I recently had the pleasure of taking my 4 year old to the Carousel Theatre for Young People’s production of Dot & Ziggy. The caliber of the production was incredible. The appropriateness of the content, pacing and interaction was perfect. I can’t imagine a single child, aged 3 and under, not enjoying this production.

The show is not at the Waterfront Theatre but rather at the Bee Stage across the street. Four bright coloured foam mats provide the seating for the audience. The audience is small and not overwhelming. The show begins by the performers coming out and introducing themselves. There is no startle factor. The little ones aren’t going to get spooked by Dustin and Kayla who play Ziggy (skunk) and Dot (ladybug).

The 40 minute performance includes singing, audience participation and a wonderful lesson about sharing. My favourite part was that the sharing lesson didn’t teach “you must share”, because seriously no one is good at that, but rather you must respect that your friends will have different opinions and sharing allows everyone to feel good about their opinions.

Photo credit: Faye Campbell

Photo credit: Faye Campbell

The 2 main actors, Dustin Freeland and Kayla Dunbar, are truly talented. I could have happily sat there all afternoon listening to them sing. Both actors did a terrific job of interacting with the audience and crouching down to meet the kids at their level. Their voices were clearly audible but not remotely loud. Their movements were tempered so as not to startle anyone. This was truly a very gentle production.

Dot & Ziggy runs until June 14th (Tues – Fri 10am & 11:30am shows; Sat & Sun 10am, 11:30am and 2:30pm shows). Tickets are available online. I can’t image a more perfect way to introduce young children to the theatre. Kudos to the Carousel Theatre for Young People for mounting this production. Well done!