Yesterday I took my boys to an incredible hands-on traveling art installation called ‘Toybox’. It is the creation of Playground Studios and is currently open until September 15 at Theatre Passe Muraille. Toybox is an interactive play space for people of all ages, where cutting edge digital and projection technology is put in the hands of even the smallest players, who are free to create amazing special effects on screen with the help of green screen tricks, lighting, sound and (of course) COSTUMES! The space also provides creative art materials and building blocks – encouraging creative expression of all kinds from audience members of all ages.
This generation of the Toybox (because it is always a little bit different) is themed around the City of Toronto and the projections, video clips and imagery used are created from footage of the city. My boys had a blast making a TTC subway car drive past the screen over and over and over as they adjusted the action and green screen effects they wanted to add. Tristan discovered that he could turn the CN Tower into a microphone, or an ice cream cone! Seeing yourself on screen and experimenting with the ‘magic’ of green screen effects is intoxicating for kid and adults alike.
Fancy Pants Kids has been proud to be a sponsor of this amazing project since its inception in 2010, as the official supplier of the costumes used in Toybox. The goal of the project is to create a place for audiences to play hands-on with the technological tools of theatre in a fun and engaging way. This ingenious experience is brought to life by the audience. It’s all about what happens when people, their stories, their ideas and their imaginations collide. My kids did not want to leave and frankly, neither did I!
You can also catch Toybox at City Hall in the Main Atrium next (free of charge!) and at some other locations through the fall. Follow Playground Studios on Facebook to keep abreast of the schedule, dates and locations. (You can also contact them about group and school bookings!) If you get a chance to go play in the Toybox, please tell us about it!