This year's Southland Festival of the Arts is not just about the grown-ups.
Over the Rainbow is a music and theatre show designed expressly for toddlers by city musician and music teacher Trinity Waddell.
"There's lighting, live music, texture - it's a sensory experience designed specifically for young children," she said.
When festival director Angela Newell first approached Waddell about creating something for the programme, she kept thinking about her own young daughter, Shiloh, nearly 3, and the sort of thing she would enjoy.
"As I put the show together, I had Shiloh in mind," she said.
Already running Preschool Party Rockers and another music and movement class at Out of School Music Classes, Waddell was well-placed to create a show that would satisfy the younger set.
"It's really just a fancy type of music and movement."
Waddell has assembled a bright young team of musicians to provide the music and the characters in the show.
"These guys are all my students at James Hargest and are some of Southland's most talented up-and- coming musicians."
Matthew Joll, 17, is the musical director and has arranged and composed all of the music in the show.
"We've got so much talent, it's made the whole show come alive."
There had been some confusion about the age group the show was aimed at, she said.
While the festival programme talked about babies, the show would enthral children as old as 6.
"It's advertised for 0-3, but older kids will enjoy it."
At just 35 minutes, it's the perfect length for maximum enjoyment before the squirming sets in.
"You don't want it too long when you've got littlies."
If kids want a snap with their new favourite musical group, there's a photo-opportunity after each performance.
Over the Rainbow runs from today through to Friday, May 2, at the Invercargill City Library children's activity room, with three shows a day at 9.30am, 11am and 12.15pm. Tickets are available at i-Site, Eventfinder, and door sales are available.
- The Southland Times
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