25 Theatre-Related Online Resources for Kids and Families to Get You Through COVID-19

Education News   25 Theatre-Related Online Resources for Kids and Families to Get You Through COVID-19
 
A list of remote classrooms, virtual craft and dance workshops, celebrity bedtime stories, and much more.
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Kids Night on Broadway Marc J. Franklin

Navigating the whole parenting through a pandemic situation? We're here to help.

From free remote classrooms and live streams, to donation-based early childhood dance classes that turn your living room into a tap studio—check out this list of theatre-related online resources for families, children, and teens.

(LAST UPDATED MAY 14)

DISNEY THEATRICAL’S FREE EDUCATION TOOLS
Disney Theatrical Productions is offering free downloadable activities—pinned to beloved shows such as The Lion King, Frozen, Mary Poppins, and Aladdin—for parents, students, and educators. Activities, which can be downloaded as PDFs, include The Lion King-inspired costume mask-making (ages 6–11) and a script-writing exercise for ages 11–14, as well as an Aladdin-inspired art and design exercise, in which students can create a mood board, storyboard and design their own set model. Other available resources on the platform include podcasts, behind-the-scenes videos and mini documentaries. Learn more here.

LINCOLN CENTER AT HOME

Jeffrey Boerwinkle teaching a workshop as part of Lincoln Center Pop-Up Classroom
Jeffrey Boerwinkle teaching a workshop as part of Lincoln Center Pop-Up Classroom

Schools may be temporarily closed, but Lincoln Center Pop-Up Classroom is open. An online live stream starting at 2 PM ET each school day (via Facebook), the virtual classroom is part of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts' newly launched Lincoln Center at Home—an initiative aimed at helping educators and parents navigate the current pandemic and its restrictions. Classroom topics include dance lessons; narrative voice workshops; creating puppets from simple at-home objects; writing a song and singing it; making woven works of art with recycled material like junk mail and cardboard boxes; among other creative ideas.

Lincoln Center at Home also features Concerts For Kids, family-friendly musical offerings in short video format from artists such as Music from the Sole, Sonia De Los Santos, Zeshan B, and Elena Moon Park. Concert broadcast times are 11 AM and 4 PM on specific days. Learn more about Lincoln Center at Home here.

ATLANTIC ACTING SCHOOL'S VIRTUAL ROSTER
Atlantic Theater's affiliate education institution, the Atlantic Acting School, has moved youth classes (ages 4–18) online. Taught via Zoom, the class roster includes Creating Your Own Film Monologue, Comedy, Young Actors TV and Commercial training, and Performers Story Time Theater, a class for ages 4 and 5 that uses moderated theatre and improv exercises. Classes start May 4; see the virtual class lineup and prices here.

CALENDARKIDDO
Calendarkiddo is the brainchild of Lauren Adler, New York City mother, educator, and a part-time child wrangler for Broadway's The Lion King. Created out of a desire to establish a doable activity schedule within her own family, the free website aggregates events for kids in NYC by neighborhood, date, time/time zone, and activity. During COVID-19, Calendarkiddo is highlighting virtual classes (over 70%), including options in music, theatre, and dance. Learn more by visiting Calendarkiddo.

HAMILTON'S #EDUHAM AT HOME
Explore the world of Hamilton and America’s founding era with #EduHam at Home, a free digital program from the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical and The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. An extension of the Hamilton Education Program, #EduHam offers students access to mentorships that will help them create and perform their own narrative in the form of a song, rap, spoken word, or scene. Their pieces can be submitted for consideration upon completion, with 10 performances selected and shared each week on the Hamilton app, social media, and the GLI website. The program also features an American history curriculum, exclusive Hamilton clips, and interviews. For more information and registration, click here.

NEW VICTORY THEATER’S ARTS BREAK
While the New Victory has temporarily shut its doors on 42nd Street, the arts organization has been keeping busy online with its free, easy-to-access “New Victory Arts Break.” Featuring a video lesson every school day, the virtual initiative explores a new art form each week. New Victory Teaching Artists offer demonstrations on puppetry, choreography, magic, clowning, and juggling. Videos are available after on the website. Learn more, and see the full schedule, here.

HARLEM SCHOOL OF THE ARTS’ HSA@HOME
The Harlem institution continues to offer many of its classes, across art and design, dance, music, and theatre, online via Zoom. Distant Learning options include Art Exploration (ages 5–7), Ballet (ages 3–17), Commercial Acting (ages 8–18), Animation (ages 10–16), and Acting for Film and TV and Advanced Drawing (ages 13-18). Check out class options, and register here.

