R2 D2 and C3PO with Star Wars and the Power of Costume logo

Inside the Kids Audio Guide for Star Wars™ and the Power of Costume

Note: Star Wars™ and the Power of Costume features two audio guides to help enhance visitors' experience in the exhibition. There's one for adults and one for kids (both are in English and Spanish). Included with exhibition ticket.

“HELLO GALAXY! Welcome to our show, Galactic Getups and Gadgets!” And so begins the kids audio guide to the amazing objects and costumes in the Denver Art Museum exhibition Star Wars and the Power of Costume.

I like to think of audio guides as “plays in your ears.” It’s fun to dream up a whole world and an exciting journey to help visitors connect in a dynamic and personal way to the Jedi robes, royal gowns, and lightsabers in the exhibition. In this guide especially for kids, I created two characters named Stosis and Ithera who live in the Star Wars™ universe. They host a galaxy-wide talk show each week where they explore the clothes worn and the gadgets used in their world. It’s like Project Runway meets MacCast.

Listen to a clip:

Along with the interpretive specialist for the exhibition, Stefania Van Dyke, we picked 14 objects that kids will recognize, like R2-D2 and Obi-Wan Kenobi’s Jedi robes. We also chose objects that have amazing back stories that go with them, like how one of Queen Amidala’s royal gowns lights up at the bottom.

Queen Amidala wearing the Throne Room Gown in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, and as seen in the Star Wars and the Power of Costume exhibition.
Concept Art, Queen Amidala, Throne Room Gown. Star Wars™: The Phantom Menace. © & ™ 2016 Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved. Used under authorization.

Our talk show hosts, Stosis and Ithera, encourage listeners to use guided imagery to help kids and families really think about what it would feel like to swing a lightsaber or talk to an Ewok. With these quirky, funny, and bickering guides, we hope people of all ages will notice details and hear new things they wouldn’t otherwise.

The DAM has a longstanding collaboration with the actors who voice the two characters in the audio guide, Jessica Robblee and Mitch Slevc. Jess, Mitch, and I have written and developed all kinds of programs together for the museum including: Foxy and Shmoxy: Art Detectives; Art Emergency, Code: Red; Miró, Magic & the Night; and Art Court.

Combining art and theater at the DAM is something we found really resonates with our visitors as a unique entryway into artworks. It was exciting to hear the audio guide script performed with two great actors bringing the talk show host characters to life. I hope you and your family enjoy listening to it as much as we enjoyed creating it.

Check out Star Wars™ and the Power of Costume. Member Previews November 11 and 12. Public opening November 13.

Lindsay Genshaft is manager of family and community programs at the Denver Art Museum.

Read more on: Kids and Families