Special Events

The Wheelock Family Theatre holds a variety of special events throughout the year—celebrating key holidays, important milestones and influential people. Check back often as we add new events, including those for our current season.

Upcoming Events

Helen on 86th Street

Musical Theatre Student Performance: Friday August 15 at 6:30


Helen on 86th St.


Book and Lyrics by Nicole Kempskie. Music by Robby Stamper. Based on the New Yorker story by Wendi Kaufman. Directed by Ilyse Robbins and John O’Neil.

Based on a short story by celebrated author and playwright Wendi Kaufman, the musical Helen on 86th St. follows Vita Calista, a vibrant and unique 12-year old girl, as she learns to cope with an absent father, a single mother, a disappointing role in the school production of The Trojan Horse, and the daily pressures of being a tween growing up in New York City. It’s a story of loss, longing and acceptance, as seen through the eyes of a young girl wise beyond her years, which like the epic Greek stories it interweaves, carries a message of hope and redemption that resonates with people of all ages.

Wheelock Family Theatre’s Advanced Performance Intensive in Musical Theatre is comprised of actors ages 10 and older who have not yet entered high school. The 2 week program culminates with a fully staged public performance of the musical Helen on 86th Street on the WFT main stage. Students in the intensive prepare for a final performance through daily movement, music, acting, and technical exercises combined with in-depth rehearsals. In addition, the work will concentrate particularly on two aspects of character development: immersing a character in song and physicalizing a character.

Wheel Award

Advanced Performance Intensive for Teens; Student Showcase: Friday August 15 at 8:00


Living the Moment: The Core of the Actor’s Work

Through work on scenes from plays written by talented American and European playwrights, each ensemble member will craft a character who learns to embrace the gift of their lives and each moment that they are given, as they discover how unpredictable and fragile the future can be. These beautifully written texts use both realistic dialogue and poetic lyricism, and students will use their training in voice, movement and acting techniques to explore the moment to moment individual discoveries and immediate connections with scene partners that are the goals of actors and the fundamental core of their work.

1.) "The Case of the Crushed Petunias" by Tennessee Williams

In this short, bittersweet lyrical fantasy play, a New England maiden who owns a notions shop outside Boston in Primanproper, Massachusetts gets a strange visit from a young man with a bill of goods and a proposition. She is forced to take a new look at her life and make a choice about how she sees her future.

2.) "Blithe Spirit" by Noel Coward

This classic improbable farce is the story of an eccentric medium that brings back the first wife of a writer during a seance, much to his surprise, and to the horror of his second wife, to whom she is not visible, as she secretly hopes to have her husband back. The battle begins to rid the home of this spirit and return life to normal.

3.) "Asleep On The Wind" by Ellen Byron

This short beautiful lyrical play looks at a younger sister and older brother who depend on each other for survival. The brother and protector must face the fact that it is time to move on with his own life, and leave her for the army. Each must cope with the painful reality of life changing and a frightening and unknown future.

4.) "Lovers" by Brian Friel

"Winners", Part 1 of this short and hauntingly beautiful story of two Irish teens in love and at the frightening and beautiful start of the next adult phase of their lives. Neither of them are ready or prepared for this, but both are filled with hopeful dreams.

5.) "The Women of Lockerbie" by Deborah Brevoort

This play is written in the style of a Greek tragedy, this poetic drama is based loosely on the true story of the women fighting to wash and return the clothes to the survivors of the loved ones who perished in the terrorist attack and plane crash of Pan Am Flight 103. It is a story of the triumph of love over hate.

Emerging Playwrights Program

Wheelock Family Theatre Emerging Playwrights Program Now Accepting Applications for the 2014 Programs


Wheelock Family Theatre (WFT) is pleased to introduce you to our Emerging Playwrights Program! The EPP is designed to inspire, motivate and support rising sophomores and juniors in the public high schools of Boston who have an aptitude for writing and a specific interest in developing their playwriting skills.

A primary part of WFT’s mission has been to provide theatre experiences that are accessible to a diverse population, whether in the audience, on the stage, or behind the scenes. This ties into Wheelock College’s larger mission of improving the lives of children and families. The Emerging Playwrights Program was created in Fall 2012 with the intention of supporting these missions through providing students the additional opportunity to bring to life their own ideas.

