The Laundromat Theater will transform a downtown Laundromat into a dynamic playspace for kids, while transforming an ordinary errand into an opportunity for families to connect and create. Kids can get dramatic while their parents get the laundry done, making play truly accessible and making families' lives easier and more fun.
We'll design and build a whimsical, compact, portable play stage that kids can use to create and put on impromptu puppet shows and plays. We'll use a flexible and inexpensive design that could easily work at Laundromats, grocery stores, street corners, bus stops or other unexpected places. We'll create simple instructions for making sock puppets and fun costumes, and stock the Laundromat with craft supplies that can help turn lost & found or donated clothes into imaginative props. We'll share the theater design and craft instructions online in simple-to-use PDFs and a how-to video, so that communities anywhere can create and use their own theaters in unexpected places.
We'll pilot this project at the Randolph Village Laundromat - a downtown Laundromat in rural Randolph, Vermont, which is close to many low income residential areas and is a common stop for families with little time or access to playgrounds and organized recreation. We'll partner with the Arts Bus - a well-known local non-profit mobile art studio - to engage the community in building the theater and building ownership for this play space. Together, we'll host two art parties that let kids and the community help decorate the theater and make puppets, building enthusiasm and awareness of the project.
After an initial pilot, we'll make the theater available to other locations in the area including a senior housing laundry room (so that grandparents can play more with grandchildren), the local hospital, farmers? market, and other destinations. The theater itself will transform a typical Laundromat into a wondrous and creative destination, making it easier for parents to bring kids along while they do their laundry and easier for kids to find opportunities for imaginative and physical play. The flexible nature of the theater will make it possible for kids to play for 5 or 50 minutes, and it will help children and families learn to create opportunities for fun in everyday places with the objects all around them.
- Rebecca Sanborn Stone