Elmo takes more singing to the Street

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - PLAY -

will carry a new tune on the hit kids’ TV show Sesame Street. Sev­eral, in re­al­ity. A shift in how the pop­u­lar pup­pet is de­ployed marks the most vis­i­ble change on Sesame Street, the chil­dren’s pro­gram that has be­gun its 43rd sea­son on US pub­lic tele­vi­sion. The Elmo’s World seg­ment is be­ing phased out af­ter 13 years, re­placed by a new seg­ment, Elmo the Mu­si­cal. Ten new skits, each last­ing 11 min­utes, have been pre­pared. The idea is to in­cor­po­rate mu­sic into the Sesame Street em­pha­sis on in­tro­duc­ing con­cepts in sci­ence, tech­nol­ogy, engi­neer­ing and maths to the preschool-aged view­ers, says Rose­marie Truglio, se­nior vice-pres­i­dent of ed­u­ca­tion and re­search at Sesame Work­shop, the com­pany that makes the se­ries. Elmo will use singing and danc­ing to draw at­ten­tion to the need for prob­lem­solv­ing skills and make the learn­ing en­ter­tain­ing, she says. The char­ac­ter will be fea­tured in Sea Cap­tain the Mu­si­cal, Moun­tain Climber the Mu­si­cal and Pres­i­dent the Mu­si­cal. The cur­rent Elmo, geared largely to two-year-olds, had some repet­i­tive mu­sic seg­ments. Elmo the Mu­si­cal will have seven or eight songs in each skit, and will be aimed at preschool young­sters who are slightly older. ‘‘With re­ally young chil­dren, the arts are very rel­e­vant to their lives,’’ Truglio says. ‘‘We want to be able to use the arts as a tool.’’ Sesame Street be­gan its em­pha­sis on sci­ence and tech­nol­ogy last sea­son. The chil­dren’s show is also bring­ing in its usual se­ries of guest celebri­ties this sea­son: Char­l­ize Theron, Halle Berry, Melissa McCarthy, Steve Carell, John Hamm, Zac Efron, Blake Grif­fin, the rock band Train and rap­per Com­mon.

Daily, ABC3.

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