The EPP caters to students at all levels of writing ability: those with advanced writing skills, those just beginning, and everyone in between. We are hoping to involve students who are interested in the arts and have a creative spark that can be further nurtured. We have structured the program to develop students’ creative expression, analytical thinking, and confidence in expressing their own voice through writing.

We are now accepting applications for the Fall 2014 semester. Students who are currently freshmen and sophomores are encouraged to apply. We will select up to seven young playwrights from across the city of Boston. Applicants will be notified in mid-May regarding their acceptance. Starting in September, the Emerging Playwrights will attend a total of 5 playwriting workshops and 2 rehearsals of their scripts (all on weekend afternoons), work with prominent local guest playwrights, and begin development of a 10-minute play. Students will be paired with professional directors and with actors who will help the playwrights revise their scripts prior to the final readings. The program will culminate in a staged reading of their new works at Wheelock Family Theatre on December 14th, 2014.

For interested applicants, we will be holding an information session at Wheelock Family Theatre on Saturday, March 15th from 10 to 11:30pm at Wheelock Family Theatre. We ask that you encourage your students to apply for this exciting opportunity! Applications are due on May 30th, 2014. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact EPP Associate Director Stephen Reinstein.

EPP Application

About the Emerging Playwrights Program

The Emerging Playwrights Program for Boston Public Schools (BPS) is a new Wheelock Family Theatre (WFT) initiative designed to inspire, motivate, and support BPS students who have an aptitude for writing and a specific interest in developing their playwriting skills. The EPP caters to students at all levels of writing ability: those with advanced writing skills, those just beginning, and everyone in between. We are involving youth who are interested in the arts and have a creative spark that can be further nurtured. The program is structured to develop students’ creative expression, analytical thinking, and literary skills while expressing an individual voice and view through writing. The Emerging Playwrights will attend workshops led by Boston’s leading playwrights and will also attend performances at professional theatres as part of the program. EPP Advisory Board Members include: John ADEkoje, Artistic Director and theatre faculty, Boston Arts Academy; John Bay, WFT Director of Education; Shelley Bolman, WFT Assistant Producer; Carole Charnow, President and CEO, Boston Children’s Museum; WFT Advisory Board Member; Robert Colby, Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director, Emerson College; Chris Cook, Director of Arts, Tourism and Culture, Mayor’s Office, Boston; Rashad Cope, Director, Mattahunt Community Center; Jacarrea Garraway, EPP Alumna; Donna Glick, Director of Education, the Huntington Theatre Company; Melodi Green, Manager, The Strand Theatre, Dorchester; Kirsten Greenidge, playwright; Marjorie Hall, Chair of the Arts, Wheelock College; Susan Kosoff, playwright; co-founder, Wheelock Family Theatre; Wendy Lement, Director, Emerging Playwrights Program; Producer, Wheelock Family Theatre; Myran Parker-Brass, Executive Director for the Arts, Boston Public Schools; Jenne Powers, Director of the Writing Center, Wheelock College; Stephen Reinstein, Associate Director, Emerging Playwrights Program; WFT Box Office Manager; M. Lynda Robinson, playwright; WFT faculty member; Candelaria Silva, marketing consultant, Door2Door Arts; Community Membership Program Coordinator, the Huntington Theatre Company; Kate Snodgrass, playwright; Artistic Director, Boston Playwrights’ Theatre; Donna Sorbello, actress, writer, and instructor of acting and theatre; Meegan Turet, Fine Arts Chair, Academy of the Pacific Rim Charter Public School; Scott Votel, Director of Composition Programs, Wheelock College; Susan Werbe, Executive Producer, Great War Theatre Project.

Wheelock Family Theatre Education Programs

Director of Education: John Bay, 617-879-2252

EPP Information: Stephen Reinstein, 617-879-2300

Producer: Wendy Lement, 617-879-2289

Buy Tickets

For Our 2014-2015 Season

For general info, see our Box Office page.


Thank you so much, for yet another wonderful performance. And also for so much more than that. It's hard to express from a parent's perspective how much my son has grown these last few years. His life in the theatre - particularly, somehow, these two musical weeks you put on every summer - have given him strength and purpose and poise. We are so very grateful. 

- Eric

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