Friday, April 17, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Cool ÔCool DavisÕ show for kids

By
October 5, 2010 |

Enterprise staff writer

For five years now, Jeff Falyn and Lyndsay Dawkins have been immersing children in the natural world through inter-active outdoor plays that feature the husband-and-wife duo in the lead roles.

ÒNatureÕs Theater,Ó which takes place at Stebbins Cold Canyon, near Lake Berryessa, combines a journey through nature with costumed characters; the shows always culminate in an environmental problem that the children themselves help solve.

Falyn, guide and program coordinator for the UC Davis Natural Reserve, had been leading outings through the canyon for adults for several years before he and his wife decided a childrenÕs program was needed too.

ÒNatureÕs Theater was born out of a lack of programming out there for kids,Ó Falyn said, adding that as parents themselves of two young daughters, Òwe thought, ÔWe can do this.Õ Ó

And so they did. Their first outing with children told the story of a ÔBirdmanÕ Ñ Falyn himself in bird costume Ñ who had lost his memory. As children were guided through the canyon, they learned facts about birds, and when Birdman appeared on the scene sans memory, they were able to restore it with all of the information theyÕd learned.

It was a hit with the kids, Falyn said, with children asking how Birdman was doing years later. And parents loved it too, especially after seeing what their children took away from the performances: A greater environmental awareness that translated into everyday life, Falyn said.

Since then, the duo have written about 20 full nature plays that theyÕve not only performed at NatureÕs Theater, but also at summer camps, schools and even birthday parties. The plays themselves are geared toward children between the ages of 4 and 10, but Falyn and Dawkins also have figured out how to reach older children: Now they teach the plays to teens to perform for younger children.

ÒWe reach two age groups that way,Ó noted Dawkins.

The teens, she explained, not only pick up leadership skills and learn how to teach younger children, they also learn a few things about the environment themselves.

And when the curtain opens on their latest play, ÒIn Search of King Carbon,Ó at the Cool Davis Festival on Sunday, it will be a group of Davis teens performing for Ñ and with Ñ younger audience members.

The performance Ñ which will take place on Sunday afternoon at the VeteransÕ Memorial Theater, 203 E. 14th St. Ñ is the culmination of a weekÕs worth of ÔKing CarbonÕ performances. Earlier in the week, five different casts comprised of 36 10th-graders from the Sacramento Waldorf School will have performed the play at five Davis schools: North Davis, Willett, Merryhill, Peregrine and Davis Waldorf.

And though the venues will be quite different Ñ the school performances will feature outdoor walking while the VMT show will take place indoors on the stage Ñ the message remains the same: What people can do to reduce global warming.

A serious subject for sure, but in Falyn and DawkinsÕ hands Ñ not to mention the hands of their talented teen cast Ñ the subject becomes lively, funny and thoroughly entertaining.

Last week, the Cool Davis cast Ñ complete with a nature guide, Earth king and a collection of hilarious, black-clad teenage CO2s Ñ were busy rehearsing with Falyn and Dawkins at Davis Community Church.

The directors enjoy watching what their young thespians do with their material.

ÒWe had an inkling it would be cool,Ó Dawkins said, Òbut watching them, we were like, ÔWow.Õ ItÕs amazing to sit back and watch them transform.Ó

As with all of the plays Falyn and Dawkins write, the children in the audience become a part of the performance, and kids will be invited up onstage at the VMT to participate.

The fall season of NatureÕs Theater gets underway in Stebbins Cold Canyon soon, with the first outing scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 17, from 10 a.m. to noon.

To check out the schedule and reserve a spot, visit http://nrs.ucdavis.edu/stebbins/guides/guide_schedule.htm or contact Falyn at [email protected]

ÒThereÕs something about this that brings out our passion for the outdoors,Ó Dawkins said of the work she and her husband enjoy. And she loves the benefit for children.

ÒHumans love stories,Ó she noted, Òbut so many of our stories have moved indoors with computers and televisions and Game Boys.Ó

Now the stories have moved back outdoors again, she noted.

