Thursday, December 11, 2014

Shakespeare Theatre Company's Family Week at The Tempest

Clifton Duncan stars in Tempest (Photo: Scott Suchman)

From our friends at the Shakespeare Theatre Company...

From December 13-20 the Shakespeare Theatre Company (STC) presents a special Family Week, featuring free programming for families and children of all ages that includes special events and activities at each mainstage performance of The Tempest. Events include free performances of The Tiny Tempest for ages 5-10, plus behind the scenes discussions and demonstrations on stage effects, costumes and more. The Tempest, directed by Ethan McSweeny, plays at the Company’s Sidney Harman Hall (610 F Street, NW) through January 11, 2015.

STC created Family Week as a way to encourage younger audiences to experience Shakespeare with the belief that the Bard's words speak to all ages. The Company aims to foster a life-long love of theatre from a young age and nurture a new generation of theatregoers.

“If children learn Shakespeare’s stories at a young age,” says STC Education Director Samantha K. Wyer, “then when they are ushered into the plays at an older age in school it won’t feel as archaic and intimidating.” Wyer is also the director of The Tiny Tempest and the previously created A Mini-Summer Night’s Dream.

A full schedule of Family Week events is below, or visit for more information.

The Tempest runs through Sunday, January 11. To purchase tickets or to learn more, patrons can call the box office at 202.547.1122 or visit

The Tempest is sponsored by Arlene and Robert Kogod, with additional support from Share Fund and KPMG LLP.

Founding Sponsors of STC Education Programs, Miles Gilburne and Nina Zolt. Presenting Education Sponsor, Target.

Leadership Support for STC Education Programs is provided by The Beech Street Foundation; The D.C. Commission on the Arts & Humanities, an agency supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts; The City Fund; Mr. Jerry Knoll; and Shakespeare for a New Generation, a national program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.

Additional Support of STC Education Programs is provided by Marshall B. Coyne Foundation, Mark & Carol Hyman Fund, The George Preston Marshall Foundation, The Jacob and Charlotte Lehrman Foundation, Ms. Toni Ritzenberg, Hattie M. Strong Foundation, Solon E. Summerfield Foundation, and Washington Forrest Foundation.

Family Week Events

The Tiny Tempest
December 15-21, 2014
FREE, ages 5-10
Sidney Harman Hall Forum

Based on William Shakespeare’s The Tempest but envisioned for young audiences. Discover the enchanted island and the characters that inhabit it. After the performance, students will take the stage with group activities and a discussion with the cast.

Making Stage Magic
Sunday, December 14, 2014
Sidney Harman Hall

After the 2:00 PM matinee of The Tempest, cast and crew share secrets of the stage and special effects from the production.

The Tempest Costumes: Designing a World
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
5:00-6:00 p.m.
Sidney Harman Hall Forum

Get up close and personal with costumes from The Tempest. Through this show-and-tell with STC Costume Shop staff, learn how costumes transform from the designer’s vision to the finished product seen on stage.

Playing the Play: The Tempest
Thursday, December 18, 2014
5:00-6:00 p.m.
Sidney Harman Hall Forum

Get inside The Tempest before you see it onstage. Through theatre games and acting activities, dive into the themes and characters of the drama. Parents are welcome to play, too.

Sonnets with Superpowers
Friday, December 19, 2014
4:30-6:30 p.m.
Sidney Harman Hall Forum

Sonnets, am I right? Well, let me tell you, “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day,” “My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun,” etc. won’t be able to hold a candle to the flame that will be our students’ original sonnets. This workshop will break the sonnet form down, stress by unstress, line by rhyme, and present a variety of famous examples to students as they gear up to write their own “little song.” Led by 826DC.

Twitter Day
Saturday, December 20
2:00 p.m. matinee, All ages

Share your thoughts on the play through social media, pre-show and during intermission. Learn more about the production and contribute to the discussion on Twitter, and see your tweets on-screen in the Harman lobby.

Drawing from The Tempest
Sunday, December 21
4:30 - 5:30 p.m.
The Forum at Sidney Harman Hall
Ages 10 and Up

In this workshop, illustrator and author of critically acclaimed graphic novels Gareth Hinds ( will lead young artists in how to craft graphic novels inspired by classic texts. Using The Tempest as inspiration, participants should expect to leave the workshop with a short comic strip and the skills to complete their own rendition of Shakespeare’s magical play.

Back Stage Tour
Monday, December 22, 2014
4:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m.
Sidney Harman Hall

Go backstage, explore the set and see what the actors see every night. Led by STC staff and crew, this tour will give you an inside look at professional theatre and what it takes to make a show.

Recipient of the 2012 Regional Theatre Tony Award, the Shakespeare Theatre Company (STC) has become one of the nation’s leading theatre companies. Today, STC is synonymous with artistic excellence and making classical theatre more accessible.

Under the leadership of Artistic Director Michael Kahn and Managing Director Chris Jennings, STC’s innovative approach to Shakespeare and other classic playwrights has earned it the reputation as the nation’s premier classical theatre company. By focusing on works with profound themes, complex characters and poetic language written by Shakespeare, his contemporaries and the playwrights he influenced, the Company’s artistic mission is unique among theatre companies: to present theatre of scope and size in an imaginative, skillful and accessible American style that honors the playwrights’ language and intentions while viewing their work through a 21st-century lens.

A leader in arts education, STC has a stable of initiatives that teach and excite learners of all ages, from school programs and acting classes to discussion series as well as accessible programs like the annual Free For All, one of STC’s most beloved annual traditions, allowing audiences to experience Shakespeare at no charge.

Located in our nation’s capital, STC performs in two theatres, the Lansburgh Theatre and Sidney Harman Hall in downtown Washington, D.C., creating a dynamic, cultural hub of activity that showcases STC as well as outstanding local performing arts groups and nationally renowned organizations. STC moved into the 451-seat Lansburgh Theatre in March 1992, after six years in residency in the Folger Library’s Elizabethan theatre. At that time the Penn Quarter neighborhood was not considered desirable by many; since then, STC has helped drive its revitalization. The 774-seat Sidney Harman Hall opened in October 2007.