Children's Fairyland's iconic train
"Since 1950, Fairyland has been the low-tech, high-touch outdoor playground for young children to create, imagine, play, and learn,” Children’s Fairyland tells us. It lends a timelessness to the entertainment driven by children’s imagination and not by pre-packaged building sets or non-interactive videos. On Friday, March 15, Fairyland will welcome another timeless classic to the shores of both Lake Merritt and of the imagination: Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
That day, the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival will hold two special performances (11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.), to be attended by nearly 400 students in the second and third grades, as well as their teachers, from Bella Vista, Hoover, Emerson, Cleveland, and Prescott Elementary Schools. Performances will be held at Aesop's Playhouse at Children's Fairyland, 699 Bellevue Avenue in Oakland. An essential partner in this project is Bay Area Rapid Transit, generously providing the important logistical aspects of transport.
"We're so excited to be presenting Shakespeare to so many Oakland kids for the first time," says Fairyland Executive Director C.J. Hirschfield. "Shakespeare said, 'The play's the thing;’ to us, that includes actual playing. So our Fairyland spin will feature interactive programming that has children finding flowers in the park that are mentioned in Midsummer, along with other fun activities." Teachers will be offered an interactive curriculum to go along with the experience.
It seems especially appropriate to offer what will be an introduction to Shakespeare for most of these youngsters in this way. What better place than Fairyland could there be to show kids a timeless play that features the strong influence of fairies on humans and their dreams? After all, Fairyland has been feeding kids’ imaginations and dreams for generations.