Seth Goldstein and Molly Stewart wanted to create a performance piece that didn’t nail kids into their seats, but rather let them become involved in an important way.
Hoboken residents for about five years, the couple has been involved in performance for many years longer, but not quite in a show like “The Ohmies.”
The performance of “The Ohmies: Morning Wish Garden” has been extended at the Peter Jay Sharp Theater at 416 West 42nd St. in New York City until Sept. 25.
Critics say it is part concert, part dance party, part musical theater, part yoga class, and much more.
Goldstein, who serves as producer and general manager for the show, said the show is designed for pre schoolers. So it was created to be fun, energetic, engaging, colorful and entertaining.
“We stepped up the production value.” — Seth Goldstein.
Stewart said that taking kids that age to the theater has often been a matter of telling them to sit in their seats.
“With this show, they don’t have to,” she said. “They are encouraged to get involved.”
“The Ohmies” allows preschoolers to interact in these musical adventures which are based on a curriculum of movement and physical activity, emotional and social development, designed by experts in each field.
“The Ohmies,” according to the Goldstein, helps children learn to identify their feelings, make friends, resolve conflicts, get along with their siblings and deal with anxiety by encouraging good habits as the foundation for a healthy lifestyle.
Kids ages 3 through 8 dance, stretch, and naturally giggle during this mythological journey. They follow Bella Butterfly and Carlin Caterpillar to wake up Mr. Sun so that their garden of wishes will have light with which to grow.
During this trip, Bella, Carlin, and the audience meet a number of characters and get involved in a series of yoga-inspired dance exercises, learning through the story and the movement how to help overcome stress in their lives.
The show is not an endurance test. It runs for less than an hour and is performed in a space where mats have been laid out so that the audience of kids can participate – singing as they hop like grasshoppers, slither like snakes, fly like butterflies, and do other things other creatures do. Kids are asked to wear loose-fitting clothing and colorful socks.
There is, however, seating available for those who do not wish to sit on the mats.
The musical evolved over a number of years and was retooled about three years ago, when their business partners got involved with the production.
“We stepped up the production value,” Goldstein said. “We got new sets and award winning art.”
With a little more research, the couple was able to use the play to educate on a number of levels, giving kids early lessons on how to control their stress and find emotional stability while being entertained at the same time.
Stewart said she has been doing outreach into the local community in Hoboken, where she is involved with Mimi Children’s Yoga program.
Tickets are priced at $35 each and are on sale now. Call Ticket Central at (212) 279-4200 or visit www.ticketcentral.com. For more information about “The Ohmies,” visit www.theohmies.com. Follow on Facebook at www.facebook.com/theohmies and on Twitter @TheOhmies.