Ruskus’ Children’s Shows
Children’s theater plays for entertainment and teaching
18 children’s shows with clown, magic and puppets
In Catalan · 4 to 11 years old · Books and reading
A children’s show dedicated to reading. Puppet Papo Pilipo and clown Ruskus Patruskus are engaged in a very exciting adventure with witches, monsters and a magic rose. Ruskus wants to get Rusketa’s love, but first he must solve a problem with the help of the Reader.
Circus Family Show
In Catalan · 6 to 12 years old · Clown and circus for family events
One of the best children’s shows to liven up children’s parties and formal family banquets (weddings, baptisms and communions). A participatory show full of magic, circus and clown, with a very special puppet and a big final surprise.
In English (95%) and Catalan (5%) · 8 to 12 years · London and British culture
An adventure that takes place in some of the most iconic places in the British capital, such as the Tower of London, the Regent’s Park Zoo and the London Eye. The children will represent such iconic characters as the Beefeaters, King Arthur and even the Queen of England.
In Catalan · 3 to 12 years old · Itinerant entertainment
Traveling children’s entertainment tailored to each event. From two hours onwards, Ruskus can liven up markets, conventions, trade fairs, children’s attractions, theme parks, shopping malls and more. It includes close-up magic, puppets, balloon twisting, clown skits and lots of improvisation.
Let’s Go to the Farm
In English · 3 to 7 years · Life on a magic farm
The story of a cow, a duck, a lamb and a rabbit as cute as traps: the rabbit enjoys pounding the farmer’s carrots, the cow disappears and transforms into a drawing, the duckling seeks food among the audience, the lamb recites poetry in English and many more surprises.
Magic Family Show
In Catalan · 3 to 10 years old · Magic and clown for birthday parties and communions
The perfect show for children’s birthday parties. It includes magic, puppets, balloon figures, live music with concertina and a lot of children’s participation. It includes a special act for the kid celebrating the birthday.
Ruskus’ Little Train
In English · 3 to 7 years · A playful little train
An English play for children and beginners. Ruskus lives many adventures in the company of a nice little train and a fairy who does magic with colored handkerchiefs. To top it off, a musical puppet does magic, plays the xylophone and says goodbye with soap bubbles.
The Great Circusman
In English · 8 to 12 years old · A street artist
A traveling artist performs in a London square and pulls a circus out of his suitcase. Thus, Ruskus becomes the strongman, the magician, the clown and the juggler. Everything is done to instill good humor and optimism in the surrounding pedestrians.
The Headless Monster
In English · 8 to 12 years · Reading books in English
It was a dark and stormy night, and Crazy Doc struggles to complete his masterpiece: The Monster. However, when Crazy Doc falls asleep, a witch plays a prank on him and hides the Monster’s head. A fun show to entice kids to read in English.
In Catalan · 4 to 11 years · Recycling, prevention and citizenship
A work on some basic aspects of road safety, recycling and citizenship. Professor Patruskus has to give a talk on safety and prevention, but he is left blank and forced to improvise. To explain himself better, he will use magic, balloons, theater and the help of his friend, the ineffable puppet Pipo Corocó.
In Catalan · 0 to 3 years · Trains and puppets
A clown travels in a small locomotive that transforms into various objects with which he will perform magic, puppets and music. During the play, some basic nursery habits are reinforced, such as not biting, sharing toys and picking them up after playing.
Most requested children’s shows
Below you will find the most suitable children’s shows for four types of events:
Children’s shows for schools
There are two types of children’s shows for schools: educational and entertainment.
On the other hand, children’s entertainment shows are suitable for celebrating important dates at school, such as the Carnival, Castanyada, Sant George’s Day, Christmas and the last-day-of-school party. These are plays and shows with the aim of generating joy and animating the party.
When choosing a school show, the most important thing is to make sure that the age range of the play is appropriate for the students, and also that the theme of the play fits well with that of the party.
Recommended children’s shows for each grade
These are the most suitable works for each grade. However, some of these children’s shows can also be adapted for different grades:
- Toddlers: Animalets, Petitruskus, Trenet Xumet.
- Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grades: Arzabastayan, Bibliòfilus, It’s Magic, Let’s Go to the Farm, Ruskus’ Little Train, Traspatràs.
- 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th grades: Cirkruskus, Clowning, It’s not Rocket Science, Missió Setciències, The Great Circusman, The Headless Monster.
Theater plays for children
The word “theater” is often associated with the place where shows are performed, that is, a theater with a stage, curtain, props and so on. However, children’s plays are not only performed in theaters, but in many more venues such as schools, public squares, libraries and civic centers, among others.
In fact, you don’t need a “theater” to do theater. In fact, there are only two things that are essential for performing: an actor and a spectator.
However, in the case of children’s plays, there are certain peculiarities that should be analyzed.
Characteristics of children’s plays
Below are some highlights of children’s plays. (Possibly other animation groups would emphasize other aspects that may be equally valid.)
- Animals. Kids love animals, either in the form of puppets or as part of the story. That’s why children’s shows that are somehow related to animals have a lot of pros.
- Colors. As a general rule, theatrical plays for children should be cheerful and lively, which is why bright colors should be used. This does not mean that the colors must be excessively flashy, but it is recommended that they be lively and harmonious.
