Classes & Workshops

Note from the Director of Education

Wheelock Family Theatre’s education programs are sustained by both a professional theatre staff and Wheelock College, whose mission is improving the quality of life for children and families.

The result is a dynamic and exciting drama curriculum for youngsters between the ages of 5 and 18 that teaches drama skills and connects those skills to child and adolescent theory and practice.

Child development faculty at Wheelock College work with WFT artist-educators to create challenging drama and movement games, improvisations, and exercises that help youngsters learn not just the how but also the why of onstage thoughts, feelings, and actions.

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 Wheelock Family Theatre's advanced performance programs and mainstage productions.

Each young person attending WFT drama classes receives individual attention. Teacher-students ratios are kept at 10:1 or fewer.  The Director of Education receives teacher feedback after each class, highlighting individual strengths, challenges, and areas of drama skills that need work.  This information is discreetly shared amongst teachers to help them prepare teaching and learning strategies that will best suit each young person as s/he progresses from class-to-class.  This thoughtful approach also enables teachers and staff to customize an individual student's pathway through the WFT curriculum by suggesting future classes that will fit their needs.

If you would like our help in selecting the best choice(s) for your child, please contact John Bay at 617-879-2252 or jbay@wheelock.edu


Winter and Spring Classes

AGES 6-8


For tuition discounts please contact WFT directly at 617-879-2252.

Winter Semester II: 5 Sats., 2/8 thru 3/8/14, Tuition:  $275

B4.12 Many Voices Inside of You. 9-11am

Using voice and imagination, students develop one-of-a-kind characters and original stories.  Improvisation, movement exercises, and vocal work provide the tools to tap creativity!

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February School Vacation Week.

Tuition: $400, Extended Day Option: 3:30-5:00pm: $75 per week

B4.13 The Magic of Musical Theatre. February 2/17-2/21, M-F, 9am-3:30pm (5pm extended day) 

A hands-on, high-energy introduction to the musical theatre genre.  Students will explore how singing, dancing, and acting can be combined  to tell a story through a musical. 

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Spring Semester I: 5 Sats., 3/15 thru 4/12/14, Tuition:  $275

B4.14 Imagination:  The Source of Improvisation. 9-11am

Children naturally play make-believe – the basis of improvisation.  In this class, students will be surprised to discover what they can make up on the spur of the moment with whatever is at hand!

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March School Vacation Week.

Tuition:  $400, Extended Day Option: 3:30-5:00pm: $75 per week

B4.15 The Magic of Musical Theatre. March 3/17-3/21, M-F, 9am-3:30pm (5pm extended day)

For private and home-school students. A hands-on, high-energy introduction to the musical theatre genre.  Students will explore how singing, dancing, and acting can be combined  to tell a story through a musical. 

Register Now >>

April School Vacation Week

Tuition:  $400, Extended Day Option: 3:30-5:00pm:  $75 per week

B4.16 Fantastic Journeys!. April. 4/21-4/25, M-F, 9am-3:30pm (5pm extended day)

Explores myths and legends through creative play, improvisations, movement, and more!  Students will also use visual arts to make set, costume, and prop elements for the stories they create.

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Spring Semester II: 5 Sats., 5/3 thru 6/7/14 (No class on 5/24), Tuition:  $275

B4.17 The Magic of Stories. 9-11am

Dynamic favorites from children’s literature are the departure point for magical journeys through space and time.  Students will bring simple, clear stories to the stage in this fun introduction to adaptation and dramatization. 

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AGES 9-11


For tuition discounts please contact WFT directly at 617-879-2252.

Winter Semester II: 5 Sats., 2/8 thru 3/8/14, Tuition: $275

C5.13 Improvisation. 9-11am

A variety of fast-paced games and exercises builds students’ ability to think on their feet.  Participants will learn how to respond calmly, creatively, and quickly to a variety of unexpected situations.

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Winter Semester II: 5 Sats., 2/8 thru 3/8/14, Tuition:  $275

C5.14 Intro to Musical Theatre. 11am-1pm

Focuses on tools and techniques for the triple threat: the actor/singer/dancer.  Class work will help students connect the three crafts to create strong and believable characters

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February School Vacation Week

C5.15 Musical Theatre:  Hairspray!. February 17-21, M-F, 9am-3:30pm (5pm extended day), Tuition:  $400

Students will rehearse and perform scenes, songs, and dances from the Broadway smash.  The class will also explore how the elements of the musical are used to tell the story of the struggle for civil rights in the 1960’s. 

