Dallas Children's Theater Blog

Astonishing Kids And Families With The Fun of Broadway-Like Plays and A Lot More!

Great children’s theater online…check it out…

DCT is pleased to recommend these two family-friendly productions…

Nothing brings comfort like a musical! In a brand new retelling of a classic story, ZACH Theatre in Austin Texas presents TORTOISE AND HARE, a musical written by Allen Robertson.

Recommended for Ages 5 and up, with a runtime of 1 hour.


Close your eyes and count to…blue? Enjoy the zany, ridiculous world of THE HUNTING OF THE SNARK, brought to you by RGM Productions and Alice House Theatre in London UK. Based on the poem by Alice and Wonderland creator Lewis Carroll; join an unlikely band as they adventure and try to catch the illusive Snark. There’s just one problem: no one on the crew actually knows what a Snark looks like!

Beautifully filmed, and ready to view on YouTube today.

Recommended for ages 4 to 94 with a runtime of 1 hour 20 minutes.

Take care of yourself, DCT misses you!

Our promise…

It’s a really challenging time to be a child right now.

Many have been confined to their homes away from friends, extended family and the melting pot in general, for more than eight weeks. And now, children are trying to process the horrific images they are seeing up close on television of four people’s unconscionable act upon another. Another human being.

It is not okay that the world we are handing over to our children is filled with such divisiveness; such blatant discrimination that openly even dares to justify its existence. It has to stop. It must be fixed. We all must be a part of the solution.

To begin the healing process, we must first collectively believe and proclaim, without equivocation, that Black Lives Matter. We have failed to openly acknowledge and live this truth to the detriment of too many black people for far too long. We mourn the needless and senseless loss of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Botham Jean and so many others. We must come together now to make deliberate and lasting change, so we don’t lose countless more precious lives to injustice. 

Dallas Children’s Theater pledges to do our part to ensure our young black children and their families have every opportunity to freely discover who they are.  As an organization focused on children and families, 365 days a year, we know that each one has something amazing to give to the world. As one of the early entry points for many young children to see themselves and others on stage, we take seriously our responsibility to impress positive lifelong inspiration in them. The stories we offer onstage encourage kindness and acceptance, build self-esteem and teach other important life lessons. 

The Dallas Children’s Theater (DCT) staff comes from many generations, and as storytellers, we have used our stages many times in the last 36 years to talk about heroes like Jackie Robinson, Harriet Tubman, Marian Anderson, Sojourner Truth, and others to EVERYONE in our audiences. From those beautiful historic pieces, to more current stories as Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters, Snowy Day and Other Stories, Yana Wana’s Legend of the Bluebonnet, and Last Stop on Market Street, it has always been DCT’s intent in this work to give parents the tools to talk to their children about shared values, historic wrongs, and the importance of recognizing and celebrating the many beautiful cultures that comprise and contribute to our world.

But as individuals and as an organization, we can do more. We can do better.

We pledge to do our part to work with our brothers and sisters to reflect and celebrate diversity and equity in our work, on our staff, and on our stages. We pledge to continue to ensure that all children see themselves on our stage and feel the sense of belonging and empowerment that naturally pours out from these transcendent moments. We also promise to use the power of theater to spark conversations about tough topics such as racism; conversations that lead to action, understanding and change.

To our parents, we want to be a resource as you search for help in explaining these heartbreaking headlines to your children. In the absence of one of our beautiful plays on stage right now, we offer links to books and other sites that are specifically focused on talking to children about racism. 

Through storytelling, provoking conversation and collaborating with and engaging people of color as part of our artistic and administrative staff, our board and our audiences, Dallas Children’s Theater will play an active role in the dismantling of institutional racism. We owe this to the children we serve who are our foundation, and the foundation of this world.

Read more, learn more, embrace more…

Books

31 Children’s books to support conversations on race, racism and resistance

Local Bookstore: Interabang’s Resources

Anti-Racism For Kids 101: Starting To Talk About Race

 
Radio

National Public Radio: Talking Race With Young Children

 
Websites

Becoming Upended: Teaching and Learning about Race and Racism with Young Children and Their Families

Beyond the Golden Rule

Resources For Talking About Race, Racism And Racialized Violence With Kids

American Psychological Association: Uplifting Youth Through Healthy Communication About Race

How to Talk to Kids about Race and Racism

Photos by: DCT staff, Clarice Sayles, Jihad Muhammad, Lawrence Jenkins, and Karen Almond.

Got a teenager looking for a challenging theater?

Sign up for virtual classes in costume design and auditioning techniques!


Office Hours/Coaching Sessions with Ms. Diana

Hone your presentation skills with guidance from the talented Ms. Diana

Master teacher, director, performer, and acting coach, Diana Sheehan is giving private coaching sessions – take advantage of this amazing opportunity to work with one-on-one with a professional artist. Sessions are based on the individual, but can include:

-Auditioning Skills

-Monologues- Classical, Contemporary, Comedic, and more

-Character and Text Analysis

-For students who want to work on Musical Theater Skills- Diana can incorporate her “Act a Song” techniques during the sessions.  These techniques are a wonderful way for students to move to an advanced level in the world of Musical Theater

DATES AND TIMES:

May 26 – June 12 45 minute sessions

Sign up for times at 1, 2, 3, 4  Monday-Friday Just $55 per session!


