As a mom, I have a very intimate love/hate relationship with summer break. I’m glad my kids have time to recharge for the next school year, but they also need a place to unload all their energy! Finding valuable experiences in places around the neighborhood is important to me, and I want it to be worth my kids’ time. This summer, Dallas Children’s Theater has a brand new opportunity to do just that, so I have to share with fellow parents.
The program is called DCT SHOWTIME. It’s an opportunity for kids to experience a special brand of theater at a location that is hopefully right in your own neighborhood or nearby. They’ll be at select branches of the Dallas Public Library and other community meeting locations here in Dallas, throughout the entire summer. Yes—they will be hosting DCT SHOWTIME until September!
Actors from their shows PINKALICIOUS, THE MUSICAL and MUFARO’S BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTERS: AN AFRICAN TALE will come in full costume to teach about theater. They’ll act out a few scenes from the show (as a preview of what kids will see when they actually come see the full play), and then the session will morph into a completely interactive experience. Kids will work with the actors to learn a song and dance from the show; they’ll have the opportunity to touch and actually use some of the props; and they’ll even create their own story with the help of the professional actors. After the program ends, all the kids who participate even get a voucher for a free ticket to the show!
For years, DCT has provided a similar program called DCT Storytime. This program also takes place at local libraries and guides kids through a different kind of “page to stage” learning experience. Graduate-level theater students who intern at DCT over the summer are tasked with reading a storybook to kids. Then the entire group talks about and dissects the book, before creating an all-new story as a group. Interns take costumes along for this program so kids can really get into character. It’s pretty special seeing shy kids or those who haven’t been around theater suddenly coming out of their shell.
Believe me, I know activities have to be fun to really pull my kids away from this game or that device. DCT knows this too, so that’s why they wanted me to share a little information on why they started these programs.
According to their website, DCT SHOWTIME and DCT Storytime are all about exposing kids to the arts in general, and theater in particular. Robyn Flatt started the theater and is their Executive Artistic Director. She says that participating in the arts is important for kids because it inspires curiosity and learning in all other areas of their lives. Theater teaches our kids skills like sharing emotions in different ways, being able to focus for long periods of time, team building, and decision making. As a parent, these are absolutely the kinds of skills I want my kids to be learning because those are the ones that will help them succeed later in life when I can’t be there to remind them about stuff like their homework.
As it turns out, the new program is funded by the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs. DCT has a grant from the Cultural Vitality Program that is making all of these promotional appearances and this teaching possible. The city’s Office of Cultural Affairs is focused on building new audiences, and DCT SHOWTIME is helping to increase access to theater for a much broader range of children and families in our city. I think by making sure this program happens in easily accessible locations, like libraries, that DCT is doing right by those who haven’t ever been able to attend a full-length musical.
Planning summer activities can be time consuming sometimes, but I would really like my kids to try out DCT SHOWTIME or DCT Storytime for that matter. I love how interactive they are meant to be, and that my boys will be exposed to something they haven’t tried out yet. I’ll definitely follow along with DCT as the summer progresses, and they host more and more of these sessions.
If you’re interested in learning more about DCT SHOWTIME or DCT Storytime as an activity for your family to participate in, look for updates posted to dct.org/summershowtime. But for your convenience, I’ve added a list of all their dates below.
Sherry Ward is a mom and actress living in DFW. She has two boys, ages 9 and 7.
