Calgary Cares: Green Fools Theatre helps kids through COVID-19

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WATCH: They can teach your kids to juggle and make them laugh but also answer critical questions about COVID-19. Green Fools Theatre in Calgary is shifting its focus online during the COVID-19 pandemic. Lauren Pullen has more on how the entertainment is spreading an underlying message – Apr 14, 2020

It can be tough finding ways to keep kids entertained and occupied after weeks of self-isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic, but a Calgary theatre company is hoping to help with some free, fun videos on social media.

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They are all about making kids laugh and teaching them new things, like how to juggle.

Gustavo the Impossibilist, one of the most beloved, longtime characters with Calgary’s Green Fools Theatre, is the star in front of the camera. He has been a touring street and theatre performer for 25 years and has taken his act around the world.

While he is all about getting laughs, he reached out to kids for their COVID-19 questions and answered them in a way they understand for the first video.

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READ MORE: Kids put their COVID-19 questions to the experts

The theatre company prides itself on being a socially conscious, interactive group that focuses on kids and their well-being. The goal for these videos is to help kids through the pandemic while having a little fun.

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“This kind of experience where you have to close everybody in and you can’t go to school and see your friends and you can’t socialize with your friends — this is traumatic, this is trauma,” Green Fools artistic director Dean Bareham said.

“We want to help with easing that anxiety. We can do that. Gustavo makes people laugh.”

READ MORE: Introducing social media to children during the COVID-19 crisis

Times haven’t been easy for the theatre company either. It is now down to a two-person operation: the artistic director and general manager. Like many small businesses, the company had to lay off all staff. All upcoming festival shows have been cancelled.

“There [are] positive days and there [are] low days where we wonder, ‘How are we going to get through this?’ But we think no, no, no. You got to give it your best try,” general manager Shelley Bareham said.
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Now, the videos keep the pair busy.

“We just want to give back any way we can and if it’s just a bit of levity, that’s great,” Bareham said.

While the videos are all free, the theatre group, which is also a non-profit charity, is accepting donations online.

You can watch the videos on the Green Fools Facebook and Instagram accounts.

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