ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Performers and organizers with Theatre Young Kids Enjoy (TYKEs) at the Jewish Community Center (JCC) are putting the finishing touches on their newest performance, “Llama Llama Red Pajama.”
TYKEs Founder and Director Freyda Schneider explained TYKEs is a professional children’s theatre.
“We use adult professional actors to perform best-loved musicals and plays on stage at the JCC and ‘Llama Llama Red Pajama’ is our 18th season,” Schneider said.
Yakira Coleman plays ‘Mama Llama’ in the production and said the play is based on a kid’s book written in 2005.
“It’s basically about this little kid who’s trying to get to bed, and his mom really needs him to get to bed because he has school in the morning and all these other things that he has to do, but he doesn’t want to sleep. He wants to stay up. He wants to bounce around. He wants to have a dance party. He wants to play with his toys and have any type of conversation you can have as a kid playing pretend with your toys. And it’s just the struggle as a parent trying to get a five-year-old to sleep,” Coleman said.
Schneider says she hopes kids walk away knowing they’re protected and safe.
“This show takes place on a child’s first day of school and he’s sort of initially panicked at ‘What if his mom never comes to pick him up again? What if he never sees his mom again?’ And what the author was so good at was sort of calming children’s anxieties about regular things, things that happen every day to kids and I think the message here is that it’s okay. You are safe. Your grown-up loves you. Your grown-up has your back and will be there for you to support you. You’re not alone,” Schneider said.
Coleman explains while the production directed by Sandi Henschel is geared toward kids, it’s also for parents!
“There’s a lot of nice moments that kids may not get and a lot of nice references that adults are definitely going to get that we have even implemented into the show that makes this transcend just kids theater. This is definitely a family night out or a family day out for just fun and laughs and love,” Coleman said.