Mission & History
Wheelock Family Theatre creates intergenerational and multicultural productions that provide a shared experience for the whole family. The Theatre realizes the mission of Wheelock College to improve the lives of children and families. Among increasingly few institutions, we are committed to serving and supporting families of all kinds. Indeed, our productions celebrate the diverse range of families found in the world today and seek to unite them in the shared experience of live theatre. We are especially dedicated to those who are historically under-served: people of color, people with disabilities, and low-income families. We know that it is not only children who are "at risk" in our society — but entire families and communities.
We are devoted to the ideal of complete access and reject the notion that the arts should be available only to audiences of privilege. Our play selection, casting policy, affordable ticket prices, education programs, and access provisions for people with disabilities reflect an unwavering commitment to inclusive, community-based theatre. We believe theatre is a crucial element of human experience. It is both a means of self-revelation and a basis for empathy with others; it inspires both individualism and responsibility through the giving and the receiving of human experience.
Wheelock Family Theatre has been the Greater Boston area's premier theatre company serving children and families, with professional, affordable theatre that appeals to people of all ages. The Theatre realizes the mission of Wheelock College to improve the lives of children and families.
The theatre was founded in 1981 by Andrea Genser, Anthony Hancock, Susan Kosoff, and Jane Staab with the endorsement and support of the Wheelock College President, Gordon Marshall. In the years since its founding the theatre has staged more than 80 mainstage productions — from classic children's shows like Charlotte's Web or Pippi Longstocking, to family-friendly musicals like Peter Pan and The Sound of Music, to thought-provoking dramas like To Kill a Mockingbird that deal with issues of interest and concern to young people. According to the Boston Business Journal, Wheelock Family Theatre is the fourth largest theater company in Boston, ranked by attendance.
Our productions have been seen by more than a half-million people. Our education programs, both in the theatre and in the Boston public schools, have provided hands-on training to thousands of students. Our commitment to making our theatre accessible to people from all the diverse communities of the Boston area has won us recognition and awards at both the local and national level.
For a complete history of Wheelock Family Theatre productions, please read our Production History PDF.