With arts programs almost always being the first to be slashed when budget cuts hit public schools, it’s sad to think that kids today and those of future generations will grow up without the sort of daily structured creative exploration so many of us were fortunate enough to have.
Lucky for today’s kids (and grown-ups!), though, we have Netflix, The Jim Henson Company, and Julie Freaking Andrews. The three are teaming up for a new show aimed at pre-schoolers, called Julie’s Greenroom, in which Andrews will give lessons on a wide range of performing arts disciplines. Like The Sound of Music, but with puppets. From The Guardian,
Andrews will play Ms Julie, the director of the Wellspring Centre for the Performing Arts and give workshops to the puppet children in the school’s theatre and advice backstage in the “greenroom”, helped by her assistant Gus, played by Giullian Gioiello.
Performing arts so often get brushed off as frivolous electives, but the effect these disciplines have on kids’ creativity, self-awareness, and confidence have the potential to be life-changing. Fortunately, networks like HBO (the new home of Sesame Street) and Netflix don’t just value children’s programming, it also makes them a crap ton of money. (Thus making it easier to prioritize.)
Now that I’m thinking about it, the idea of learning about theatre from Julie Andrews, a bunch of puppets, and guest stars like Carol Burnett and Tituss Burgess, and this show is actually making my own treasured childhood arts programs look pretty shabby.