Lyle Huchton Costume Design Workshop

Examples of Lyle’s previous work include, ELLA ENCHANTED 2019 and PINKALICIOUS 2016

Work with Lyle Huchton, our amazing costume designer, to grow your skills in design!

Students will have an opportunity to design costumes for some of the characters of a show and then present their designs to their class at the end of the week. Lyle will guide each student on this creative exploration of design in a new and exciting way. Great for experienced designers and those newly interested in the ways of technical costume design.

DATES AND TIMES:

July 6-10
Three 60-90 minute Zoom Sessions  Monday, Wednesday, Friday of that week at 3PM with activities to be provided between the virtual classes.
Cost is $125

Spots are limited

Photos by: Karen Almond, Linda Blase, and DCT staff

Here are some resources for creating your own living room concert!

Time to make music…

 

¡Hola! Grammy Nominee family artist Sonia De Los Santos is smiling through quarantine, because she’s making videos for families to enjoy all around the world! Her activities and songs provide hours of entertainment.

 

About Sonia: Sonia was nominated in 2019 for a Latin Grammy® with her second family music album titled ¡Alegría! and has been hailed by Billboard as “one of the Latin Children’s music artists you should know” and “Best Latin Children’s Music”.

She has been featured on NBC’s Visiones, Sirius XM’s Kids Place Live and WXPN’s Kids Corner among others. She has also made numerous appearances as a singer and guitarist on TV shows like ABC’s Good Morning America, CBS’s The Early Show, and Sprout’s The Sunny Side up Show and has performed with her band in renowned venues and festivals such as Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits, The Getty Museum, Smithsonian Folklife Festival, and many more.
Source: soniadelossantosmusic[dot]com/meet-sonia

Ever wanted to make your own musical instrument?

If you’re feeling crafty, make your own rainstick with Little Island, New York teaching artist, Kelsey Van Ert, out of common household materials. It’s a ton of fun, and so relaxing to listen to because it sounds just like rain!

Did you know? The rainstick is a traditional instrument thought to have originated in Chile. People hollowed-out cactus branches, inserted cactus spines and then filled them with pebbles, raw rice, or dried beans.

Plan a music night with your family and enjoy these great resources!

Activities to help you spend time with your Nana virtually!

In times of social distancing, it can be difficult to maintain true connection with our beloved grandparents. But with these activities, DCT offers some fruitful and fun engagement that can be collaborated on together from a distance. Check them out, take a look back at our amazing season, and connect! Don’t forget to share your results with us via family@dct.org!

Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

Encourage your child to interview a grandparent or someone else dear to them. The goal of the exercise is to help them see that through a spirit of kindness, we can appreciate the different perspectives and experiences of others, especially our elders.

Click here to get the story Click here to get the worksheet

THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR CHRISTMAS SHOW

Encourage your child to fill out, either by drawing a picture or writing, the left half of the attached exercise, and have a grandparent or someone else close to them fill out the right. The goal of the exercise is to trade compliments and give the child (and whoever works with them!) some simple positive reinforcement for sharing and expressing themselves.

Click here to get the story Click here to get the worksheet

LITTLE WOMEN: THE MUSICAL

Encourage your child to write a letter (or e-mail if more convenient) to a grandparent or someone dear to them. Ask them to retell a story they have recently heard or seen – it can be silly or serious. Make sure they indicate the source of the story. Write back and tell them a favorite story of yours and how you experienced it. The goal of the exercise is to allow the child to not only examine how they like to get their information, but also to help them discover their own preferences and organically establish connections with others.

Click here to get the story Click here to get the worksheet

SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK LIVE!

Encourage your child, as well as a grandparent or someone dear to them to fill out the following “I learned” sheet throughout the day. At the end of the day, have them either e-mail or show their sheets to each other. The goal of this exercise is to strengthen awareness of learning in everyday life, and to enforce that even as a grown-up, you never stop learning important lessons!

Click here to get the story Click here to get the worksheet

LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET

Even though the current crisis kept this beautiful production from making it to the stage, the curtain will rise on it hopefully some time next season. So go ahead and get ready by doing this activity. Encourage your child to interview a grandparent or loved one about their experiences over the years and what they have seen. The goal of the exercise is to capture, for a moment, another loving-yet-real, perspective of the world. Encourage the child to come up with their own questions to ask!

Click here to get the story Click here to get the worksheet

Photos credits: by Karen Almond Lawrence Jenkins and via stock photo.

Virtual classes/one-week camps now available for registration!

Have a loved one in Pre-K through 12th grade? We have a cool virtual class for you!

 

 

 

 

DCT has always been founded on a deep love of art and education. Even in challenging times that cornerstone remains! While in-person socialization is not possible, we are still offering a wonderful variety of virtual classes taught by experienced teaching artists. Opportunities for fundamental whole-brain learning, and a whole lot of fun await those who sign up!

