I am incredibly fortunate because I was exposed to theatre at a very young age. My father was a college professor at SUNY Fredonia and then at University of Pittsburgh at Titusville. In addition to teaching English, he directed shows at each of these institutions. Needless to say, I spent many weekend afternoons at the theatre with him as he conducted rehearsals or worked on the sets. Undoubtedly, those early years were what sparked my insatiable passion for theatre.
When I was in the fifth grade, my father took a sabbatical from his teaching position and took me and my sister to London for a few months. We were enrolled in Fox Primary School, where we spent our days, while he hammered away at his typewriter, writing. In the flat that we lived in near Earl’s Court, we had a caretaker. He was an elderly gentlemen of modest means, yet he and his wife attended the theatre every week. When my father asked him why they went every week, he simply stated, “Because one should.”
I am a firm believer that theatre enriches the soul is so many ways. Yesterday I was in New York City with two of my daughters and my eldest noted that she has, at fifteen, already seen twenty Broadway shows. Twenty! I didn’t see my first Broadway show until I was seventeen, after we moved to Connecticut.
Clearly, attending Broadway shows is not a viable option for many. Unless you live in the tri-state area, it is not incredibly convenient to get to the Great White Way. And, even if you do live nearby, the price of a full priced Broadway ticket can run you in the neighborhood of $150 or more. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to see shows at a discounted price, most notably the Theatre Development Fund‘s TKTS booth in Times Square.
One great way to expose children to theatre is to plan your visits to Broadway in January, when Kids’ Night on Broadway gives children between the ages of 6-18 the opportunity to go for FREE with a paying adult. This is an incredible opportunity to bring your children to the theatre for half the cost. Not only do you save money, tickets are usually made available to shows that are otherwise sold out. I fully expect to take advantage of this deal if Hamilton participates next year and, given the show and its creator/star, I would be surprised if they weren’t included in the list.
In addition to the variety of shows that take part in KNOB, there are discounts for restaurants and parking, as well as special programming offered by a few venues! Tickets usually go on sale a few months before, so add your name to the mailing list and get ready to take your kids to the theatre!