Saturday, June 4, 2011

Environmental Education Staged In Cedarburg

Cedarburg Cultural Center presents THE GREAT GREEN ADVENTURES OF R-MAN

By Russ Bickerstaff
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Environmentalism is a tricky thing to try to market to anyone. Odd to think that, whether they were followed perfectly or not, the ideals of the indigenous peoples of this continent tended to follow pretty closely with a deep respect for nature and environmental preservation. And that was only a couple centuries ago—cut ahead a few generations and there’s the coming of the European settlers, the industrial revolution and globalized  consumer culture and well . . . the earth really isn’t that much of a concern anymore.

Contemporary attempts at teaching the value of actually taking care of the place we’re living in end up coming across kind of silly. Hard to imagine that someone actually thought the animated series Captain Planet would be a good idea . . . a few years after that animated series got canceled, James Cameron tried to feed an environmental message into the most successful film in the modern era, but Avatar was remembered more for being successful than anything else.

This month, touring theatre company Child’s Play Theatre attempts to bring environmental awareness to kids in Cedarburg. The Chicago-based touring children’s theatre group has been around for over thirty years. Its mission is to stage things that were written by children. The project making it to the Cedarburg Cultural Center this month is an environmental program consisting of stories and poems written by kids from across the country.

The Great, Green Adventures of R-Man tells the tale of a kid-created hero (presumably that’s R as in “Recycle,” NOT R as in “Children Under 17 Require Accompanying Parent or Adult Guardian.”) R-Man and his sidekick Earth Kid take a girl named Sally and the rest of the audience on an adventure that teaches kids that one person really can make a difference. A cool message even if it might come across kind of hokey. Kids fare is really difficult to get balanced just right and . . . judging from the promo video available on Child’s Play’s website, R-Man does a pretty good job of straddling the line between cheesy and entertaining. And like any good children’s fare, it has the added bonus of looking kind of bizarre and surreal when viewed from the right perspective.

Child’s Plays R-Man hits the stage of the Cedarburg Cultural Center on June 14th at 1:30pm. Tickets are a $7 value ($5 for kids) Advance tickets are available free of charge at Cedarburg’ Out & Out Custard. Cedarburg Cultural Center is located at W62 N546 Washington Avenue.

 

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