will be the perfect festive treat for all the family.
Geneva Amateur Operatic Society (GAOS) will be performing Cinderella at Theatre de Marens. Sure to delight audience members of all ages, families can join the villagers of Stoneybroke as they sing and dance their way through this classic fairytale. (Performances in English)
Children and youth theatre specialists Am Stram Gram are running a variety of performances this winter. They will take little people with big imaginations on a journey to the bottom of the rainbow, the north pole and Japan. Based at their own unique underground theatre in Eaux Vives. (Performances in French and English)