Theater Info for the Washington DC region

Arts on the Horizon Drumming With Dishes

By • Dec 2nd, 2012 • Category: Reviews
Drumming With Dishes
Arts on the Horizon
Workhouse Arts Center
Through December 9th in Virginia
December 11th-16th at the Atlas Performing Arts Center in DC
35 minutes
$8/Under 12 months free
Reviewed December 1st, 2012

Drumming with Dishes is a delightful story of a girl and her “imaginary friend” who get to know each other through kitchen cookware, a guitar, and pasta. Sounds kind of weird, but the presentation was fabulous and the acting was great. Arts on the Horizon is the United States’ first dedicated theater for very young children.

The young audience in Saturday’s 11:15 showing ranged in age from a few months to about five years old. No lines had to be memorized, but the interactive story, set to live music, was clearly expressed.

Danielle Lenee as the “child” was playing stack the pasta boxes when the house opened. Her antics with the boxes and how she kept stacking, rearranging, watching them fall over and the starting all over again was a great way to keep the young audience engaged before the performance even started! The audience was invited to sit on a large parachute on the floor, but there were also two rows of chairs in the back of the house.

Once the show began Lenee used all her energy to welcome her imaginary friend, played by Shea-Mikal Green, to come out and experience the fun of playing in the kitchen. Green was shy at first and took a lot of coaxing by Lenee and the audience, but eventually she too became equally as expressive and full of energy. The entire performance was accomplished without spoken words. Everything was through showing, dancing, banging, and playing tug-of-war with the world’s largest scarf. The two even shared their “spoils” with the young audience by presenting them with boxes of pasta and beans. Not all the children, especially the younger ones, understood quite what to do, but seemed to enjoy at least holding the pasta boxes. Musician Paul Foreman played several well-known Christmas pieces, and created a few sound effects, such as bells and thumps. A wonderful scene was the building of a Christmas tree using pasta, beans, garlands and a cookie cutter for a star to the beautiful sounds of “Oh Christmas Tree.”

The kitchen was simple, complete with pots, mixing bowls, spoons, aprons, an egg beater, and the ever-present Tupperware to be drummed upon. Even the clean up was part of the experience as the two used their imagination to pick up all the pasta boxes, scoop up the beans, and dispose of the mess.

The show ran a little over 30 minutes, just the right length to keep the attention of the “little audience.” Drumming With Dishes was a well done performance highly recommended for the Christmas Season for the very young.


  • Imaginary Friend: Shea-Mikal Green
  • Little Girl: Danielle Lenee
  • Musician: Paul Foreman


  • Remount Set Designer: Leigh-Ann Friedel
  • Playwright: David Kilpatrick
  • Director: Jennifer Furlong
  • Founder and Producing Artistic Director: Michelle Kozlak
  • Stage Manager/Production Coordinator: Kylene Page

Disclaimer: Workhouse Arts Center provided two complimentary media tickets to ShowBizRadio for this review. Mike is an instructor at the Workhouse Arts Center, which did not affect this article.

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