Miss Alyssa, Miss Emily, and Miss Lindsey return to lead K-3rd, with experienced Pre-K teaching artist Miss Amelia handling the youngest group. With a special focus on movement and play, these younger classes will get to enjoy a variety of warm-ups and theater games split into two Zoom sessions and two additional videos that students can watch and enjoy as many times as they’d like on their own.


DCT’s own Gena Loe (a favorite in many DCT shows, DISNEY’S BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, ELLA ENCHANTED: THE MUSICAL, Magic Tree House’s A GHOST TALE FOR MR. DICKENS and more) will be teaching dance for grades 4-6.

Work with DCT’s Miss Pam to master the essential elements of music theory. This class will help build your confidence as a singer and performer. Be ready to ace your next audition and musical theater role. A once in a lifetime opportunity.

Explore something new while at home! Meet up with your favorite DCT teachers and friends in fun interactive Zoom classes! Receive videos for fun anytime learning and creative exploration! Info on how to join the class via Zoom and other information will be sent after registration.

 


The amazing and talented Jeff Swearingen is back to offer a virtual workshop opportunity like no other! Jeff will lead students through an exploration of how Improvisation techniques can be used for writing. Students will use some of the same prompts and activities that professional actors, writers, improv artists and comedians use to create material. He will help each student find their own voice as they unleash their creativity in new and exciting ways. Under Jeff’s direction students will also have opportunities to perform the work created by the class.

Work with DCT’s Miss Pam to master the essential elements of music theory. This class will help build your confidence as a singer and performer. Be ready to ace your next audition and musical theater role. A once in a lifetime opportunity.

 


Photo credits: Karen Almond and DCT staff

DCT is offering virtual classes for Pre-K and up…Check them out…

Zoom into Improv or Shake it up with some Shakespeare!

ZOOM INTO MAY IMPROV & COMEDY VIRTUAL CLASS grades 7th-12th

ZOOM into May with Improv and Comedy! Join Jeff Swearingen, master comedian and improv artist. Meet up with other teens to take on improv and comedy right from your very own home! See new ways you can create comedy and explore improv. Get ready, get set – Zoom into Improv!

Classes will take place on Thursdays May 7, 14, 21, 2020 3:00pm-4:00pm

Class cost is $50 nonrefundable

Info on how to join the class via Zoom and other information will be sent upon registration.

SHAKING UP SHAKESPEARE VIRTUAL CLASS grades 8th-12th

Work with award-winning actress, director, teacher, performer Diana Sheehan from your own home! Learn to speak the speech trippingly on the tongue with this fun and energizing dive into Shakespeare’s language, poetry and wit. All students will be given the opportunity to work closely on monologues, sonnets and songs from the Bard’s “greatest hits.” Explore how funny, irreverent, and relevant Shakespeare’s words can be.

No previous experience with Shakespeare required.

Class will take place on Mondays 3:00-4:00pm May 4, 11, 18, 2020

Plus, each student will have one half-hour private Zoom session during office hours (to be scheduled during the three-week session.)

 

photo credit: Karen Almond

Looking for a fun way to recycle all those toilet paper rolls?

Introducing Mouse Calls with Milo…

Episode 1: Milo and Friend Trish Make Puppets out of Toilet Paper Rolls

Meet Milo, a very good-natured and jovial mouse from Great Britain. He is visiting his very talented and longtime friends in America. You never know what they’ll be up to. Click below to watch the first episode now…

Here is what you will need: 

 

  • Toilet paper roll
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick
  • Construction paper
  • Pencil and a dark marker
  • Ruler
  • Patterns (download here)

 

 

 

Be on the lookout for more Mouse Calls!

Bring Edward Tulane’s Kate DiCamillo and Broadway to your living room!

Remember THE MIRACULOUS JOURNEY OF EDWARD TULANE from DCT’s 2015-2016 Season?

You’re in luck! Beloved author Kate DiCamillo is teaming up with St. Paul Magazine’s senior writer Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl to start a book club! DiCamillo will be reading, discussing, and taking questions from the audience about this incredible story. This is an amazing opportunity for children’s book lovers everywhere!

The original event is now full, but due to demand, you can watch the live broadcast via her Facebook page or via the bookstore’s YouTube Channel.

 

 

 


Every day brings new opportunities to learn and experience something new – even when you’re stuck inside! We are proud to be able to share the innovations straight from Broadway.

Costumes, Makeup, Cookies! What’s not to love? Here’s a list of Broadway-themed activities you can do at home, brought to you by Broadway Direct!

We’ll see you again soon!

First photo by Karen Almond

Good shows, good reading: DCT has some resources for you!

How about Broadway and Harry Potter for your to-do list? DCT recommends these digital resources.

Check out this master list of all the shows you can stream from your home computer. The list updates daily, so no more searching!

 

 

 

In times of struggle, it’s always comforting to return to old favorites. JK Rowling has recently launched an information hub filled with fun facts, trivia, and activities all centered around the wizarding world!

Oh the things we’ll have to talk about when we get back together…

We’ll see you at the theater soon!