This September, Storytree Children’s Theatre presents an interactive production for children, Sweetgrass Salt Marsh.
Written by local playwright, actor, and Storytree founder Teralyn Reiter, Sweetgrass Salt Marsh guides children through the habitat of the local salt marshes of the Lowcountry as they meet animals living in this unique environment. The play is based on and accompanied by an original children’s book of the same name, written by Teralyn Reiter and illustrated by local artist, Amber Vasquez. Vasquez created set designs for the play, as well.
Sweetgrass Salt Marsh features local musicians Kelly Muchado and Jordan Boardman who will compose original, interactive songs during the performances. Additionally, Storytree is working with the Charleston Young Artists Guild, a local group of talented, young artists, to create set pieces and props for the performance, making Sweetgrass Salt Marsh a true collaboration between community-based artists.
Muchado, a certified music therapist, and Boardman, a composer and performer, both jumped at the chance to flex their creative muscles for this project.
"We immediately saw the value of what Storytree was doing for our community of early learners,” Muchado says. "It is a fulfilling experience to see how my background in songwriting, music education, musical theater, and music therapy come together to help make music for this production.”
"Little ones learn best by using their senses and playing with their environment,” Boardman adds. “Storytree uses the theater to help facilitate this kind of learning. I always love to have the opportunity to compose music for a production where there is a lot of passion.”
The first production of its kind in the Lowcountry, the young audience will be seated onstage at the Gaillard with the performers as they sing, act, and explore. This one-of-a-kind production comes to life through Storytree’s enduring partnership with the Gaillard Center Education Program. Sterling deVries, Director of Education at the Gaillard Center, continues to bring theatrical experiences to the broadest and youngest communities, all while giving Storytree Children’s Theatre an opportunity to create new works in expressive and imaginative ways.
"This has been an incredible opportunity to draw on the deep well of artistic talents from our very own Charleston community," Reiter says. “From visual artists to musicians, we’ve all come together to create a one-of-a-kind experience that we hope will ignite a passion for the arts in our youngest community members.”
When: September 17 - 18, 4 performances a day at 10, 11, 12, 1PM each day
The performance is approximately 30 minutes in length.
Where: The Martha and John M. Rivers Performance Hall at the Gaillard Center, 95 Calhoun Street, Charleston
Who: Everyone is welcome to attend; children and adults are seated onstage for the performance
Cost: Tickets are $5 per person and can be purchased at the Gaillard Box Office