Shakespeare Theatre Company's Family Week at THE TEMPEST Begins Today

From today, 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 p.m. 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.

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