Creating a backyard theater is as much fun as watching a show! Whether you plan a reading or film viewing of The Lorax, kids are sure to enjoy the arts in the great outdoors.
What you’ll need:
- copies of The Lorax book and/or DVD
- home theater system—a projector, DVD player, speakers and screen (a white wall or sheet works too!) or bring your TV or computer outside
- extension cords (as needed)
- a yard and a dark night
- lawn chairs, pillows, blankets, sleeping bags
- bug repellent
- popcorn, drinks and treats
- construction paper, cardboard, markers, scissors, tape and glue (if you want to make extras like tickets, a marquee or a concession stand)
To make this a real theater experience, you need an audience. Start by talking with friends and neighbors about your idea to watch a movie under the stars. See who has equipment to lend and get suggestions for dates when everyone can come.
Enlist kids’ help in making invitations, movie tickets and signage. They might also enjoy organizing a concession stand, reusing large cardboard boxes to create spaces to display popcorn, drinks and other treats.
The night of your show, plan to set up your screen and other equipment before it gets dark. Arrange blankets, pillows and sleeping bags near the screen with lawn chairs behind. Test your equipment and do a sound check. Make sure that any cords are secured so no one trips in the dark.
Let kids run the show and take tickets, serve snacks, and usher guests to their seats. Have a few flashlights on hand to help movie goers make their way to the concession stand or bathroom. You might want to include a brief intermission too.
Plan to end your movie night with a flashlight reading of The Lorax. The fun, lyrical language of The Lorax begs to be read aloud and will lead to a lively discussion comparing the book and movie.
And if home theater equipment isn’t available, put on a live-action show! Mark an area in the backyard as your stage and use a sheet and rope to create a stage curtain. Assign various parts—Narrator, Once-ler, the Lorax—to family members who take turns reading aloud from The Lorax. You can add props and simple costumes, like a Whisper-ma-Phone and a Lorax mustache, and a few flashlights for spotlights. Break a leg!