By Rachel "La Tia", Blog Contributor
So you're thinking on taking your kids to their first trip to the theater? With the emergence of more family-friendly shows such as School of Rock The Musical, Disney's Lion King and the brand new Frozen The Musical on Broadway we thought it would be helpful to you, the inquisitive parent to provide some tips to make your experience at a live show more enjoyable!
Going to a live play/musical differs greatly from watching a movie or even other live Family events (such as Monster Jam, Disney on Ice, etc..). There is something special that makes a live performance so unique and we think it's awesome to let your little one experience it for themselves. You do need to keep in mind, that the audience at these shows has a great responsibility of being respectful to not only the huge cast and crew, but also to other audience members. These family-friendly shows still require the same respect of the crowd that others do.
Here are some quick tips on bringing your kids to a live performance. Let us know if you have any helpful tips to make your theatre-going experience a memorable one!
(1) FROZEN is intended for children at least 8 years old. Make sure that your child is the correct age and is okay with sitting for extended amounts of time. Live performances have intermission breaks - so be sure to get in those restroom trips when you can. Find out where the restrooms are before hand just in case you have to make a mad dash. A ten year old may be patient enough to wait an hour while a younger child may not be so forgiving.
(2) Guaranteed your child will want to wave, yell, call out their favorite character's name. Prep your little one in advance, that this isn't a good idea. Your children should not attempt to get a character's attention. Shows set aside special time for this. For the new Frozen Musical, actors will be available after the show for photographs and signings. We suggest checking official theater sites for information, scheduling and most importantly, if you need a special ticket to participate in these interactions. Set the expectations with your children that they may be able to meet some characters (maybe not the one that they wanted, though).
(4) This may seem obvious, but be sure to eat before the show. Food policies differ with each theater as some don't allow outside food but some do sell snacks. To avoid grumbling stomachs and a grumpy child, eat before. This may work as a money saving tip as well since we're all too familiar with the prices of food and drink at any special event.
(5) Make sure that your child actually wants to go. If you or an older child want to go and just decide drag along a younger sibling, expect things to turn sour. They may not have the patience to sit through a completely new experience that they didn't want to go in the first place. Talk up the show in advance, get your kids excited and make it a big deal.
(6) Explain to them what it means to be a good audience member for a live performance. Actors use a lot of exaggerated motions or speech to get their expressions across so let them know that the actors may be acting somewhat funny. Try to explain how sets may be moving around and that your kids may see some "behind the scenes" activity (which your little ones will probably mistake for the performance). Let them know it's ok to laugh and have emotions during the show, but it may not be the best place to play with toys, talk loudly, or be a disruption to others in the audience.
(7) Now the fun part, outfits!! Depending on the show, you may deem it appropriate for your child to sport a costume or attire related to the performance. For example, if you are going to the Frozen Musical, why not let your little girl wear her Anna dress or special Frozen T-Shirt or bring along her Frozen backpack. If the opportunity allows it, why not be creative and have some fun with it. It will make your little one feel involved meaning they'll be even more excited for what's to come. We always have a great selection of Frozen items (and it will be much cheaper than what they will be selling at the show)
(8) After the show, take them out for a treat! Okay so this one doesn't really count but it really does help provide for positive memories of the experience you just had! Obviously, remind your child how great they were during the show. This will help encourage good behavior and etiquette which will provide for great experiences at future shows! It is also a great time to talk about the show, your favorite parts, favorite songs, etc.. and reconnect with what made it so magical! Fun fact: It is customary in New York to get cheesecake after watching a Broadway show.
Have more questions? Check out this Official Frozen The Musical FAQ
Hope you've found our 8 tips useful - See you at the show! Have any tips to share? Comment below.