The attitudes of those kids on the grass close to the stage says a lot. Obviously, they have suspended their disbelief and are engrossed in the story. It makes me happy to think that the audience is engaging with the actors in the story. The children worked so hard to learn their lines, and dances, and directions. I am so glad (and relieved) when the audience reacts positively to what the children worked hard to present.
This summer's play had a cast of 47 children. I worried that my backyard patio stage would not be able to handle that many bodies. It was crowded, but only for a couple of scenes. Having a large cast had me worried that we would have a crowded audience too. We were gratified to have 200+ people (who all brought their own chairs) come see our show. Now, that is dedication. There is very limited parking near our house, so our audience of family and friends very likely walked from their homes in the neighborhood. It was fun to also see some curious neighbors come see the show.
I think the best compliments I received were from some of the grandparents. They told me that they dutifully attended as many of their grandchildren's events as possible. They came not really expecting much. But they were delighted to find that they were thoroughly entertained! They were impressed that they could understand the words of the actors when saying their lines and singing their songs. They learned about ancient Greece and what people did for work in those days. They understood the moral of the story that you should always tell the truth and be sincere. They loved the colorful costumes and lively dances and wonderful music. One grandpa told me that we should rent a Winnebago and take the show on the road! Now, that is bringing the audience in!