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 OCTOBER 12)
This online dance school, endorsed by two-time Tony winner Bebe Neuwirth, virtually puts a Broadway dancer in your living room for a small-size class experience. Founded by stage alums Megan Sikora, Nili Bassman, Bryan Bullock, Jen Frankel, Jessica McRoberts, and Kat Steers, this program offers young and amateur dancers access to training while also creating work for displaced arts workers. Among those teaching are Christophe Caballero (La Cage Aux Folles), Deidre Goodwin (Chicago), James T. Lane (Kiss Me, Kate), and Alison Soliman (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory). Classes generally take place throughout the day and recur weekly. Pass Door also offers special intensive workshops like Cats choreography with cast member Robin Masella and casting director Xavier Rubiano. For more information and a full schedule, click here.
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
Lincoln Center Pop-Up Classroom is open for students to continue their arts education virtually. An online live stream starting at 2 PM ET every Friday (via Facebook), the virtual classroom is part of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts' 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.
Lincoln Center at Home also features Concerts For Kids, family-friendly musical offerings in short video format at 4 PM on Wednesdays. 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 throughout the fall; see the virtual class lineup and prices here.
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 select performances shared 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 kept busy online with 15 weeks of free, easy-to-access “New Victory Arts Break.” Now available on demand, the virtual initiative explores a new art form each week. New Victory Teaching Artists offer demonstrations on puppetry, choreography, magic, clowning, and juggling. In addition, "New Victory Dance" offers a number of videos to learn positions and techniques. Learn more here.
HARLEM SCHOOL OF THE ARTS’ [email protected]
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
Broadway Teachers Kids will offer virtual courses this fall for students ages 5–8 or 9–12. On offer are dance and movement, acting, and voice classes. Teaching artists include New York City Ballet dancer Tiler Peck. The camp runs October 3- December 19 with a cost of $315 per course. Early bird and multiple course 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) beginning October 2. Classes include Musical Theatre, Singer-Songwriter Workshop, Acting for Film and TV. 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 Online Happenings, New York City's La MaMa offers La MaMa Kids Online. The programming includes performances and hands-on workshops for the entire family that are available to watch on demand, with live performances scheduled throughout each month. Visit LaMaMa.org 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.
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 on selected Thursdays at 1 PM ET through Zoom, the hour-long family-friendly sessions include industry-led conversations about climate change, best practices for sustainable living, and more. The workshops are recorded and available to watch on demand. Learn more here.
MANHATTAN THEATRE CLUB
Teachers and students can 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. 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.
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. Among the opportunities are a masterclass with Tony winner Beth Leavel. Learn more by visiting dramaversity.com.
STEPPENWOLF'S ONLINE WORKSHOPS FOR TEENS
Steppenwolf Education offered free virtual workshops each week in the spring for teens, as well as educators and early-career professionals. Lessons included 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. While the company is on break to gear up for future programs, all previous classes are available to access on demand.
ROSIE’S THEATER KIDS’ “ROSIE BREAK”
Back in the spring, Rosie’s Theater Kids launched #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. Existing challenges include Iglehart’s freestyle challenge, Lori Klinger’s ballet challenge, Chesney Snow’s beatboxing challenge, and Jeff Statile’s air drum challenge.
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 to create a monologue;other lessons include writing dialogue and songwriting skills. 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. This digital platform connects students with qualified teachers for live one-on-one and group classes over video conference with theatre-centric classes like a Broadway audition prep class. 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, Sketch Comedy for ages 10–18, and a Directing Workshop for teens and adults. Prices vary; check out the schedule and offerings here.
ARTSPOWER THEATRE ON DEMAND
ArtsPower Theatre On Demand provides original, full-length theatrical performances on video that can then be performed by a school, family, or theatre company. Accompanying each video is a grade-specific learning guide that features pre- and post-performance activities for students. For more information, click here.