Orlando Family Stage provides many ways to enhance your experience as an audience member. Each of our shows provides families and classrooms a wealth of discussion topics, creative inspiration, and connections to our lives. The opportunity to see a play with another person and then talk to each other about it is one of the great joys of storytelling and live theater. But, can a short conversation prior to or after a performance actually deepen learning, engagement, and impact?

We already know there are positive effects on important prosocial factors in children and adults after watching theater (Greene et al., 2018; Rathje et al., 2021). But, Orlando Family Stage works to expand the experience beyond a single trip to the theater with what are called ”wrap-around” activities. These before and after show engagements help audiences identify with the material and facilitate great conversations and continued creativity. Recently, a research study from the John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts explored how these types of activities impact engagement in the performance and increase social emotional skills. The study focused on Middle School audiences, but we know this extends to all ages, including adults. 

The researchers state,

“when paired with educational pre- and post-performance experiences, middle school students’ social-emotional skills can be positively impacted through a single live theater performance. The results of students’ in-show Engagement suggest all preparation and experiences measured (e.g., prior or current Theater Experience) relate to higher levels of in-show Engagement. Furthermore, higher levels of in-show Engagement significantly predicted higher levels of all four of the outcome variables. These findings indicate that in-show Engagement can be boosted, and in turn, positively impact students’ social-emotional skills at a live theatrical performance” (Troxler et al., 2022)

In other words, not only do pre- and post show activities support a student’s learning and social emotional skills by attending the show, it proves their interest and engagement during the show is strengthened. “Even a short (12 minutes or less) discussion paired with a live theater performance can impact students’ reports of their ability to experience and share the emotions of others” (Troxler et al., 2022).

This study supports Orlando REP’s initiative to create high quality wrap around activities for families and classrooms. Orlando Family Stage invites you to take some time (even just a few minutes) to prepare and then reflect on the powerful experience of seeing a show. 

Where can you locate our wrap around activities?

  1. Each playbill has a list of questions for the ride home.
  2. Each production has an accompanying Teacher Resource guide (link to resources guides here) which includes not only discussion questions, but activities designed by grade. 
  3. Select productions have special Field Trip Workshops. These workshops engage creative thinking, problem solving, and other curricular connections through an arts integrated lesson. Each workshop requires reflection on the performance as well as interaction and cooperation with classmates. Students find a greater appreciation for the performance but also build the ability to empathize and collaborate with each other. 
  4. Finally, join us early on a weekend performance to enjoy crafts that connect to the show’s themes, Orlando REP’s gallery displays of Young Artists in the Spotlight, Text-2-Play, and posters with interesting facts and connections. 

Check out the detailed list of Orlando REP’s Field Trip Workshops for our 2022-2023 Season!

Interested in booking? Contact [email protected]

Pre Writing with DogMan The Musical– The Four Steps to Storyboarding  

Have a story idea?  Using the four steps to storyboarding your students go from idea to draft in this pre-writing style workshop inspired by the comics drawn by George and Harold! Students organize ideas and establish character, setting, plot, and the beginnings of dialogue through brainstorming, illustration or sentence building, final details and alterations. Before they know it, the story takes shape and they are ready to write! 

Florida State Standards: WL.K12.NM.5.6; ELA.K12.R.1.1

Poetic Power in Locomotion

In Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson, best friends Lonnie and Enrique learn that poetry is a powerful tool that helps one heal from pain, celebrate life, and cultivate joy. In this workshop, students write their own poems by engaging their five senses, utilizing literary devices, and pulling inspiration from examples of different poetic forms.Throughout this workshop students explore various answers to a question Locomotion asks us all: “What IS poetry?

Florida State Standards:WL.K12.AH.5.7; LAFS.K12.W.2.5

Bringing Lyrics to Life in SpongeBob the Musical

What do you hear? Explore the songs and lyrics from SpongeBob the Musical in order to practice text analysis and meaning making. Through a rich exploration of instrumental tracks as well as song lyrics, practice a system of analysis that invites you to describe, analyze, and relate to the content. Once students have practiced text analysis, this workshop will invite them to explore how music might inform their own narrative writing. How are mood, tone, and setting informed by music? Enjoy this text analysis and writing workshop all in one! 

Florida State Standards:ELA.K12.R.2.1; MU.68.H.3.1

Exploring Story Comprehension in Make Way for Ducklings

Calling all ducklings! Travel through the busy city of Boston to find Mr. and Mrs. Mallard at the Public Garden! This story drama workshop supports story comprehension and vocabulary development through an interactive read aloud experience. Students will step out of the classroom and into the world of the book to learn, explore, and have fun!

Florida State Standards: LAFS.K2.RL.1.1; LAFS.K2.RL.1.2; LAFS.K2.RL.1.3



Greene, J. P., Erickson, H. H., Watson, A. R., & Beck, M. I. (2018). The play’s the thing: Experimentally examining the social and cognitive effects of school field trips to live theater performances. Educational Researcher, 47(4), 246–254. https://doi.org/10.3102/0013189X18761034

Reba Troxler, Thalia Goldstein, Steven Holochwost, Charles Beekman, Stephanie McKeel & Muna Shami (2022): Deeper engagement with live theater increases middle school students’ empathy and social perspective taking, Applied Developmental Science, DOI: 10.1080/10888691.2022.2096610


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