As the proud parent of theatre kid whose upcoming performance has been postponed, if not cancelled, I started looking for resources, videos and ideas to fuel her passion for theatre while we are hunkering down. Check out the ideas below to keep your theatre lover happy at home. Referral and partner affiliate links are used in this post.
Well, I know we are not alone. I bet someone you know has had an upcoming performance that was postponed or cancelled, or maybe a show you were going to see was cancelled. Sadness!
I know it stinks but we are in this together, although we are all hunkered down, apart.
Let's keep our love of the theatre alive and burning while we are cuddled up in the comfort of our own homes.
NOTE TO PARENTS: The links below connect to streaming services with many videos, lists of many musicals, and even to some social media hashtags to follow. This should be obvious but I have not vetted every musical, video and social media post to confirm every single one is completely appropriate. Plus my yardstick for what is appropriate would inevitably be different than yours.
Please be sure to confirm for yourself before allowing your child access. I love to check Common Sense Media for their “Parents Should Know” section. I don't always go exactly by their age recommendations but it's helpful to have a heads up on anything you would consider inappropriate before you watch.
There sure is a lot out there to share with our favorite little theatre fans. Let's get going!
And be sure to share the love! Please share this article and these ideas with your favorite theatre kid, theatre group or on social media to brighten spirits and maintain that love of the stage!
Videos and Online Theatre Performances
I think a lot of parents are scrambling to find online resources to keep some level of continuity in their child's education. We are settling into a groove with school work at our house, so now I am onto researching enjoyable enrichment resources as well as ways to connect with the kids.
Below are some great places to find broadway musical performances, showtunes, and other cool videos geared towards theatre kids:
- Check out this awesome series from the American Theatre Wing full of videos about working in theatre.
- Pump up the motivation level during homework or chill time with Playbill's Boost Your Spirits show tunes playlist.
- Playbill's also shared a list of Musicals you can watch at home, with other resources to use while you are stuck at home. Can't say all the musicals are safe fro kids, each parent would have to decide.
- Check out the show Children's Theatre Company on PBS, which has snippets of performances and shows adult actors including mentoring young actors.
- Since theatres have shut down, there has been a trend of Broadway actors doing Living Room Concerts.
- The Metropolitan Opera is streaming opera performances, for a unique change of pace.
- Amazon Prime has a Broadway Video Section, I see a ton of awesome shows on there! Join Amazon Prime – Watch Thousands of Movies & TV Shows Anytime – Start Free Trial Now
- Broadway HD is a paid service for streaming broadway musicals, but it does offer a free 7 day trial. You can stream from any device- it is even available as a Roku channel. The videos are sortable and you can see here some of the titles available in the family friendly section.
- MarqueeTV is similar to Broadway HD, and offers Shakespeare and other classics. A free trial is available.
- Disney+ subscribers can watch Kristin Bell's show called Encore! She travels around the country reuniting adults who performed together in high school for one more performance. Note to Parents: We watched an episode with my 9 year old theatre lover without previewing it first. It's a really cool concept, especially watching as an adult, but we expected more theatre. Throughout each episode, they do show rehearsing and costumes but they also delve into each adult's life and often it includes a look back at their emotional past, and how theatre was important to them. It gave me pause to wonder if it would make my daughter nervous about high school as people looked back on things like bullying, heart ache and tough family situations. For older theatre kids, I could see how it could be reaffirming that their theatre community will be there for them through thick and thin.
Here is a great list of family friendly musicals that you can watch during family movie nights.
- Youtube is an easy go-to source for so many awesome children's theatre resources. Check out videos of children's theatre productions or even drama lessons.
Here is the original trailer about the show Encore on Disney+:
Books for Young Theatre Lovers & Actors
- A is for Audra: Leading Ladies from A to Z is a colorful celebration of Broadway's leading ladies.
- Kids Broadway Songbook, maybe work on some voice lessons at home?
- Musicals: The Definitive Illustrated Guide, a large, coffee table type book with lots of photos.
- Singing in the Rain, based on the famous song.
- Lulu the Broadway Mouse, a super sweet and funny middle grade novel series.
- Where is Broadway? From the makers fo the Who Was…? Books and the Who Was…” Show, the perfect non-fiction book for your theatre kiddo.
- How Doe the Show Go On? A cool look behind the scenes of everything it takes for a show to run.
- Theatre Shoes is part of the recent classic Shoe series, which would be perfect for any multi-talented stage and sport kiddo.
- 101 Drama Games is a fun collection of drama activities that would be really fun to use at home or on video chats with your fave theatre pals. Geared more towards middle grade and older kids, not younger kiddos.
- Pop-up Shakespeare: Every Play and Poem in Pop-up is a cool, engaging introduction to the original bard.
- All the Movie Magic Books that my Harry Potter Loving kiddo has received have been a big hit. Lots of behind the scenes info about filming the movies.
We love opportunities to hear from authors of our favorite books, here is the author of Lulu the Broadway Mouse on a great channel, KidLit TV:
Theatre on Social Media
Whether you and your kids are keeping in touch with fellow theatre buddies, or watching all the cool performances that are happening live online, social media presents a lot of opportunities to “theatre together” while we are apart.
- Want to practice or perform as a group? Have everyone learn their part, then hop on a Google hangout or everyone can install the super handy Zoom app on their device and you can have live group performances!
- If your theatre group is active on social media, create a group hashtag to share your practice videos.
- Hoping to lift our spirits amid Coronavirus anxiety, Broadway legend Laura Benanti asked kids to post rehearsal video of their canceled High School musicals – and her hashtag #SunshineSongs has since gone viral with a deluge of delightful responses.
- Follow along with Theatre without Theatre for nightly theatrical broadcast during the quarantine. Not sure if every one would be kid friendly.
- Check out this awesome call to action from a Broadway Powerhouse:
Dark times for all. Trying to find some bright spots. If you were meant to perform in your High School musical and it was cancelled please post yourself singing and tag me. I want to be your audience!! Sending all my love and black market toilet paper. 💛 pic.twitter.com/BVYR4t3dJE
— Laura Benanti (@LauraBenanti) March 13, 2020
Academic Resources for Theatre Kids
Here are a few ideas to work the theatre theme into academic type work:
- Khan Academy, a popular online learning portal released Disney Imagineering Story Telling Lessons.
- Make writing lessons more relevant to them with these 100 Scene Writing Prompts.
- Readers' Theatre is a whole genre of school workbook looking books of grade level texts for kids to perform. My daughter especially liked this Funny Fairy Tales version when she was just getting into theatre. Reading lessons? Check!
- If the kids want to get in on the performing action, here are short plays kids can put on at home. Or have a theatre friend learn one roll while your child learns the other, then perform them by video!
- The Drama Notebook is a subscription based website that offers tons of skits for kids, partner practice scenes and more.
- Life skills! Home Ec! Check! Make your own costumes at home. If you need tips or ideas, this is a great book to help.
I know we are all sad about trips cancelled, or vacations that have to be put off. We are huge Disney fans, and it's sad to think we won't be going but I love that this program is helping keep the Disney Magic alive during our elearning sessions:
Am I missing your favorite fun resource for theatre kids? Share them in the comments below to keep fueling that theatre passion!
Share these ideas with your favorite theatre lover!