Our History

The theatre was founded in 1981 by Andrea Genser, Anthony Hancock, Susan Kosoff, and Jane Staab with the endorsement and support of the former Wheelock College President, Gordon Marshall. In the years since its founding the theatre has staged more than 100 mainstage productions — from classic children’s shows like Charlotte’s Web or Pippi Longstocking, to family-friendly musicals like Mary Poppins and Hairspray, to thought-provoking dramas like To Kill a Mockingbird that deal with issues of interest and concern to young people.

For a complete history of performances Wheelock Family Theatre at Boston University productions, please visit our Production History.

Cast of Billy Elliot
Billy Elliot (2017) Photo by Glenn Cook
Cast of Once On This Island
Once On This Island - Teen Performance Ensemble (2019) Photo by Nile Scott Studios

Since 1981, our productions have been seen by more than a half-million people. Our education programs, both in the theatre and in the greater Boston area schools , have provided hands-on training to tens of 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.

On June 1, 2018, as a result of the merger of Wheelock College and Boston University, Wheelock Family Theatre became a program of Boston University.

Our pioneering mission and our commitment to both excellence and access for all has brought us many prestigious honors and awards over the years, including:

  • John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Christopher Reeve Foundation
  • “Award for Excellence in Accessibility Leadership”
  • Massachusetts Cultural Council’s “Commonwealth Award”
  • President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities & National Endowment for the Arts“Coming Up Taller” Award
  • Actors’ Equity Association’s “Rosetta LeNoire Award”
  • StageSource Boston “Theatre Hero” Award
  • Our Place Theatre Project’s “African American Theatre Festival Award”
  • Arts and Business Council of Greater Boston “Tops of the Avenue” Award
  • New England Theatre Conference “Moss Hart Memorial Award”
  • Bay State Council of the Blind’s “Access Achievement Award”
  • Massachusetts Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Service Award
  • Boston Parents’ Paper “Family Hall of Fame”
  • Massachusetts Asian American Commission 2018 “Diversity & Inclusion” Award

Cast of Hairspray
Hairspray (2014)
Dragon Puppet
Shrek (2015)