- Music. The child is often fascinated by music, not only the melody, but also the rhythm. For this reason, it is good that music plays a prominent role in any children’s show.
- Participation. I always make sure that some characters in my children’s shows are played by audience volunteers. This is enjoyed by both those who participate directly and those who see it as spectators. It is also very important to encourage indirect public participation (clapping, answering questions, etc.).
- Iconic characters. Children quickly recognize the iconic characters: the witch, the pirate, the villain, the clown, the fairy, and so on. An iconic character helps them position themselves and gives them a sense of familiarity and security.
- Mysteries. The kid loves wonderful and inexplicable things. They are predisposed to believe and be surprised. That’s why magic is often one of the most successful things for children.
- Plot. Simplicity is key when it comes to children. It is very important that the plot is easily understood. Complicated and difficult-to-follow stories often cause them boredom.
- Humor. Children laugh much more easily than adults. Plus, they like to laugh. Humor helps keep kids interested in all kinds of children’s shows.
- Exaggeration. If a clown screams, pretending to be hurt, the children laugh; but if he shouts very loudly and exaggeratedly, they laugh even harder. In general, the more exaggerated, the better. That’s not to say that in children’s shows, exaggeration can’t coexist with subtlety and witty humor. On the contrary, adults will appreciate it and this is very good, as the idea is for everyone to have fun, both young and old.
Some examples of these characteristics can be seen in the following three works. Specifically, puppets of animals in Animalets, effects of magic and mystery in Magic Family Show, and a lot of participation of the children in The Great Circusman.
Where to find good children’s shows?
On Catàleg Escènics -from Diputació de Girona-, you can find many high quality plays for children and young people from amateur and professional companies -all of them from the Girona region. Another reliable source is the TTP’s list of shows, where there are more than 60 professional theater and animation groups from Barcelona, Girona and all of Catalonia. When it comes to workshops and educational shows for schools, Activitum has a wide offer.
Children’s entertainment includes two main areas: on the one hand, fun activities with attractions, bouncy castles, water and foam games, and traditional games.
In addition to this, children’s entertainment is often referred to as artistic entertainment by magicians, clowns, puppeteers, musicians and so on.
My children’s entertainment shows are suitable for all kinds of events, from major parties and school parties to family events and birthday parties. Take a look!
Street theater is usually lively, flashy and spontaneous. It’s about creating an entertainment atmosphere that is often part of a larger event, such as a trade show or a special date.
Children’s street performances should be of a wide age range, as audiences can range from toddlers to youngsters. The works should also be predominantly visual, since hearing conditions on the street are sometimes complicated.
The rhythm should be lively, and the plot very simple or non-existent. There are countless distractions on the street and people come and go continuously. This makes it difficult to keep an eye on them for a long time.
Which street show is best?
When it comes to organizing itinerant street entertainment, Itineràntic is a good choice: it is a spontaneous entertainment show that easily adapts to all kinds of situations. As for children’s shows on an outdoor stage, Cirkruskus is an ideal play to perform on the street, as it has a lively rhythm, is very visual and usually appeals to young and old.
Children’s Christmas shows
A good Christmas show should convey the Christmas spirit of brotherhood, joy and hope.
Children’s Christmas shows are basically organized in two ways. On one hand you got local Christmas events, which consist of attractions and activities for the little ones that are complemented by magic shows, clowns, puppets, etc.
On the other hand, shops usually organize children’s Christmas entertainment to attract more customers. Shopping malls often hold children’s Christmas shows during these days.
Every year, during the Christmas season, I adapt some of my happiest children’s shows to the Christmas holiday. The three most popular shows during Christmas are Arzabastayan, Cirkruskus and Trenet Xumet.
Puppets and magic for babies and children one, two and three years old
Puppets are often associated with babies and toddlers, but it is important to know that babies are not the best group to enjoy classical puppetry. Puppet shows often have an argument that, while simple, is still too complex for children under one year.
An important part of my children’s shows are performed in nurseries all over Catalonia. I got three works especially aimed to babies and children from one to three: Trenet Xumet, Animalets and Petitruskus.
Puppet theater for babies
Puppets for children aged zero to one should use gestures and sounds rather than words. They should stimulate the senses and be caressed. They even should do amazing things like play an instrument, soap bubbles or even magic.
One of my most successful puppies with babies is Conillet. The little ones love to get close to it and caress its soft white hair. They also like Nunci, a silent puppet that does magic and plays the xylophone.
The most popular puppets among children are glove puppets, as many have them at home or in the nursery. In fact, glove puppets are one of the most common puppets in all kinds of children’s shows, not just in Punch and Judy shows. Frequently, glove puppets were the first ones that many puppeteers ever got.
Senyor Banyetes was the first puppet that my partner and I made. We made its head and hands with papier-mâché:
However, a puppet is nothing more than an inanimate object that the artist brings to life. It doesn’t matter what kind of puppet it is -glove puppet or whatever. The point is it makes people feel it has a life of its own.
For example, Aneguet (from the children’s show Animalets) is just a duck on wheels, but it is manipulated in such a way that it looks like the duck is guiding the clown, not the other way around. The duck wants to get closer to the little ones against Ruskus’ wishes, and this tug of war is very amusing to the children: