Favorite theater-going tips from parents

Take MY kids to a live theater performance?  Yes!  Some theater-savvy First Stage parents shared their theater-going tips during a facebook promotion via Metroparent Magazine this summer.  Here are some of our favorites:

·         Read the books (that the shows are based on) before going to the theater.  That way kids can anticipate the story and follow along better.  If you can’t get the book in time they are often available for purchase at reasonable prices in the lobby!
·         Make sure the little ones (*remember children under the age of 3 are not permitted into the theater) are well rested and have had a small snack before you go so that they are content and can sit through the performance.  Snacks are available for purchase pre-show and at intermission but please be aware,  food and beverages may not be brought into the theater.
·         Prepare kids for “theater manners” (no talking out loud… no getting up and walking around) before you go… but remember they are kids so don’t have unrealistic expectations, they’re bound to fidget and ask questions.
·         Enjoy the experience!
·         First row balcony seats are GREAT at First Stage.  They are a little less expensive and you get an awesome view of the show.
·         Talk to your kids about what will go on while you are at the theater and what you expect them to act like.  Definitely make sure they use the bathroom before the show starts and familiarize them with the story of what they will be seeing so they can get excited about it!  It’s also a good idea to go on a full tummy, but letting kids have too many sweets can cause upset tummies.
·         Arrive early.  Plan for enough time to park, find your seats, melt downs, and again, use the potty.  Getting to the theater early allows you time to show the kids the costume renderings for the production on display in the lobby and discover where the restrooms and drinking fountains are located.  
·         My best tip is to take your kids!  So many people comment to us that they can’t believe we take our girls… they love it!  Just don’t expect perfection from them.  First Stage is a great place for kids no worries about being “too loud.”
·         I think parents should take their children.  I believe this will be an exciting learning experience for them.  I always set ground rules about being on your best behavior, staying together and most importantly use the restroom before hand.
·         Stack sweatshirts on the seat for the shorter kids to see better.
·         Sit back and watch your kids enjoy the show!
·         I think preparation in general is the best course.  Prepare your kids for what to expect and what is expected of them, allow time for parking etc.
·         If your child is a little apprehensive about being in the theater for the show (too scary, too loud) bring them anyway.  You can always watch the show on one of the monitors in the lobby until the apprehension goes away, or ask the House Manager about any startling moments in the play you can anticipate.
·         Read the program cover to cover.  First Stage’s outstanding education department puts together great pre- and post show discussion questions that are great while you’re waiting for the play to start and for the car ride home.
·         Talk about the play on the way home! 
·         Make great memories.
For more information about our 2011-12 Family Series at the Todd Wehr Theater, Click HERE.

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