Hevosenkenkä Theatre, an Espoo children’s theatre, will publish an audio play of the story “The Bear That Wasn’t” on the City of Espoo Soundcloud and Spotify accounts and Hevosenkenkä Fairy Tale Channel on national Fairy Tale Day on Sunday, 18 October 2020 at 3 pm. The story is a virtual gift from Hevosenkenkä to all Espoo children to celebrate Fairy Tale Day and also to celebrate the theatre’s 45th anniversary.
Jukka Mäkelä, Mayor of Espoo, is the patron of Hevosenkenkä Theatre’s Fairy Tale Day, and he hopes that the audio play will reach all Espoo children.
“Fairy tales meant a lot to me as a child. That is probably why I still like stories – especially the Espoo Story,” Mäkelä says.
”My favourite story as a child was ‘Little Mole and His Toy Car’. It was read again and again. I read all kinds of stories to my own children, both new and old. Several times we also read ‘Little Mole and His Toy Car’. I used to tell stories of my own as well, and especially my son Teemu enjoyed my dinosaur stories. We were and still are regular customers and fans of Hevosenkenkä Theatre,” says Mäkelä.
A playful story with a philosophical message
The audio play “The Bear That Wasn’t” is 27 minutes long and is suitable for all ages. It has a playful dimension for children and a philosophical message for adults. The audio play will be released initially only in Finnish, but the plan is to make versions in Swedish and English as well.
The audio play is suitable for listening at home, in schools and in early childhood education. The audio play will also be sent to Espoo schools and early childhood education.
Hevosenkenkä Theatre has created the audio play based on the very first play of its repertoire, “The Bear That Wasn’t”. The first performance in the history of the theatre was seen in 1975 at Haukilahden koulu secondary school in Espoo.
Kirsi Siren, the theatre director, is directing the audio play now, as in 1975, and she has also written the manuscript based on Frank Tashlin’s original story.
Fairy tales contribute to children’s love for reading
The goal of the national Fairy Tale Day, celebrated on 18 October, is to create a common experience for children, young people and adults in the midst of busy day-to-day life and to offer people of all ages the opportunity to immerse themselves in the world of fairy tales together.
Fairy tales, children’s literature and children’s culture have an enormous impact on the development of a child’s language skills and imagination. High-quality children’s culture also offers opportunities to address difficult issues, such as death, divorce or bullying.
Work is carried out year-round to promote reading in schools and early childhood education in Espoo. The world of reading is explored at day-care centres and with young pupils, for example through drama, literature and music. The Lukuinto (‘Love of Reading’) project launched in Espoo engages children in reading, producing different texts and expressing themselves through texts.
“Reading aloud is one way to support the development of linguistic competence. It is beneficial for the child not only to practice reading aloud but also to hear someone read aloud. In this, teachers and schools play a key role in levelling out differences in children’s reading levels, as studies show that reading to children is not practised in all homes,” says Piritta Honkanen, Education Planner at the City of Espoo.
News articles in Finnish:
”Karhu jota ei ollutkaan” julkaistaan kuunnelmana Satupäivänä 18.10.2020
Lukuintoa ruokitaan lapsuudesta lähtien