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Five individual human figures representing a family. How to get your kids into Drama.

Seed an early love of theatre with the help of a few simple dos and don’ts when planning a family trip to the Stratford Festival.

4 min read

  1. DO pique interest in the concept of artistic creativity and “adaptations.” Before introducing your kids to their first staging of Hamlet, binge on Hamlet in all its various film forms. If your teen turned their nose up at One Direction, but are all about the Harry’s House era Harry Styles, start with Michael Almereyda’s 2000 film starring Ethan Hawke. The actor’s indie art kid take on Shakespeare’s iconic tragic hero in the film will speak to them.

  2. DON’T assume Little Women can only be appreciated by little women. A coming of age story about preserving oneself under the weight of individual circumstance and societal expectation; Little Women is for anyone who knows what it feels like to search for their spot in life.

  3. DO book a Set Changeover Tour to glimpse the wizard behind the curtain. The perfect accompaniment to a Chicago matinée, stay after the show and witness the razzle dazzle of the musical set transform into the melancholic scene of Hamlet’s royal circle.

  4. DON’T limit your Festival experience to the stage performances. Invite your kids to immerse themselves in a full theatre experience with tickets to related events. Taking your aspiring dancer to Chicago? Add on tickets to our 90-minute choreography workshop and you and your mini me can brush up on moves for your Come Dance with Me submission to the beat of Chicago and Donna Feore’s step-by-step choreography.

  5. DO continue to support our shows outside of the performance. After seeing 1939 at the Studio Theatre this fall, make your first stop afterwards the Reflection Room to take a moment of silence and absorb the play. When back at home, do a little online shopping and pick up an Atlohsa Relighting the Fire of Hope orange t-shirt to support a “culturally safe community where all Indigenous peoples can thrive” at the Atlohsa online store. You’ve already begun contributing to the cause by purchasing tickets to the play; $5 dollars from every 1939 ticket sold is donated jointly to the Children of Shingwauk Alumni Association and the Atlohsa Family Healing Centre.

  6. DON’T forget to keep learning about the topics explored in our season’s lineup. Peruse the events calendar for The Meighen Forum and discover unique events dedicated to expanding minds through entertainment and discussion. Whether your child is picture book age and reading The Story of Ruby Bridges by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Robert Coles or already studying Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun in school, the Freedom Cabaret 2.0: How Black Music Shaped the Dream of America (Aug 17-28) is an outing for the whole family. Featuring narration and song born during the Freedom Movement and civil rights era performed by award-winning Canadian actor, musician and playwright, Beau Dixon, this series is back for a second year by popular demand.

  7. DO make time for an archives tour. If you follow us on social, you are likely already a fan of our wardrobe department and the awe-inspiring costumes they create. Seed the love with your kids and create an era-inspired scavenger hunt list before heading on the tour. From Elizabethan gowns straight out of Shakespeare’s time to Wynona Rider-worthy ‘90s looks from this season’s Little Women, should your teen have their sights set on FIT, we suspect they will be an ace at this game!

  8. DON’T miss out on the Festival’s last round of openings at the end of August on through September! Starting August 25th with Hamlet-911, followed by The Miser (26th), Death and the King’s Horseman (27th) and lastly, 1939 on September 11, première nights sell out fast but performances run on through October. Given each of these plays should have a place in school curriculum, tickets to any one of these would be a moment to share new perspectives and foster important conversations with the young adults under your roof.

  9. DO take the stage home with you as a subscriber to STRATFEST@HOME. Got a drama student in the house? Our streaming platform will make their heart skip a beat with its collection of filmed stage performances and theatre-related original content, including Lear Estates starring renowned Canadian triple-threat and Festival favourite, Dan Chameroy.

  10. DON’T forget to come back! Make a visit to the Stratford Festival a family tradition with a membership that will grant you early access to tickets for next season and exclusive offers on events and sales throughout the year.