DCT SHOWTIME promotional appearance dates
|6/21/2016||3:00pm||Pinkalcious, the Musical||Highland Hills||6200 Bonnie View Road, Dallas, TX 75241|
|6/22/2016||3:30pm||Pinkalcious, the Musical||Bachman Lake||9480 Webb Chapel Rd., Dallas, TX 75220|
|6/30/2016||3:00pm||Pinkalcious, the Musical||Audelia Rd (Large Meeting Room)||10045 Audelia, Dallas, TX 75238|
|7/1/2016||3:00pm||Pinkalcious, the Musical||Hampton-Illinois (Black Box)||2951 South Hampton, Dallas, TX 75224|
|7/5/2016||2:00pm||Pinkalcious, the Musical||Lochwood (Black Box)||11221 Lochwood, Dallas, TX 75218|
|9/2/2016||6:30pm||Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters: An African Tale||Townview School||201 E. 8th Street, Dallas, TX 75203|
|9/8/2016||10:30am||Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters: An African Tale||Highland Hills||6200 Bonnie View Road, Dallas, TX 75241|
|9/20/2016||3:30pm||Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters: An African Tale||Audelia Rd||10045 Audelia, Dallas, TX 75238|
|9/21/2016||4:00pm||Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters: An African Tale||Lochwood||11221 Lochwood, Dallas, TX 75218|
DCT Storytime promotional appearance dates
|6/13/2016||11:00am||Canterra Park Apts.||9750 Royal Lane, Dallas 75231|
|6/13/2016||1:30pm||Arcadia Park||1302 N. Justin Ave., Dallas 75211|
|6/14/2016||11:00am||Audelia Rd||10045 Audelia, Dallas, TX 75238|
|6/14/2016||1:30pm||Timberglen||18505 Midway, Dallas 75287|
|6/15/2016||11:00am||Jonsson Central Library||1515 Young, 2nd Fl, Dallas 75201|
|6/15/2016||1:30pm||White Rock Hills||9150 Ferguson Road, Dallas, 75228|
|6/16/2016||11:00am||Kleberg-Rylie||1301 Edd Rd., Dallas 75253|
|6/16/2016||1:30pm||Skillman/Southwestern||5707 Skillman, Dallas 75206|
|6/20/2016||11:00am||Greenville Apts.||5759 Pineland Dr., Dallas 75231|
|6/20/2016||1:30pm||Heart House Wildflower||8515 Park Lane#307, Dallas75231|
|6/21/2016||11:00am||Regal Villa Apts.||9501 Brockbank Dr., 75220|
|6/21/2016||1:30pm||MLK Branch||2922 MLK Jr. Blvd., Dallas, TX 75215|
|6/22/2016||11:00am||North Oak Cliff||302 W. 10th St., Dallas, TX 75208|
|6/22/2016||2:00pm||Park Forest||3421 Forest Lane, Dallas, TX 75234|
|6/23/2016||11:00am||North Oak Cliff||302 W. 10th St., Dallas, TX 75208|
|6/23/2016||1:30pm||Polk Wisdom||7151 Library Ln., Dallas, TX 75232|
|6/24/2016||11:30am||Dallas West||2332 Singleton Blvd, Dallas 75212|
|6/24/2016||1:30pm||Skyline||6006 Everglade Rd. Dallas, TX 75227|
|6/28/2016||11:00am||Prairie Creek||9609 Lake June Rd., Dallas, TX 75217|
|6/28/2016||1:30pm||Pleasant Grove||7310 Lake June Rd., Dallas, TX 75217|
|6/29/2016||11:00am||Forest Green||9015 Forest Ln., Dallas, 75243|
|6/29/2016||1:30pm||Mountain Creek||6102 Mountain Creek Pkwy., Dallas, TX|
|6/30/2016||1:30pm||Renner Frankfort||6400 Frankford Rd., Dallas, TX 75252|
|7/5/2016||11:00am||Dunbar Lancaster-Kiest||2008 E. Kiest Blvd., Dallas, TX 75216|
|7/5/2016||1:30pm||Fretz Park||6990 Belt Line Rd., Dallas, TX 75254|
|7/6/2016||11:00am||Hampton-Illinois||2951 S. Hampton Rd, Dallas 75224|
|7/6/2016||1:00pm||Trinity River Mission||2060 Singleton Blvd., Suite #104, Dallas, 75212|
|7/7/2016||11:00am||Oak Lawn||4100 Cedar Springs Rd., Dallas, 75219|
|7/7/2016||1:30pm||Lochwood||11221 Lochwood, Dallas 75218|