Check out NatureÕs Theater

The new season of NatureÕs Theater gets underway in Stebbins Cold Canyon beginning Sunday, Oct. 17. The program Ñ aimed at children between the ages of 4 and 10 Ñ uses interactive stories as children explore the canyon with characters like ÒSummer,Ó ÒProfessor Planthead,Ó ÒZip Zap the nature hero,Ó and more. All programs are from 10 a.m. to noon. For additional information, or to RSVP, contact Jeff Falyn at [email protected] Please include a phone number in the e-mail.

Fall schedule:

Sunday, Oct. 17: Summer WonÕt Go (for ages 4 to 8)

Saturday, Oct. 30: Silly OleÕ Professor Planthead (for ages 6 to 10)

Saturday, Nov. 6: Nature Heroes (for ages 5 to 10)

Sunday, Nov. 14: To Be a Tree (for ages 5 to 10)

Sunday, Nov. 21: Consumasaurus, the Dragon (for ages 6 to 10)

Ñ Reach Anne Ternus-Bellamy at (530) 747-8051 or [email protected] Comment on this story at www.davisenterprise.com

Comments

comments

Anne Ternus-Bellamy

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Psychedelic rock posters recall 1960s concerts

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    UCD study: Crickets not enough to feed the world just yet

    By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A1

    It’ll be a perfect day for a picnic — and lots more

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Turning a mess into olive oil success

    By Dave Jones | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    UCD expands emergency notification service

    By Julia Ann Easley | From Page: A2

     
    California vaccine bill stalls; will come back next week

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Cities: California water reduction order unrealistic, unfair

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Bob Dunning: Chasing criminals and water-wasters

    By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2

    Enjoy a chemistry bang on Picnic Day

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Start your Picnic Day with pancakes

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Local students to perform at fundraising concert

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    CA House hosts crepe breakfast

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Doxie Derby crowns the winning wiener

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Fundraiser benefits Ugandan women

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    See pups at Picnic Day

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Davis poet will read his work at library

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Free blood pressure screenings offered

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4Comments are off for this post

     
    Rotary Club hosts whisky tasting

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Ribs and Rotary benefits local charities

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Dodd plans fundraising barbecue in Davis

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Soroptimists set date for golf tourney

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Socks collected for homeless veterans

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Council will present environmental awards Tuesday

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    Invention and upcycling to be honored at Square Tomatoes Fair

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    Take a peek at Putah Creek on daylong tour

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Pence Gallery Garden Tour tickets on sale

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    UC Davis Circle K Club wins awards at district convention

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Davis authors featured at writing conference in Stockton

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    Sign up soon for Davis history tour

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6 | Gallery

    Campus firearms bill passes Senate committee

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    Emerson featured at photography program

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Portuguese influence in Yolo County detailed

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    Concert and dance party celebrate KDRT’s 10 years on the air

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    Survival skills to be taught at preserve

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

    .

    Forum

    The new one puts her foot down

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A8

    It’s time to fight for California’s jobs

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    Future leaders give back

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

     
    Know where your gift is going

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

    Pipeline veto a good move

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

     
    Artists offer heartfelt thanks

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

    .

    Sports

    DHS boys drop another Delta League match

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Aggie women ready to host (win?) Big West golf tourney

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

    New strength coach hopes to stem UCD football injury tide

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Herd has too much for Devil softballers

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Les, AD Gould talk about the Aggie coach’s future

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

     
    UCD roundup: Quintet of Aggie gymnasts honored for academics

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
    River Cats fall to Las Vegas

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12

     
    Diamondbacks defeat Giants in 12 innings

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B12 | Gallery

    .

    Features

    DSF kicks off 10th anniversary celebration at the carousel

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: B5

     
    Many summer enrichment opportunities available for students

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: B5

     
    What’s happening

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: B5

    .

    Arts

    ‘True Story:’ In their dreams

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A10 | Gallery

     
    ‘Once’ an unforgetable celebration of music, relationships

    By Bev Sykes | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    .

    Business

    Honda shows off new Civic at New York show

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    .

    Obituaries

    Ruth Rodenbeck Stumpf

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Robert Leigh Cordrey

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Friday, April 17, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B10