Our Theater

Fact number one: If you are born, sooner or later you die.

Fact number two: In order to capitalize on the space of time between birth and death each individual should grow in a vital, creative way; each must live his inner personal, sensitive life. 

Fact number three: This creative, imaginative life comes most easily and naturally to children. It is their soul.  It is the God in them.

 - Excerpt from forward by Paul Baker in A Place for Ideas: Our Theater

A Place for Ideas.jpg

Cover of the first edition of A Place for Ideas: Our Theater, 1965.

A Place for Ideas

In 1964 Jearnine Wagner and Kitty Baker took years of experience and knowledge in working with children in the theater program to compile A Place for Ideas: Our Theater. Described as a "collage of ideas-in-action," the book presents children's thoughts and experiences as they explore different media and create artistic expressions. 

The editors introduce exercises and concepts, but it is the children contributors who lead the book.  This collage style, from the perspectives of children, remains a fixture in publications generated from future projects envisioned by Wagner.

Below are color pages from A Places for Ideas: Our Theater.  Examples are from  exercises for children to explore the elements of form.

Our America

The Our America production came out a year prior to A Place for Ideas. It was an examination of American life told through the personalized experiences of the children in the production.  It was guided by LuAnn Klaras and Virginia DuPuy who came to run the Youth In Motion program.  Children were asked to examine life in America and reflect it in dramatic form.  They started by looking inward, finding what America was to them.  From these ideas, words, and rhythms, came a physical form - a simple stage with expressive lighting.

It is the only known audiovisual creation existing from that time that represents the outcome of children going through the Baker creative process.  The production was recorded in the KLRN studios at UT Austin in 1964.

Ideas in Motion

Get Ideas in Motion flyer from Wagner papers...

ideas in motion pr.pdf

Press release for the first Ideas in Motion summer camp at Trinity University in 1964.