I’m planning a getaway weekend in New York in the coming months. I’ll be visiting one of my dearest friends and we’ll be doing stuff without our kids so that’s a real treat. But just as a big a treat is the opportunity to pick a play to see on Broadway. Or, better yet, Off Broadway! I love, love, love the theatre. I majored in theatre, I performed for years, and going to the theatre is top among my list of things to do. I love a big, splashy musical so I’m awfully tempted to see Book of Mormon but I also adore small, intimate plays by contemporary writers so I’ll be checking out the reviews Off Broadway shows as well.
As fun as a New York theatre trip is, I love seeing children’s plays with my 5-year-old just as much. There’s a special magic about being in a theatre with a child and I find it more interesting to watch my son than the action on the stage. We had a mommy-son date to see a play a few months ago and he’s still talking about the show. Needless to say I’m delighted because I want my kids to love theatre the way I do. I plan to bring them to plays early and often to give them plenty of good theatre experiences.
I’ve found there are a lot of common misconceptions about theatre in general and about taking kids to see plays in particular. Contrary to some concerns, kids are great audience members! You just need to plan ahead a little to make sure the experience is good for the kids, the rest of the audience, and the cast and crew. Here are my tips for bringing kids to see plays, from my perspective as a mom and a former children’s theatre actor!
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