BROADWAY TEACHES KIDS' VIRTUAL SUMMER CAMP

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Tiler Peck

Broadway Teachers Kids (BTK) will offer a virtual summer camp this summer for students ages 5 to11. The curriculum will consist of lessons, games, and exercises with an arts focus and artistic expression. Teaching artists include New York City Ballet dancer Tiler Peck, with more names to be announced. The camp will run July 6–August 28 with a cost of $450 per week. Early bird and multiple child discounts offered. Visit Broadwayteacheskids.com for more information.

BROADWAY BOUND KIDS' VIRTUAL PROGRAMS
Broadway Bound Kids offers a number of virtual workshops, taught online via Zoom, and held over five consecutive weeks (one hour to 90 minutes per class). Topics include Movie Musicals, Create a Musical, Acting for Film and TV, and Musical Theatre. BBK also offers access to free online video classes in dance, movement, and yoga, as well as master classes, customized classes, and private coaching. All proceeds go to the organization's emergency relief fund which provides urgent support to its teaching artists and programming. The organization has also started a scholarship fund for those who would like to sponsor students. Visit Broadwayboundkids.net to see the full list of offerings and for more information.

LA MAMA KIDS
Part of its newly launched Online Happenings, New York City's La MaMa offers a weekly online series called La MaMa Kids Online. Available every Thursday at 4PM ET (timed especially for 'after school' viewing), the live programming includes performances and hands-on workshops for the entire family. Visit Lamama.org/kids-online for more information on how to view the live streams.

CHICKENSHED NYC'S PLAYERS VIP
Chicken Shed NYC, the American cousin of London’s Chickenshed Theatre Company, is driven by the same ethos as the long-running U.K. organization: to create inclusive theatre for children of all abilities and backgrounds, with an emphasis on kindness and compassion. Now taking place virtually, the kids work closely with professional teaching artists to collaborate and express their ideas and create theatrical work. Learn more, and fill out a registration form here.

BROADWAY BABYSITTERS PLAYHOUSE
The sitter-service that employs working artists has launched donation-based virtual creativity courses for ages 2 and up. Offerings, which are broadcast several times a day, include Broadway Dance Party, a 30-minute living room song and dance workshop, and Broadway Story Time, a 30-minute interactive story session. Past instructors include Broadway alums Tituss Burgess, Ethan Slater, Stephanie Hsu, and Kristolyn Lloyd. Check out the schedule and register her.

CELEBRITY BEDTIME STORIES
Why not let Tony winner Anika Noni Rose read your child a bedtime story? Rose’s Bedtime Stories for the Littles! is broadcast on her IGTV every Sunday evening at 7:30 PM ET. Also check out @savewithstories, an Instagram account launched during the COVID-19 pandemic featuring celebrities reading stories. So far, videos include Glenn Close reading Millions of Cats, Gabrielle Union reading Hair Love, and Eva Longoria reading Selena.

Anika Noni Rose
Anika Noni Rose Joe Seer / Shutterstock

THE SOUND OF MUSIC CRAFT CORNER
The Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization has launched The Sound of Music Crafting Corner, an online resource that will feature a variety of crafts and activities inspired by the well-known musical. To launch the series, The Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization partnered with Kelly Mindell of Studio DIY to create marionette and guitar crafts using simple supplies found around the home such as cardboard, paint, and yarn. See the full tutorial here.

BROADWAY GREEN’S GREEN QUARANTINE ACTIVITIES
The Broadway Green Alliance has launched a series of virtual workshops aimed at harnessing creative ways to remain connected to each other and the earth. Offered Thursdays and Saturdays through Zoom, the hour-long family-friendly sessions include a lesson on how to make flowers out of your Playbills and industry-led conversations about climate change, best practices for sustainable living, and more. Learn more here.

CAMP BROADWAY’S AT THIS STAGE
Camp Broadway teams up with Streamable Learning to present free, 45-minute lunchtime conversations with Broadway designers, actors, authors, career advisors, composers, and more. Running from 1:30–2:15 PM on select days, guests include composer-lyricist Georgia Stitt and Moulin Rouge’s Kevin Curtis. The series is aimed at students K-12, home school networks, colleges, senior living and community centers, and anyone else with an interest in theatre. Learn more, and see the most up-to-date schedule, here.

