Lanie Carlson

Lanie Carlson

Central Region
Hot Springs, AR
[email protected]

I have always enjoyed watching children at play. It is the primary way that they make sense of the world, explore ideas, make connections and learn. As a teacher, I believe it is my job to create a magical space that encourages play and sparks a child’s imagination. What is theater if not an ultimate form of play? In fact a theater production is called a play. Theater encourages us to play with story, play with how characters interact and react to each other and situations and play with costumes and props to help create a believable character. My approach to theater with young kids is very hands on and active. Children explore story through improv and familiar stories, costume and props. For older kids,I expect the students to actively participate in some way in the creation of the story and in the production, either through acting on stage, backstage work or technical (lights and sound) work. It is about storytelling through the medium of theater.

Starstuff Story Time Theater (Visiting Artist) allows kids to actively participate in telling a story using simple props and costumes. Read Through - I tell the story or kids read scripts. Green Room- Kids choose parts and gather costumes and props, Curtain Up - Kids act out the story.

Starstuff Story Theater Workshop (Short Term Residency) encourages kids to create a character from costume pieces and props and then brew together their characters, a setting, problem and solution to conjure an original story. A Fairy Tale or other public domain story can also be used as a framework.The Workshop will culminate with a performance of the original piece.

Kaleidoscope Players (Long Term Residency) is designed to get kids involved in all aspects of a theater production and conjure story magic on stage as an actor learning about character, memorizing lines and working with fellow actors on stage. Back stage as a stage manager, or other crew needed to run show backstage. Tech - Designing and running lights or sound, helping to build stage and set.


I have a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and thirty-seven years in theater. I have worked for twenty-five years in various areas of early childhood. I have been a teacher, home daycare provider, administrator and school age coordinator. I have been involved in theater, since the age of ten. I started participating in theater at school and in the community at the age of ten and never stopped. I spent 30 years acting, directing, stage managing, creating props and costumes and recording and running lights and sound at a few beloved community theaters.

I have served on the board at Chapel street Theater in Newark, Delaware. I am currently writing skits and scripts for Story Time Theater and promoting Starstuff Story Time Theater and Story Theater Workshops.

AIE Program

Preferred Age Level: PreK-K; Elementary
Geographic Availability: Garland County
Time Availability: September-November 2016; January-June 2017
Special Needs: A space with a stage or a space large enough for movement and pop up stage space (10x10 ft pop up. 20 ft x 20 ft needed space).

Starstuff Story Theater Workshop also needs notebook paper and pencils,or access to computer/laptop/tablet for writing script

Long Term residency of Kaleidoscope Players a functioning theater space with lights and sound capabilities would be ideal, but NOT necessary.