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


Workshops

Wheelock Family Theatre and Boston Lyric Opera Present:

FINDING YOUR VOICE: THE COMPLETE SINGING ACTOR


One and Two day workshops for youth ages 11 – 15 / 11 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. daily.
Co-taught by Heather Gallagher (Boston Lyric Opera) and Grace Napier (Wheelock Family Theatre) with piano accompaniment by Christina Chao. All workshops culminate in an informal demonstration for family and friends.

THE ULTIMATE CROSSOVER: Finding Your Way in Opera, Musical Theatre, and Beyond

May 16 – 17, 2015. Tuition: $200; some scholarships available.

For students interested in maximizing their potential as a performer, this workshop shares the secrets of putting together a successful crossover audition book by exploring how singers can switch seamlessly from one style of music to another. Students will develop essential collaboration skills as they work closely with a pianist/coach on elements of style, diction, and musicality to create interpretations that are uniquely suited to their own skills and strengths. By encouraging the development of a healthy vocal technique and fundamental skills, this session will help students become well-rounded singers who can wow a crowd across several musical genres and styles.

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Classes for Adults


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

The Actor Prepares: Intro to Acting

5 Saturdays between 4/4-5/9/15, 1:00-3:00pm (no class 4/18). Tuition: $275

What are the essential elements of an actor's education? Introduces the fundamentals of acting, including building a character, interpreting the text and taking direction. In addition, students will begin to acquire a theatre vocabulary. Wear loose, comfortable clothing with sneakers, bring a water bottle and prepare to learn and have fun!

Instructor: Danny Bolton.

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Classes for Children and Teens

Ages 5-6


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

Dramatic Imagination

Spring I: 5 Saturdays, 4/4-5/2/15, 9:00-11:00am. Tuition: $275

Channels the imagination to create dramatic characters, and examines the fundamentals of adapting and dramatizing literature.

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Meeting Shrek and Other Friendly Monsters

April Vacation Week, Monday-Friday, 4/20-4/24/15, 8:30am-3:00pm. Tuition: $400. No extended day.

Sometimes monsters are more silly than scary! Students will leap into the land of Shrek and other stories of monsters and weird and wonderful heroes and heroines.

Register Now >>

I Can Be Anything!: Intro to Building a Character

Spring II: 5 Saturdays, 5/9-6/6/15, 9:00-11:00am. Tuition: $275

Invites students to discover and develop a variety of characters using their body language, voice, and imagination.

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Ages 7-8


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

GO! An Introduction to Improv

Spring I: 5 Saturdays, 4/4-5/2/15, 9:00-11:00am. Tuition: $275

Successful improvisation calls for quick thinking, attentive listening, and the resourceful use of physical and verbal cues. Students will learn how to hone these skills through individual improvs and group work.

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Monsters and Musicals

April Vacation Week, Monday-Friday, 4/20-4/24/15, 9:00am-3:30pm. Tuition: $400. Extended day 3:30-5:00pm, $75/week.

Singing, dancing, and…monsters!? This class will focus on how being a monster in a musical requires a new and exciting way of thinking about movement and music.

Register Now >>

Summertime Stories

Spring II: 5 Saturdays, 5/9-6/6/15, 9:00-11:00am. Tuition: $275

In anticipation of everyone’s favorite season, students will dramatize selected children’s stories in which summer plays an important role.

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Ages 9-11


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

Intro to Comedy

Spring I: 5 Saturdays, 4/4-5/2/15, 11:00am-1:00pm. Tuition: $275

There’s more to comedy than just telling jokes. Students will approach comedy as the puzzle that it is, analyzing its elements and combining them to create irresistibly funny results.

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Big, Bold, & Funny: Exploring Shrek

April Vacation Week, Monday-Friday, 4/20-4/24/15, 9:00am-3:30pm. Tuition: $400. Extended day 3:30-5:00pm, $75/week.

Dramatizing William Steig’s fantastical book requires high energy and a combination of realistic and comedic characters. Fun for all!

Register Now >>

Intro to Stage Combat

Spring II: 5 Saturdays, 5/9-6/6/15, 11:00am-1:00pm. Tuition: $275

How does one create the illusion of uncontrolled mayhem on stage? Students will focus on the importance of safety, spatial awareness, and clear communication with fight partners at all times

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Ages 11-14 Sunday Classes


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

Jazz and Theatre Dance

Spring I: 5 Sundays, 4/5-5/3/15, 10:00am-12:00 noon. Tuition: $275

Explores the vocabulary of movements that makes jazz and theatre dance distinctively snappy, swingy, and cool.

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Improvisational Comedy

Spring II: 5 Sundays, 5/10-6/7/15, 10:00am-12:00 noon. Tuition: $275

Shares secrets of comic actors who come up with laugh-inducing characters and scenes on the spot. Students will focus on learning the techniques that make improv seem so easy.

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Ages 12-16


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

Comic Acting

Spring I: 5 Saturdays, 4/4-5/2/15, 11:00am-1:00pm. Tuition: $275

Comedy is challenging: if you think you’re being funny, you’re not. This class explores the key elements of comic acting, with a focus on the discipline needed to act earnestly within comic situations.

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It’s About Love, Warts and All

April Vacation Week, Monday-Friday, 4/20-4/24/15, 9:00am-3:30pm. Tuition: $400. Extended day 3:30-5:00pm, $75/week.

Through scene study, improvisation, and physicality, students will explore how and why WFT’s Shrek the Musical fractures the typical fairy tale, including the myth of "happily ever after."

Register Now >>

Movement Styles for the Actor

Spring II: 5 Saturdays., 5/9-6/6/15, 11:00am-1:00pm. Tuition: $275

A trained actor must go beyond musical theatre and dance to gain the full repertoire of onstage movement. Focuses on how character and movement intertwine to become one.

Register Now >>


APRIL VACATION WEEK INTENSIVES


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

Ages 5-6 Meeting Shrek and Other Friendly Monsters.

April Vacation Week, Monday-Friday, 4/20-4/24/15, 8:30am-3:00pm. Tuition: $400. No extended day.

Sometimes monsters are more silly than scary! Students will leap into the land of Shrek and other stories of monsters and weird and wonderful heroes and heroines.

Register Now >>

Ages 7-8 Monsters and Musicals .

April Vacation Week, Monday-Friday, 4/20-4/24/15, 9:00am-3:30pm. Tuition: $400. Extended day 3:30-5:00pm, $75/week.

Singing, dancing, and… monsters!? This class will focus on how being a monster in a musical requires a new and exciting way of thinking about movement and music.

Register Now >>

Ages 9-11 Big, Bold, & Funny: Exploring Shrek.

April Vacation Week, Monday-Friday, 4/20-4/24/15, 9:00am-3:30pm. Tuition: $400. Extended day 3:30-5:00pm, $75/week.

Dramatizing William Steig’s fantastical book requires high energy and a combination of realistic and comedic characters. Fun for all!

Register Now >>

Ages 12-16 It’s About Love, Warts and All.

April Vacation Week, Monday-Friday, 4/20-4/24/15, 9:00am-3:30pm. Tuition: $400. Extended day 3:30-5:00pm, $75/week.

Through scene study, improvisation, and physicality, students will explore how and why WFT’s Shrek the Musical fractures the typical fairy tale, including the myth of "happily ever after."

Register Now >>

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

 

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

Education Program Rules & Expectations

We have developed guidelines to make sure that all our students have a great experience at WFT.

Please read this information and consent form (PDF) with your child and return the signed agreement to us BEFORE YOUR CHILD’S FIRST CLASS!