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


Two-day workshops for youth ages 11 – 15 / 11 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. daily.
Tuition: $200 per workshop; some scholarships available.


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.

GETTING THE GIG: A Guide to Navigating Auditions and Callbacks for the Singing Actor

December 6 – 7, 2014

Auditions can make even the most seasoned performers nervous, but there are ways to conquer those challenges! This workshop will help students make the most out of their audition packages and callback chances by assessing their individual strengths and learning how to market themselves in an audition setting. Participants will discover performance opportunities in musical theatre and classical repertoire, fine-tune their selections with input from professionals, and receive individualized recommendations for further study. The elements of a successful callback audition and how to prepare for success will also be explored.

POSTPONED UNTIL SPRING 2015

UPTEMPO GEMS: Comic and Character Songs for Musical Theatre and Opera

February 28 – March 1, 2015.

Examine the unique challenges and opportunities of comic roles in musical theatre and opera. From beloved sidekicks to feisty maids and wily servants, these roles require not only fantastic singing, but also timing and physicality, to create gutsy and engaging performances. Students will analyze text, motive, plot, and movement to turn an uptempo song into a compelling story.

Register Now >>

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

May 16 – 17, 2015

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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Winter Classes

Ages 5-6


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

Warm Stories for Cold Nights

Winter I: 5 Saturdays., 1/10-2/7/15, 9:00-11:00am. Tuition: $275

Students will enter the world of Maurice Sendak, dramatizing scenes from In the Night Kitchen and Alligators All Around among other favorite stories.

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All Around the World: Exploring Jungles, Mountains, Deserts, and Frozen Places

February Vacation Week, Monday-Friday, 2/16-2/20/15, 8:30am-3:00pm. Tuition: $400. No extended day.

Challenges students to create characters that inhabit all sorts of environments. The focus will be how to show, rather than tell, an audience where the action takes place.

Register Now >>

Creative Movement: Shake, Rattle, and Roll

Winter II: 5 Saturdays., 2/28-3/28/15, 9:00-11:00am. Tuition: $275

Explores the connections between motion and emotion, while applying fundamental concepts of physicalizing a character. A high-energy class just right for movers and shakers!

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All Around the World

March Vacation Week, Monday-Friday, 3/16-3/20/15, 8:30am-3:00pm. Tuition: $400. No extended day.

Challenges students to create characters that inhabit all sorts of environments. The focus will be how to show, rather than tell, an audience where the action takes place.

Register Now >>


Ages 7-8


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

Onstage Teamwork: Intro to Ensemble Acting

Winter I: 5 Saturdays., 1/10-2/7/15, 9:00-11:00am. Tuition: $275

Supports acquisition of individual acting skills, with an emphasis on the individual’s roles in an ensemble.

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Developing the Characters of Pinocchio

February Vacation Week, MONDAY-FRIDAY, 2/16-2/20/15, 9:00am-3:30pm. Tuition: $400. Extended day 3:30-5:00pm, $75/week.

How does an actor transform from a wooden puppet into a human being? What kind of a man is Geppetto? Students will explore such questions over the week through scene work, improvisation, and character study, and by attending a matinee performance of WFT’s Pinocchio.

Register Now >>

Acting with Your Voice: Accents & Dialects

Winter II: 5 Saturdays., 2/28-3/28/15, 9:00-11:00am. Tuition: $275

The first step in acquiring a new accent or dialect is learning how to listen carefully. Students will discover how to use their voices in different ways to portray widely varied characters.

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Listen to the Beat: Exploring Music & Movement

March Vacation Week, MONDAY-FRIDAY, 3/16-3/20/15, 9:00am-3:30pm. Tuition: $400. Extended day 3:30-5:00pm, $75/week.

Examines the variety of ways movement and music can be combined to tell stories onstage. Physical and fun!

Register Now >>


Ages 9-11


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

In the Spotlight: Monologues & Cold Readings

Winter I: 5 Saturdays., 1/10-2/7/15, 11:00am-1:00pm. Tuition: $275

Focuses on making a memorable first impression. Students will each explore a monologue in depth and learn creative approaches to cold readings.

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Folk Tales and Fantasies

February Vacation Week, MONDAY-FRIDAY, 2/16-2/20/15, 9:00am-3:30pm. Tuition: $400. Extended day 3:30-5:00pm, $75/week.

What makes a story resonate across time and culture? Through improvisation and dramatization, students will investigate the qualities that draw people to these tales.

Register Now >>

Acting Is Reacting: An Intro to Scene Study

Winter II: 5 Saturdays., 2/28-3/28/15, 11:00am-1:00pm. Tuition: $275

Applies a scene-study approach to developing the critical acting techniques of listening, reacting, and staying present in the moment.

Register Now >>

Different Worlds: Introduction to Sign Language and Mime

March Vacation Week, MONDAY-FRIDAY, 3/16-3/20/15, 9:00am-3:30pm. Tuition: $400. Extended day 3:30-5:00, $75/week.

Explores the methods and techniques used by each visual language in communicating information non-verbally to an audience.

