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

Ideas in Motion

Shortly after Jearnine moved to Trinity with Paul Baker's team, Ideas in Motion was started in the summer of 1964 for a continuation of children's theater instruction. Much like at Baylor, the program was designed for children between the ages of 4 and 18.  

ideas in motion pr.pdf

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

Our America

From this initial Ideas in Motion summer course, Our America was created. It was an examination of American life told through the personalized experiences of the children in the production.  It was directed by Wagner and guided by LuAnn Klaras and Virginia DuPuy who ran the children's theater program in Waco and assisted with Ideas in Motion in San Antonio. 

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, and played each Thanksgiving for 10 years afterward.

A Place for Ideas.jpg

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

A Place for Ideas

In 1965 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.