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 On the left, there is text that says, "How to Get Your Kids into Drama," and the right features three out-of-balance kids with Mrs. WhatsIt standing behind them with beautiful green wings.

How to get
your kids
into drama

From left: Noah Beemer, Nestor Lozano Jr., Robert Markus and Celeste Catena in A Wrinkle in Time. Photography by David Hou.

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 Shakespeare’s classic comedy, Much Ado About Nothing, introduce them to rivalling wits Benedick and Beatrice, by way of Kenneth Branagh’s ‘90s film adaptation. Aside from predating Denzel Washington's turn as the Scottish King in last year’s The Tragedy of Macbeth, the film harnesses the star power of era heartthrob Keanu Reeves/Point Break’s Johnny Utah, while casting Michael Keaton in a role hilariously opposite the broody caped crusader character that had him wrapped around collectable McDonald cups at the time.  

  2. DON’T assume A Wrinkle in Time can only be appreciated by people into “okay boomer” memes. A coming of age story about preserving oneself under the weight of individual circumstance (a father gone missing) and societal expectation (be like every other kid and smile); this 1962 Newbery Medal winning book-turned-play 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 Rent matinée, stay after the show and watch in awe as New York’s East Village becomes a royal post-apocalyptic vision, plucked from the creative mind of King Lear director Kimberley Rampersad.

  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 triple threat to Spamalot? Add on tickets to our 90-minute choreography workshop and they can brush up on moves for their Come Dance with Me submission to the beat of the 2005 Tony-winner for Best Musical. Tickets will go on sale in early 2023.

  5. DO continue to support our shows outside of the performance. After seeing Women of the Fur Trade, Wedding Band and Casey and Diana at our Studio Theatre, think about the significance of the history traversed in the course of each play and don’t leave as a bystander; take your new knowledge and plant it in the world through action—whatever that may be for you.  

  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. Event line-up and ticketing on-sale coming in early 2023.

  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 the Elizabethan gowns of Lear—straight out of the Jacobean era with a Gattaca twist—to La Dolce Vita period looks from this season’s Grand Magic, the range of costumes on our stages is beautifully wide. 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 with Frankenstein Revived on August 24, followed by Les Belles-Soeurs and lastly, Love’s Labor’s Lost (September 9), première nights sell out fast (especially Studio shows like the latter in the list) 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 Leer Estates starring renowned Canadian triple-threat and Festival favourite, Dan Chameroy. Season 2 is coming your way in 2023! 

  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.