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Spring Semester I: 5 Sats., 3/15 thru 4/12/14, Tuition: $275

C5.16 Intro to Movement for Actors. 9-11am

Using a variety of physical styles, as well as acute observation, students will learn how actors express a character’s inner life and intentions through movement.

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Spring Semester I: 5 Sats., 3/15 thru 4/12/14, Tuition:  $275

C5.17 Intro to Shakespeare. 11am-1pm

While the language may seem strange at first, students will explore the meanings and emotions behind the words in order to bring the text and their characters to life!

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March School Vacation Week

C6.11 Broadway Kids. March 17-21, M-F, 9am-3:30pm (5pm extended day), Tuition: $400

A dynamic experience for students who love to sing, dance, and act.  Experiencing a variety of song and dance numbers from Broadway musicals, students will develop strong ensemble skills while having a terrific time!

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April School Vacation Week

C6.12 Legend and Myth: Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. April 21-25, M-F, 9am-3:30pm (5pm extended day), Tuition: $400

Explores how myths and legends are different from other types of stories and how these tales can provide insight into other cultures.  Using the extraordinary travels of Minli in WFT’s spring production as inspiration, students will journey through the genre with scene study, ensemble work, improvisation, and movement exercises. 

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Spring Semester II: 5 Sats., 5/3 thru 6/7/14 (No class on 5/24), Tuition:  $275

C6.13 Intro to Stage Combat. 9-11am

How does one create the illusion of uncontrolled mayhem on stage?  This class focuses on the importance of safety, spatial awareness, and clear communication with fight partners at all times.  

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Spring Semester II:  5 Sats., 5/3 thru 6/7/14 (No class on 5/24), Tuition: $275

C6.14 Ensemble Acting. 11am-1pm

In many ways, theatre is like a team sport: each participant has a specific part to play, but the combined force of the entire team is what brings great results.  Collaborative work on group scenes will help students build their concentration, observation, and focused-listening skills.

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PERFORMANCE CLASSES FOR TEENS


For tuition discounts please contact WFT directly at 617-879-2252.

AGES 16-18

Winter Semester I: Sat.-Sun., 1/11 & 1/12/14, Tuition: $275 

D7.12 The Business of Show Business and Auditioning. 10:00am-3:30pm

Provides the information and tools young actors need to find opportunities, work, and success in the field of acting.  Introduces tricks of the trade, including self-marketing, headshots, resumes, demos, agents, casting companies, unions, and more.  Students should bring a prepared monologue for professional coaching.

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AGES 12-15

Winter Semester II: 5 Sats., 2/8 thru 3/8/14, Tuition: $275 

D7.13 Scene Study. 11am-1pm

For students ready to further develop their acting technique.  This class focuses on building text-analysis and characterization skills while rehearsing scenes from various plays.

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AGES 13-18

Winter Semester II: 5 Sundays, 2/9-3/9/14, Tuition:  $275

D7.14 The Strasberg Method for Teens. 10am-12pm

Introduces the fundamentals of Method Acting, an influential approach to actor training developed by Lee Strasberg.  Students will learn how to use their imaginations, senses, emotions, and personal experiences to create truthful and original performances. 

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Ages 12-16

February School Vacation Week

D7.15 Pop Culture and Politics:  Mixing Entertainment with Social Issues. February 17-21, M-F, 9am-3:30pm (5pm extended day), Tuition: $400

WFT’s winter production of Hairspray! embeds civil rights issues in a big, bright, musical theatre blowout.  How do the two combine?  Students will explore how politics and pizzazz can be strange but successful partners, while rehearsing scenes, songs, and choreography from the show.

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AGES 11-15

Finding Your Voice:  The Complete Singing Actor

Presented by WFT and Boston Lyric Opera:  Two-Day Workshop

Sat.-Sun., 3/1 & 3/2/14:  11:00am-5:30pm daily, Tuition:  $200/workshop

D7.16 Musical Characters:  Developing Your Voice and Physicality.

Focuses on coordinating the instruments of voice and body to create dynamic musical characters.  Students will learn essential warm-up techniques that train body, voice, and mind to work together.  Expressive posture, body language, mime, gesture, dance, and correct vocal approach will all be explored in this kinetic approach to musical theatre.

