Mr Hat is a character that was created in 2009, when I started working for Memo Association. Since 2009 Mr hat entered many schools of Amsterdam with a small performance of 10 minute that blend dance and mime. I realized that this performance has a really good impact on the children from age zero to five. After seeing the effect this performance had on this audience I decided to create different episodes where Mr Hat meets different characters.
The story starts with a girl that found a magic hat, anyone who wears the hat, no matter if it is a person or an object, becomes Mr Hat. The hat has the power to immerse everyone in an imaginary world, where everything is possible.
The structure of every performance get its inspiration from a classic way of telling a fairytale – from a simple beginning where Mr Hat encounters another character to a mutual journey into an adventure. From this Fantastic world the performers will take the children into a magical place and at the end bring them back to the to reassuring reality.
Imagination is the key to connect with the children. The simplicity of the material on stage allows the artists to fill the space with their own fantasy, to create imaginary spaces that becomes concrete as in a game and to incorporate the children in this fairytale world.
I am inspired by the game of imitation that kids love to play, I noticed how this fantasy game give life to matter, and can create what doesn’t exist in the “real” world.
Fantasy is an important element in the cognitive development of the children. Many authors of pedagogy like Bruno Bettelheim, Melanie Klein, Gianni Rodari, Piaget and many more, mention the importance of using fantasy as an educative tool and method. My performances are for children and adults. As in a fairytale story, in these performances there are many layers that can be seen and interpreted. The children identify themselves with Mr Hat and his emotions in a direct and personal way. Adults can look at these performances through a child eye and also view them from a deeper point of view and see many more layers.
Artistic Director: Silvia Bennett