The Velveteen Rabbit at Boston Children's Theater is much more than a play about a beloved stuffed toy rabbit who becomes real through the love of a little boy.
With "schools-only" showings built into the regular performance calendar, young students are getting theater education that demystify how Velveteen Rabbit's Magical puppets move about the stage.
Th Blackstone Elementary School staff has placed such a high value on early exposure to art education linked to literature that it annually makes room in the academic year for students to see a show at Boston Children's Theater.
There are a lot of raised hands after the show. Students ask hard hitting questions about props, lighting and audio cues that change the feel of the show.
The education opportunities are not limited to the audience. One 8-year-old student who cut 12 inches off of her hair to play the lead male character flawlessly executes lots of lines and staging techniques.
The theater is so committed to exposing young people to the arts that they assisted one student financially when he couldn't afford to get to rehearsals that were located a distance from his home in Boston's Mattapan neighborhood.
A theater arts education is costly and often reserved for affluent school districts.
The Boston Children's Theater provides free or discounted tickets to schools to ensure theater is accessible to all children.
The Velveteen Rabbit runs through Dec. 22, with a mix of regular and school performances happening at The Calderwood Pavilion.