This morning we saw the Occidental Children's Theater do this summer's show, "Han Solo and Gretel." It was great fun.
In case you don't know, and I've somehow never told you, here's how the Occidental Children's Theater works: each show consists of 4 stories. The first 3 are folk tales from around the world. The 4th is an original tale, developed through improvisation beginning with just the title, which always combines a well-known story with some very different story or genre.
The stories are performed by a cast of 6 actors in an open outdoor area, with audience seated on all sides. There are no costumes or sets, and the only props are six staffs and six scarves. Using only these, the actors create buffalo, birds, frogs, exploding frogs, cottages, castles, thrones, gates, waterfalls, trees, sacks, entire forests, rice fields, and so on, all through creative physical movement. The best part is, while the cast leaves no question what it is they are creating for you, this style requires that the audience engage their imagination. This is no summer-blockbuster-popcorn experience (not that there's anything wrong with that, either).
I'm biased; I was part of the Occidental Children's Theater for three summers, about a hundred years ago. Still directed by Oxy Theater professor Jamie Angell, the OCT is going strong.