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AGES 12-15

Spring Semester I:  5 Sats., 3/15 thru 4/12/14, Tuition:  $275

D8.11 Monologues and Cold Readings. 11am-1pm

Focuses on making a memorable first impression.  Students will each explore a monologue in depth, learn creative approaches to cold readings, and polish their resumes in order to stand out at future auditions

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Ages 12-16

March School Vacation Week

D8.12 Pop Culture and Politics:  Mixing Entertainment with Social Issues. March 17-21, M-F, 9am-3:30pm (5pm extended day), Tuition: $400

(For private and home-school students) WFT’s winter production of Hairspray! embeds civil rights issues in a big, bright, musical theatre blowout.  How do the two combine?  Students will explore how politics and pizzazz can be strange but successful partners, while rehearsing scenes, songs, and choreography from the show.

Register Now >>

Ages 12-16

April School Vacation Week

D8.13 World Theatre:  Asia. April 21-25, M-F, 9am-3:30pm (5pm extended day), Tuition: $400

WFT’s spring production of Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, from the book by Grace Lin, is inspired by Asian stories of the Jade Dragon and the Old Man of the Moon.  Students will explore how theatrical forms and stories from Asia illuminate the world views and mythologies of Asian cultures. 

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Ages 12-16

D8.140 Commonwealth Shakespeare Training for Teens April 26,27,28, Friday 4:00-8:00pm; Saturday & Sunday 9:00am-3:30pm. Tuition: $325

Masters and Servants: The Study of Status in Shakespeare's Plays. Olivia & Malvolio; Prospero & Caliban; Desdemona & Emilia. At every turn in Shakespeare's plays are dynamic relationships between masters and their servants. Students will be assigned short scenes from the "Master and Servant" pairing of their choice. In addition to the study of scansion and text analysis, students will learn techniques for understanding and playing status.

A WHEELOCK FAMILY THEATRE - COMMONWEALTH SHAKESPEARE CO. PARTNERSHIP 

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AGES 16-18

Spring Semester I:  Sat.-Sun., 3/22 & 3/23/14, Tuition:  $275 

D8.14 Shakespeare and Stage Combat. 10:00am-3:30pm

With and without weapons, students will enact famous duels and battles from Shakespeare’s plays.  The focus will be on juggling—simultaneously—high emotions, safe but credible combat, and a strong connection to the text.

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AGES 12-15

Spring Semester II: 5 Sats., 5/3 thru 6/7/14 (No class on 5/24), Tuition:  $275

D8.15 Broadway Song & Dance. 11am-1pm

An ambitious journey through song and dance numbers from contemporary and classic musicals.  Students will explore various ways to balance singing, dancing, and acting a story.

Register Now >>

AGES 11-15

Finding Your Voice: The Complete Singing Actor

Presented by WFT and Boston Lyric Opera:  Two-Day Workshop

Sat.-Sun., 5/17 & 5/18/14: 11:00am-5:30pm daily, Tuition: $200/workshop

D8.16 Pitch Perfect:  Bringing Your Individual Voice to Auditions and Roles.

Helps students discover their individual vocal strengths in a supportive, positive, and honest rehearsal space.  Participants will identify personal strengths and areas for improvement, assess potential roles for which to audition, and develop confidence in selections from their audition repertoire best suited to their individual voices.

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AGES 16-18

Spring Semester II:  Sat.-Sun., 6/7 & 6/8/14, Tuition: $275 

D8.17 Auditioning for TV and Film:  The Thought Method. 10am-3:30pm

While many elements of the casting process are beyond the actor’s control, the audition is an important exception.  Students will learn how to prepare for auditions with the Thought Method, a process used by actors to break down a character’s thoughts from moment to moment.  The requirements of different genres will also be explored, including the different adjustments to be made when auditioning for a three-camera TV sitcom versus a feature film. 

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Fall, Winter, & Spring Offerings

Classes & Workshops – Weekly classes and specialized workshops in creative dramatics, acting, expressive movement, dance, Shakespeare, and more.

Vacation Week Intensives – Intensive theater experiences for young people during school vacation weeks.

Summer Offerings

Classes & Workshops – Four weeks of acting classes with workshops in movement, voice training, and theatre crafts; and Story Troupers, a teenage touring ensemble.

Advanced Performance Intensives – Two weeks in August for the experienced student.

 

Not only did I have so much fun, but I also received a lot of constructive criticism. It's extremely hard to find a program that's both entertaining and beneficial — most are interested in one or the other.  

– Wilmene H, teen intensive program member

Register For Classes

...or download our registration form (PDF).

 

Everyone takes something personal and lasting from their participation in the theatre whether as an actor or a member of the audience. I hope that many other kids will share my good fortune and have the opportunity to be part of the Wheelock family.  

– Jacob B, student & actor