Register Now >>


Ages 11-14


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

Smash! When Performing and Visual Arts Collide

Winter I: 5 Sundays, 1/11-2/8/15, 10:00am-12:00 noon. Tuition: $275

Explores connections between the visual and the performing arts. What do words like balance, color, weight, and energy mean in each of the two worlds? Students will learn how to sculpt air, dance a drawing, and tell the story of a painting.

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Masked Theatre

Winter II: 5 Sundays, 3/1-3/29/15, 10:00am-12:00 noon. Tuition: $275

When all or part of the face is hidden onstage, the whole body must make up for what’s missing. Using minimal language, students will focus on visual ways to communicate character and story.

Register Now >>


Ages 12-16


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

Acting Shakespeare

Winter I: 5 Saturdays., 1/10-2/7/15, 11:00am-1:00pm. Tuition: $275

An understanding and appreciation of Shakespeare is an essential part of a young actor’s training. Students will explore some of the Bard’s most famous scenes and characters, making connections with their own experiences.

Register Now >>

Pinocchio and Other Rebels

February Vacation Week, MONDAY-FRIDAY, 2/16-2/20/15, 9:00am-3:30pm. Tuition: $400. Extended day 3:30-5:00pm, $75.

Some characters are outliers who feel like they don’t belong. Through exploration of the character of Pinocchio and other rebels, students will focus on how to embody the tension between their character and the world.

Register Now >>

Improv for the Actor

Winter II: 5 Saturdays., 2/28-3/28/15, 11:00am-1:00pm. Tuition: $275

In rehearsals and performances, actors must have the ability to create new ideas in the moment, on the spot. Students will focus on staying centered and relaxed, thinking quickly, and moving nimbly.

Register Now >>

It’s About Love, Warts and All

March Vacation Week, MONDAY-FRIDAY, 3/16-3/20/15, 9:00am-3:30pm. Tuition: $400. Extended day 3:30-5:00pm, $75.

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 >>


FEBRUARY VACATION WEEK INTENSIVES


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

Ages 5-6 All Around the World: Exploring Jungles, Mountains, Deserts, and Frozen Places.

February Vacation Week, Monday-Friday, 2/16-2/20/15, 8:30am-3:00pm. Tuition: $400. No extended day.

Challenges students to create characters that inhabit all sorts of environments. The focus will be how to show, rather than tell, an audience where the action takes place.

Register Now >>

Ages 7-8 Developing the Characters of Pinocchio .

February Vacation Week, MONDAY-FRIDAY, 2/16-2/20/15, 9:00am-3:30pm. Tuition: $400. Extended day 3:30-5:00pm, $75/week.

How does an actor transform from a wooden puppet into a human being? What kind of a man is Geppetto? Students will explore such questions over the week through scene work, improvisation, and character study, and by attending a matinee performance of WFT’s Pinocchio.

Register Now >>

Ages 9-11 Folk Tales and Fantasies.

February Vacation Week, MONDAY-FRIDAY, 2/16-2/20/15, 9:00am-3:30pm. Tuition: $400. Extended day 3:30-5:00pm, $75/week.

What makes a story resonate across time and culture? Through improvisation and dramatization, students will investigate the qualities that draw people to these tales.

Register Now >>

Ages 12-16 Pinocchio and Other Rebels.

February Vacation Week, MONDAY-FRIDAY, 2/16-2/20/15, 9:00am-3:30pm. Tuition: $400. Extended day 3:30-5:00pm, $75.

Some characters are outliers who feel like they don’t belong. Through exploration of the character of Pinocchio and other rebels, students will focus on how to embody the tension between their character and the world.

Register Now >>


MARCH VACATION WEEK INTENSIVES


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

Ages 5-6 All Around the World: Exploring Jungles, Mountains, Deserts, and Frozen Places.

March Vacation Week, Monday-Friday, 3/16-3/20/15, 8:30am-3:00pm. Tuition: $400. No extended day.

Challenges students to create characters that inhabit all sorts of environments. The focus will be how to show, rather than tell, an audience where the action takes place.

Register Now >>

Ages 7-8 Listen to the Beat: Exploring Music & Movement.

March Vacation Week, MONDAY-FRIDAY, 3/16-3/20/15, 9:00am-3:30pm. Tuition: $400. Extended day 3:30-5:00pm, $75/week.

Examines the variety of ways movement and music can be combined to tell stories onstage. Physical and fun!

Register Now >>

Ages 9-11 Different Worlds: Introduction to Sign Language and Mime.

March Vacation Week, MONDAY-FRIDAY, 3/16-3/20/15, 9:00am-3:30pm. Tuition: $400. Extended day 3:30-5:00, $75/week.

Explores the methods and techniques used by each visual language in communicating information non-verbally to an audience.

Register Now >>

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

March Vacation Week, MONDAY-FRIDAY, 3/16-3/20/15, 9:00am-3:30pm. Tuition: $400. Extended day 3:30-5:00pm, $75.

Through scene study, improvisation, and physicality, students will explore how and why WFT’s 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

...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

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!