Friday, September 10, 2010

30 Years and Still Growing Strong

Please join us this year as Wheelock Family Theatre celebrates its 2010/2011 season, our 30th Anniversary! WFT was founded in 1981 with a clear mission rooted in the belief that theatre is a transformative experience of unique personal and political consequence, a crucial element of human experience. Since the Theatre’s inception, WFT has been dedicated to dispelling the notion that theatre should be available only to audiences of privilege. Our play selection, colorful casting policy, affordable ticket prices, education program for young people, and access provisions for people with disabilities reflect our unwavering commitment to inclusive, professional theatre.

We are excited about our upcoming year – the start of our third decade as an Actors’ Equity Association theatre. We open with the beloved musical Annie, then The Secret Garden, in a brand-new production with original music, followed by the perennial favorite Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp. This year we are thrilled to include two additional productions in collaboration with our friends in the Boston arts community: Ballet Rox’s popular Urban Nutcracker and Boston Lyric Opera’s classic Hansel & Gretel.

For 30 years, WFT has enhanced the quality of life for children and families through the shared experience of live theatre.

Our education programs will have an open house this Saturday September 11 from 9 to 11am, for families to sample our classes, meet our faculty, and register for fall, winter, or spring semesters. WFT is the only theatre in New England with an education program sustained by both a professional theatre staff and an institution of higher learning, Wheelock College, connecting our missions to improve the quality of life for children and families. The result is a dynamic and exciting drama curriculum for youngsters between the ages of 6 and 17 that teaches drama skills AND connects those skills to child development theory and practice.

A Boston College study of WFT drama students over 10 months in 2009 found evidence that "demonstrates the power of imagining and enacting oneself as an imaginary other... Through role playing, actors learn to mirror others' emotions (empathy) and reflect about what others are thinking and feeling (theory of mind)."

We do our best to make all our classes accessible in every sense of the word: welcoming and celebrating differences, adapting to various learning styles, and challenging veterans and newcomers alike. While we encourage students to repeat classes, particularly at the youngest, creative dramatics level, we also thoughtfully design a scope-and-sequence of class offerings within each age group so that students are consistently asked to build upon what came before. Early creative dramatics classes lead to introductory acting, movement, and improvisation classes, then to specialty classes such as musical theatre, stage combat, and scene work. Experienced students can then audition for WFT's advanced performance programs and mainstage productions.

So, take a look at our classes and sign your youngster up for the WFT program that matches his or her interests!

We hope you will be a part of WFT’s Anniversary Season and help us make this year a tremendous success!

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