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


June 2015

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

If your child is still in school on June 29th, please contact John Bay at 617-879-2252.

Ages 5-6

Welcome to the Circus

1-Week Class: Mondays-Fridays, 6/29-7/3/15: 8:30am-3:00pm. Tuition: $450. No extended day.

Students will advance their acting, singing, and dancing skills while also discovering more about production elements such as set, props, costume, and sound design. Culminates in a demonstration for families and friends on Friday, July 3rd.

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Ages 7-8

How to Audition and Rehearse from A to Z

1-Week Class: Monday-Friday, 6/29-7/3/15, 9:00am-3:30pm. Tuition: $450. Extended day 3:30-5:00pm, $75/week.

Introduces elements of a successful audition, as well as fundamentals of conduct for young actors who are part of the cast of a professional production.

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Ages 9-11

Backstage Magic: Intro to Stagecraft

June 1-Week Class: M-F, 6/29-7/3/15, 9:00am-3:30pm. Tuition: $450. Extended day 3:30-5:00pm, $75/week.

Who makes all those fabulous THINGS seen onstage? Students will receive hands-on mentoring from WFT’s resident crafts director as they create imaginative props for a summer student production.

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Ages 12-16

Creating a Theatre Ensemble

June 1-Week Class: M-F, 6/29-7/3/15, 9:00am-3:30pm. Tuition: $450. Extended day 3:30-5:00pm, $75/week.

The best actors give focus onstage as often as they take focus. Students will explore through improvs and exercises how to be generous with their talents.

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Ages 13-18

Musical Theatre Scene Study

1-Week Class: M-F, 6/29-7/3/15, 9:00am-3:30pm: Previous experience required. Tuition: $450. Extended day: 3:30-5:00pm, $75/week.

An opportunity for the advanced and intermediate musical theatre student to further explore the complexity of developing a character in a multitude of musical styles. Drawing from musicals produced by Wheelock Family Theatre, students will focus on developing songs, scenes, and production numbers. The program culminates in a Friday afternoon workshop presentation on the WFT main stage.

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July 2015

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

Ages 5-6

1-Week Classes: Mondays-Fridays, 8:30am-3:00pm. Tuition: $450. No extended day.

Wild Moves! - 7/6-7/10/15

The Very Hungry Caterpillar & Other Eric Carle Stories - 7/13-7/17/15

Anchors Aweigh!: Favorite Nautical Tales - 7/20-7/24/15

Treasure Trunk Theatre - 7/27-7/31/15.

A fun and physical introduction to the building blocks of drama. Students will explore a different theme each week through creative movement, story reenactments, theatre games, improvisation, role-playing, music, dance, and visual arts. Morning work is focused on drama and movement activities, while students work on costume, prop, and set design in the afternoon. Each Friday, family and friends are invited to attend the 30-minute class demonstration where students share what they have learned that week. Students may enroll for one, two, three, or all four weeks.

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Ages 7-8

A Creative Dramatics Comprehensive

3-Week Class: Mondays-Fridays, 7/6-7/24/15, 9:00am-3:30pm. Tuition: $1250 for all three weeks; no partial attendance. Extended day 3:30-5:00pm, $75/week.

An in-depth three-week curriculum, with each week’s approach designed to build upon previous work both onstage and offstage. Students will explore a story, developing characters through improvisation, movement, and vocal exercises. They will also design and create set pieces, costumes, and props for their culminating demonstration on Friday, 7/24.

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Ages 7-8

Shakespeare Rocks

1-Week Class: Monday-Friday, 7/27-7/31/15, 9:00am-3:30pm. Tuition: $450. Extended day 3:30-5:00pm, $75/week.

Bring on the Bard! A spirited introduction to the world, wit, and words of Shakespeare.

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Ages 9-11

2-Week Morning Classes

Two weeks, M-F, 7/6-7/17/15, 9:00am-12:00 noon. Tuition: $495 per 2-week session; $950 for both 2-week sessions.

Play Production I

A chance to experience the whole theatrical process from beginning to end! Students design, produce, and perform pieces created from dramatic literature for invited guests at the end of each two-week session. Previous experience recommended but not required.
*Can be combined with Afternoon Specialty Workshops for a full-day session.

Play Production II

A chance to experience the whole theatrical process from beginning to end! Students design, produce, and perform pieces created from dramatic literature for invited guests at the end of each two-week session. Previous experience recommended but not required.
*Can be combined with Afternoon Specialty Workshops for a full-day session.

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Ages 9-11

1-Week Morning Specialty Workshops

M-F, 9:00am-12:00 noon: Tuition for morning or afternoon workshops: $275 each for 1-3 sessions; $950 for 4 sessions; $235 each for 6 or more sessions. Extended day 3:30-5:00pm, $75/week.

