DISCLOSURE: I was invited by the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts to see a performance of ‘School of Rock’ with my daughter, but all opinions are my own
I have always loved going to the theatre, and I even majored in it and met my husband at the Theatre Arts program at Virginia Tech.
So when Zoe finally started expressing an interest in seeing a musical, I wanted to make sure that she was both able to fully enjoy the experience as well as respect the experience of others.
The Dr. Phillips Center for Performing Arts, located in downtown Orlando, is a beautiful venue that is the perfect place for families in this same position since it is grand while not being intimidating and offers a diverse season of shows, concerts, and traveling productions.
Here are some of the ways that I prepared Zoe for our outing to the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.
Tips For Visiting Dr. Phillips Center For The Performing Arts With Kids
Pick the right show for your family
The Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts has a variety of performances (you can see the schedule here), and the next FAIRWINDS Broadway in Orlando is Disney’s The Lion King that will have performances February 14 to March 11, 2018, and tickets start at $35.25.
Make sure that younger ones can stay up late
While most shows offer weekend matinee shows, most performances happen on the later side of the evening which means that dinner and bedtimes will need to be shifted some.
Familiarize your little ones with the show that they’ll be seeing
Kids tend to do better when they understand the premise of the show that they are going to go see, and a nice way to do that is by talking about the show that you will be seeing, watching a movie version of the show, or reading the book that the show is based on to give them an idea of what they can expect to happen during the show.
Don’t be afraid to also keep reviewing what they’ll be seeing and experiencing, especially when you are on your way to the theatre, so you can answer any additional questions they may have.
Talk about expected behavior at the theatre
While it can be overwhelming thinking of taking a child to the theatre to sit through two to three hours with a small break when they need to be able to sit relatively sit still while having good etiquette, but if you look at it theatre etiquette is really a lot like movie theater etiquette!
- Pay attention to announcements that are made prior to many shows about the rules of the theater you are attending and the location of the fire exits.
- Speaking during the performance impacts those around you, so make sure that if it is an emergency that you speak in a whisper.
- Remember that the Overture (introductory music) in Musical Theater is part of the performance, so be quiet when it begins.
- Pictures during the performance can be very distracting to the actors and can cause a mishap, so try to take them before/after the performance or during intermission.
- Keep in mind that the seats are close, so please keep your feet on the floor and refrain from kicking the seats in front of you.
- Do laugh and applaud when it is appropriate during the performance. While the lights on the stage are bright and the actors may not see you, they appreciate your interaction.
- Make sure to applaud at the end of the show to let the performers and crew know that you appreciate their work, and you can even stand and applaud if you really thought the show was great.
Make going to the theatre an event!
Who doesn’t love getting gussied up to go to a fancy place?
Use your time at the theatre as an excuse to get dressed up to show that this is an important and special outing.
Arrive early to the theatre
Since the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts is located in Downtown Orlando (445 S. Magnolia Avenue, Orlando, FL 32801), so you will want to factor in time for traffic, parking and walking to the venue , and going through security so it is best to give yourself some extra time to cut out some of the stress of getting to the venue.
Once you arrive, I also suggest taking a few moments to take in the beautiful building and use the facilities.
For directions, the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts has great information on their website.
As for a little boost for shorter ones to see
If you are going to the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts with a child on the shorter side, you can visit the information desk, located under the staircase towards the back left of the lobby, to receive a free booster for them to see the show better.
Take a walk around the lobby during intermission
A good way to get the jitters out from sitting still during the first act is to take a walk around the lobby during the intermission.
Intermission typically lasts 15 minutes, so keep an eye on the lines at the concessions area and the restrooms to make sure if you need to visit either you have time to do so without rushing too much.
If they have a blast, the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts offers a large variety of classes.
The Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts offers classes for children as young as two, and you can find information here.
Zoe and I had an absolute blast at the fantastic performance of School of Rock, but should I worry that I asked her to clean her room & she started blasting ‘Stick it to the Man’?
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