ONLINE DANCE CLASSES
If your kids love to dance, or are interested in learning (and you with them!), make sure to check out some of these online offerings: Diana star Jeanna de Waal' Broadway Weekends at Home, free online musical theatre classes, led by Broadway and West End performers; Ballet Hispánico's B Unidos, offers daily dance classes for ages 2 and up, including pre-ballet, ballet, and tap; and @getinshapegrlbway's live, free Broadway-inspired workouts, which sometimes feature dancers with their own children.

MANHATTAN THEATRE CLUB'S MONOLOGUE CHALLENGE FOR TEENS
MTC's Student Monologue Challenge, which invites young theatremakers to write a one-minute monologue, has received hundreds of entries from around the country. Students are asked to respond to the prompt: “There is something I need to say to you.” MTC shares selected monologues weekly on its website and via its social media channels.

Teachers and students can also take part in MTC's Family Drama Playwriting Workshop Series. The series is comprised of video modules that guide writers through the creative process, including Creating Strong Characters, Dramatic Openings, and Dramatic Conflict, among others. In addition, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Auburn (Proof) shares insights into his writing process and provides practical advice to anyone who wants to write a play.

DRAMAVERSITY
Launched in 2018 by artist and theatre teacher Scot Pankey, Dramaversity has been connecting professional artists to drama students via Zoom video conferencing since pre-COVID. The online education platform puts full control in the artists' hands, allowing instructors to design their own courses, set the price and class size, and choose when they want to teach. Since the pandemic, Dramaversity has partnered with Cast Party’s Jim Caruso and Hallmark Channel’s Home & Family Producer William Keck to also host live, virtual Meet & Greets between well-known artists and their fans. Among those who have taken part so far are Jessica Vosk, Laura Osnes, Megan Hilty, Rebecca Mader, and Melissa Gilbert. Learn more by visiting dramaversity.com.

STEPPENWOLF'S ONLINE WORKSHOPS FOR TEENS
Steppenwolf Education continues to offer free virtual workshops each week for teens, as well as educators and early-career professionals. This includes scene study workshops with ensemble members as well as its weekly “What’s Next?” series featuring conversations with established industry professionals about their careers and life in the theatre.

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James Monroe Iglehart Monica Simoes

ROSIE’S THEATER KIDS’ “ROSIE BREAK”
Rosie’s Theater Kids launches #TakeARosieBreak, individual “Rosie Break” challenges—posed by Broadway alums like James Monroe Iglehart and Jessie Mueller—and shared on social media by the RTKids community. Instruction videos are released weekly; already existing challenges include Iglehart’s freestyle challenge, Lori Klinger’s ballet challenge, Chesney Snow’s beatboxing challenge, and Jeff Statile’s air drum challenge. Community creations can be shared on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube.

BUSHWICK STARR AND SUPERHERO CLUBHOUSE’S BGT AT HOME ACTIVITIES
The Bushwick Starr and Superhero Clubhouse bring their eco-playwriting program for elementary students, Big Green Theater, online with the launch of BGT At Home. The first activity is a guided walk through NYC during the 1600s. Learn more here.

LESSONFACE'S MUSIC LESSONS
Young musicians and aspiring musicians can continue to hone their skills from home through the pandemic and beyond with Lessonface, a digital platform for connecting students with highly qualified teachers for live one-on-one and group classes over video conference Theatre-centric classes such include the Broadway audition prep class, as well as a class with Christiane Noll. Just this week, Lessonface unveiled the expansion of its programming to include free group classes with renowned musicians from the United States, India, Colombia, and Guatemala. Learn more by visiting lessonface.com.

THE COMANY THEATRE'S ONLINE CLASSES
Massachusetts organization The Company Theatre is offering both free virtual courses as well as online versions of its educational programming. Classes include Playwriting for ages 10–18, Monologue Boot Camp for ages 13 and up, and College Audition Prep for Theatre, for ages 13-18. Prices vary; check out the schedule and offerings here.

COLT COEUR'S ONLINE THEATER CAMP
Colt Coeur opens up its 10th annual free Education Initiative, (lovingly referred to by participants as "theatre camp"), to students ages 9-15 all over the world. With a roster of teaching artists that includes Dear Evan Hansen writer Steven Levenson, the program offers students a chance to conceive and create original short plays with the help of professional actors, playwrights, directors, and designers. While theatre camp kicked off April 18 (prior to this article's initial publication date), you can learn more about Colt Coeur here.

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