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Astor Place Theatre Unveils STEAM-Focused Blue Man Group Program for Kids

Astor Place Theatre Unveils STEAM-Focused Blue Man Group Program for Kids

The performances use the power of the Blue Man Group to inspire kids to be curious, be creative, and keep learning outside of the classroom.

The Blue Man Group put on its first "Backstage on the Stage" performance for kids at Astor Place Theatre in Noho on October 4. These performances will be available on an ongoing basis for school groups, scout troops, and any group of kids who express interest. The performances aim to teach kids about STEAM by incorporating science and art experiments, while encouraging a sense of curiosity, creativity, and exploration of the physical world. Kids also learn about the history of the Blue Man Group and get a behind-the-scenes look into theater production.

Groups in the audience are covered in plastic wrap and neon headgear to protect from flying paint. The Blue Men select certain kids to come up on stage and participate in interactive experiments, skits, and an art project.

Camille de Pascal, the resident general manager of Blue Man Group, said the performers practiced on kids in dress rehearsals and focus groups to make sure they were offering the best possible experience. The Blue Man Group has been performing at Astor Place Theatre for 28 years.

“I think there is an inherent relationship between Blue Man Group and education,” de Pascal says. “I think it lends itself hand in hand with what we do here, since we started forming, which is to really look at the world with a curious eye, and try to have a critical. creative approach to the world. We thought it was natural to demonstrate to students how they can also look at the world in new ways.”

The kids’ program begins with a workshop with Astor staff. Kids learn about how the Blue Man Group started, how the shows use elements of STEAM to teach and entertain, and why education is important–reinforced by a video where each Astor staff member describes their job and where they did (or did not!) go to college. de Pascal says this is meant to show kids that they can go down many different paths and into many different sides of theater, and all wind up doing something they love.

Throughout the show, kids are amazed by colors, textures, sounds, and action. Jordan and Preston, two kids in the audience, said that their favorite part of the show was when one of their classmates was zipped up in a plastic suit, covered in paint, and used to make a blue man painting. They were impressed by the long history of the Blue Man Group. The finale of the show, a club-like dance party complete with toilet paper streamers and strobe lighting, was also a hit.

If you help organize a school group, scout troop, or another group of kids who might want to see the Blue Man Group, head to the Astor Place Theatre website.

Images: Courtesy Jacqueline Neber

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Jacqueline Neber

Author: Jacqueline Neber is an assistant editor and a graduate of The Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University. When she's not focused on writing special needs and education features, you can find her petting someone else's dog. See More

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