Community Arts Programs at Wheelock College
Theatre Espresso, in residence at Wheelock Family Theatre, creates, produces, and performs interactive dramas that bring history to life for students in order to foster a generation of critical thinkers and true citizens.
Inspired by the highly successful Theatre in Education teams of Great Britain and by the belief that drama is a potent teaching tool, Theatre Espresso's work challenges students to make critical judgments, explore social relationships, reflect on the role of law and human rights in our society, and examine accepted truths about the history of America.
Towne Art Gallery
The Towne Art Gallery is a professional space that showcases the work of New England artists in a variety of media. Located in the basement of the Wheelock Family Theatre building, the Gallery also offers several shows each year featuring work from college and high school students.
Ubuntu Arts is a college-community endeavor in which Wheelock students and community-based sites facilitate collaborative youth art-making and exhibition in the spirit of Ubuntu.
Wheelock Family Theatre
Wheelock Family Theatre (WFT) creates intergenerational and multicultural productions that provide a shared experience for the whole family, helping to realize the mission of Wheelock College to improve the lives of children and families. Among increasingly few institutions, WFT is committed to serving and supporting families of all kinds. In addition to its regular schedule of professional theatre performances, WFT offers the following community arts programs:
- Wheelock Family Theatre Education Program
Established in 1983, WFT's education program has offered classes to thousands of young people, hundreds of whom have also had the opportunity to develop their creativity in WFT productions and to be mentored by professional actors and directors. The primary focus of our education program is supporting a child's intellectual, emotional, creative, and social development through drama activities.
- Wheelock Family Theatre School & Community Partnerships
Partnerships are the fastest-growing program within WFT's Education Program. One of these partnerships, the Bank of America School Partnership, frames a public, private, or home school student's attendance at a WFT matinee with a pre- and post-show educational package called a DramaShop.
- WFT also pairs with non-school organizations, such as church groups, senior citizen centers, out-of-school programs, community theatres, and youth groups.
- Free Community Events at Every WFT Performance
Friday Nights: WFT offers fun and challenging workshops before all Friday evening performances without charge. Teen Take-overs are offered during the dramatic presentation. These teen-focused workshops are designed to illuminate the text and use drama games as tools for examining issues of social justice. Talk Backs are conducted after every Saturday matinee. WFT directors, designers, and actors talk about the show and give audience members a chance to ask questions. On Red Carpet Sundays, guests can meet the cast after the show for photos and autographs.
- Wheel Award
WFT established the WHEEL Award in 2002 to recognize individuals who share the Theatre's commitment to children and families and whose work embodies the Theatre's belief that the arts can transform lives. Past recipients include: Fred M. Rogers of the beloved television show "Mister Rogers", Eric Carle, the acclaimed creator of "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" and more than seventy innovatively designed picture books for very young children, and Peter Paul & Mary, the celebrated folk singing trio. In 2008 the Wheel Award was presented to Jacques D'Amboise, celebrated for his inspiring use of dance with young people and the founding of the National Dance Institute, and Tony Williams, founder of Boston's own BalletRox and the Urban Nutcracker.