Comedy Jam - 7/6-7/10

A light-hearted exploration of the structure and timing of comedy. Students will work on comic scenes, invent comic personalities, and discover what makes an audience laugh.
*Can be combined with Afternoon Specialty Workshops for a full-day session.

Broadway Kids I - 7/13-7/17

A high-energy class for students who love to sing, dance, and act. Each session will focus on a different selection of song and dance numbers from contemporary and classic musicals, with an emphasis on developing strong ensemble skills and a Broadway-ready professional attitude.
*Can be combined with Afternoon Specialty Workshops for a full-day session.

Broadway Kids II - 7/20-7/24

A high-energy class for students who love to sing, dance, and act. Each session will focus on a different selection of song and dance numbers from contemporary and classic musicals, with an emphasis on developing strong ensemble skills and a Broadway-ready professional attitude.
*Can be combined with Afternoon Specialty Workshops for a full-day session.

Shakin’ It With Shakespeare - 7/27-7/31

Bring on the Bard! This class decodes the sometimes perplexing language of Shakespeare, helping students to find meaning, humor, and more behind the words.
*Can be combined with Afternoon Specialty Workshops for a full-day session.

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Ages 9-11

1-Week Afternoon Specialty Workshops

M-F, 12:30-3:30pm: Tuition for morning or afternoon workshops: $275 each for 1-3 sessions; $950 for 4 sessions; $235 each for 6 or more sessions. Extended day 3:30-5:00pm, $75/week.

Intro to Voice for the Actor - 7/6-7/10

An initial journey through the various voices that can be produced when using appropriate vocal technique. Students will connect voice to posture, gesture, and full-body movement through improvisation to create vivid characters.
*Can be combined with Morning Specialty Workshops for a full-day session.

Creating 5-Minute Plays - 7/6-7/10

A concise introduction to the playwriting process. Students will build on initial ideas through improvisation, develop short scripts, then produce and perform their original works.
*Can be combined with Morning Specialty Workshops for a full-day session.

Stage Combat Techniques - 7/13-7/17

How does one create the illusion of uncontrolled mayhem on stage? This class focuses on the importance of safety, spatial awareness, and clear communications with fight partners at all times.
*Can be combined with Morning Specialty Workshops for a full-day session.

Improv: Thinking Fast on Your Feet - 7/13-7/17

. A variety of fast-paced games and exercises will build students’ ability to think quickly on their feet. Participants will learn how to respond positively, calmly, and creatively to a variety of unexpected situations.
*Can be combined with Morning Specialty Workshops for a full-day session.

Acting 101: The Fundamentals - 7/20-7/24

What are the essential skills any good actor must have? With any acting role, the bottom line is: Do I believe it? The focus of this class will be on credibility and how to achieve it consistently.
*Can be combined with Morning Specialty Workshops for a full-day session.

Ensemble Acting: Teamwork on Stage - 7/20-7/24

In many ways, theatre is like a team sport: while each participant has a specific part to play, it’s the combined force of the entire team that brings great results. Students will exercise their collaborative muscles by working on group scenes that emphasize concentration, observation, and listening with focus.
*Can be combined with Morning Specialty Workshops for a full-day session.

Scene Study - 7/27-7/31

As young actors gain a deeper understanding of what authentic acting is about, scene work with partners becomes a valuable tool. Students will learn to balance dynamic expression with a sharpened ability to really, actively listen.
*Can be combined with Morning Specialty Workshops for a full-day session.

Character in Motion - 7/27-7/31

Thinking with our brains about how to develop a character is not the only solution; sometimes brilliant ideas can come from movement itself, from realizing that your body has its own brain. Students will expand their personal movement vocabularies and learn new ways to discover the truth of their characters.
*Can be combined with Morning Specialty Workshops for a full-day session.

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Ages 12-16

Story Troupers

4 Week Morning Class: M-F, 7/6-7/31/15, 9:00am-12:00 noon. By invitation and/or audition only. Tuition: $950.

Story Troupers gives experienced teen performers the opportunity to play a wide range of roles, from outrageous slapstick comedy to serious drama. For the first two weeks, Troupers rehearse an original show based upon children’s literature. Troupers then take the show on a two-week tour, performing for young audiences at childcare centers, hospitals, camps, and libraries throughout greater Boston. Troupers also have the opportunity to perform at various Wheelock Family Theatre events during the 2015-2016 season. Previous stage experience, a willingness to take artistic risks, and a 4-week morning commitment are necessary. An audition or permission of the instructors is required.
*Can be combined with Afternoon Specialty Workshops for a full-day session.

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Ages 12-16

1-Week Morning Specialty Workshops

9:00am-12:00 noon: Tuition for morning or afternoon workshops: $275 each for 1-3 sessions; $950 for 4 sessions; $235 each for 6 or more sessions. Extended day 3:30-5:00pm, $75/week.

Shakespeare & Stage Combat I - 7/6-7/10

Although it may sound odd at first, learning to connect to the beauty and energy of Shakespeare’s language can actually become easier when engaged in physical combat while you talk. Students will focus on skilled multi-tasking, letting the actions propel the words and the words sharpen the actions. Sessions I and II will build on each other; we recommend that students take both, if possible.

Comedy Improv - 7/13-7/17

Introduces the fundamental skills of comic improvisation. Students will learn what makes a scene funny while honing their ability to listen and build upon other actor’s ideas.

Suzuki & Viewpoints - 7/20-7/24

Explores two of the most influential approaches to actor training. Tadashi Suzuki’s method uses exercises inspired by Greek theatre and martial arts; Viewpoints, developed by director Anne Bogart and playwright-director Tina Landau, is an improvisation-based technique for examining a play through movement and gesture.

Vocal Technique for Actors - 7/27-7/31

Emphasizes theatre breath and vocal technical training to achieve supported, confident speaking. Students will also learn how to integrate the voice with the body to enhance physical acting skills.

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Ages 12-16

1-Week Afternoon Specialty Workshops

M-F, 12:30-3:30pm: Tuition for morning or afternoon workshops: $275 each for 1-3 sessions; $950 for 4 sessions; $235 each for 6 or more sessions. Extended day 3:30-5:00pm, $75/week.

Shakespeare & Stage Combat II - 7/6-7/10

This class will introduce more advanced weapons skills while still keeping safety first. Actors will concentrate on integrating the words and actions, rather than simply having them exist side-by-side. Sessions I and II will build on each other; we recommend that students take both, if possible.

Creating Characters I - 7/6-7/10

Examines the essential elements of developing distinctive and believable characters. Exercises, improvs, and theatre games help students to make strong performance choices physically, vocally, and emotionally. (Sessions I and II cover different material; students can choose to enroll in one or both.)

Creating Characters II - 7/13-7/17

Focuses on interpreting characters from a script. Students learn to identify and overcome their individual actor habits to develop characters who are distinctly different from themselves. (Sessions I and II cover different material; students can choose to enroll in one or both.)

Broadway Song & Dance I - 7/13-7/17

An ambitious one-week journey through song and dance numbers from contemporary and classic musicals. Engages students in the performer’s triple play of acting while dancing and singing. (Sessions I and II cover different material; students can choose one or both.)

Improv for the Actor - 7/20-7/24

One of an actor’s most valuable tools is the ability in both rehearsals and performances to create new ideas in the moment, on the spot. Students will explore various improv styles and learn new ways to be loose, clear-headed, open, and quick-thinking.

Broadway Song & Dance II - 7/20-7/24

An ambitious one-week journey through song and dance numbers from contemporary and classic musicals. Engages students in the performer’s triple play of acting while dancing and singing. (Sessions I and II cover different material; students can choose one or both.)

Intro to Directing - 7/27-7/31

What does a director need to know? Explores the fundamentals of directing: choosing material, casting actors, working with designers, the rehearsal process, and performance.

Dynamic Onstage Movement - 7/27-7/31

Some performers dance. Others don’t move much at all. There exists a huge territory in between these two extremes: all the various character movements, gestures, postures, and ways of walking that draws an audience’s eyes to you. Students will focus on moment-by-moment awareness, experimenting with slow-motion, martial arts, and other movement styles.

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August 2015


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

Ages 7-9

Creating a Mini-Musical

2-Week Intensive: M-F, 8/3-8/14/15, 9:00am-3:30pm: Tuition: $950. Extended day: 3:30-5:00pm, $75/week.

A fast-paced intensive program for young people with previous stage experience. In two weeks, students will advance their acting, singing, and dancing skills while learning more about production elements such as set, props, costumes, and sound and light design. Culminates in a performance-demonstration for families and friends on Friday, 8/14.

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Ages 10-14

Advanced Performance Intensive in Musical Theatre

2-Week Youth Intensive: M-F, 8/3-8/14/15, 9:00am-3:45pm: By invitation and/or audition only. Tuition: $950. Extended day 3:45-5:00pm, $75/week.

This audition-only class is for young actors who have not yet entered high school. Young actors prepare for their performance through daily musical and technical exercises, in-depth rehearsals, and character development through song and movement. The two-week program culminates with a fully-staged performance of a musical on the WFT main stage on Friday evening, 8/14.

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Ages 14-18

Raising the Bar: Exploring the Actor’s Process

2-Week Advanced Teen Intensive: M-F, 8/3-8/14/15, 12:00-6:45pm. By invitation and/or audition only. Tuition: $950.

This program is designed for teens in high school with prior training and performance experience committed to deepening their acting skills and knowledge of the craft. Through challenging exercises in vocal, movement, and character work and exploration of scenes from outstanding plays, students will experience the actor’s process in depth. Culminates in an Acting Showcase on the WFT main stage on Friday evening, 8/14.

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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

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!