Bringing Theatre into the Classroom

          June 16th, 2016

          We’re thrilled to welcome students and their teachers from all across Metro Vancouver to our new season of live theatre for young people. This is a great time to book your classes for next year and then you can sit back and enjoy your summer knowing that your special field trip is all planned!

          But what does it mean to bring a class to the theatre, and how can you bring theatre into the classroom? To take the guesswork out of lesson planning and curriculum ties, we provide educators with fun and thought-provoking activities and resources created for each show in our season. Crafted to align with the BC curriculum, we offer everything you’ll need to prepare your students for their theatre experience, as well as activities and projects to keep the learning going after you return to your classroom.

          All Educator Resource Guides include a synopsis of the play, a biography of the author, a glossary of theatre terminology, and a guide to theatre etiquette, along with lessons and activities in a variety of disciplines, organized by grade level. Check out our Resource Guide archive and see for yourself!

          What are your strategies for bringing lessons from field trips back to the classroom? Do you plan field trips based on class goals, or do you build your lessons around student experiences? Let us know what helps you teach and e-mail us at


          Icon_SultansSultans of the Street

          (Recommended for Grade 1 and up)
          by Anusree Roy
          October 28-November 13, 2016

          In this vibrant story from Indo-Canadian playwright Ansuree Roy, four children from different social classes – two who want to purchase better kites, two with the simple wish to attend school – are trapped in a world of begging on the streets of Kolkata, India. Dressed as gods, they bless the generous and threaten to curse those who are not. Together, they must work to escape servitude and set a course for a new life.

          Check out this sneak peek at the Sultans of the Street Resource Guide!

          Grades 1-3:  Explore the excitement of the Indian kite festival of Uttarayan through vibrant multimedia resources. Then, make your own kites and fly them in a classroom kite competition! (Arts Education, Social Studies, Physical and Health Education ties)

          Grades 4-5:  Try a taste of Indian street food and learn about a favourite dish of the main characters in the play by cooking and sampling Pao-Bhaji, a vegetarian curry sandwich. Explore street food traditions from around the world and create your classroom’s own family cookbook. (Social Studies, Physical and Health Education ties)

           Grades 6-7:  Engage with complex issues in a classroom debate about poverty and the morality of the hungry stealing food. Students engage in an interactive group debate, then hone their viewpoint in a persuasive essay. (English Language Arts and Social Studies ties)



          Icon_Charlie BrownA Charlie Brown Christmas

          (Recommended for Pre-K and up)
          By Charles M. Schulz. Based on the television special by Bill Melendez and Lee Mendelson. Stage Adaptation by Eric Schaeffer. By Special Arrangement with Arthur Whitelaw and Ruby Persson
          November 25-December 24, 2016

          The classic holiday story comes to the CTYP stage in a musical adaption that includes a live jazz trio. Join Charlie Brown on his quirky journey as he tries to direct the school Christmas pageant.  With some help from his friends and a ragged little tree, Charlie Brown discovers the true meaning of the season.

          Finding deeper meaning in the busy holiday season is a key theme of A Charlie Brown Christmas, and classroom activities will offer opportunities to learn about the many ways families celebrate during this time throughout our community. Using Social Studies investigation skills, students can learn about winter holiday celebrations in other cultures, and share their own families’ traditions. Writing the story of their own celebrations is a great way to hone English Language Arts skills.

          Arts Education activities may include learning more about the many jobs and contributions it takes to put on a show, as Charlie Brown himself discovers when he tries to direct the school pageant. Or, students may make their own little trees and come together to make them beautiful. And don’t forget to learn more about Schroeder’s favourite composer, Beethoven!

          Finding ways to support each other at a time when you are “supposed” to feel happy is an important part of A Charlie Brown Christmas. As part of their Physical, Health, and Career Education curriculum, students can examine how marketing and commercialism can create stress during the holiday season. Students can identify ways to come together to support their community, such as a beautification project or writing cards to someone who needs a friend.



          Icon_Cat in the HatDr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat

          Recommended for Grades PreK-3)
          Based on the book by Dr. Seuss. Play originally produced by the National Theatre of Great Britain.
          February 24-March 26, 2017

          Dr. Seuss’ beloved classic comes to life with extraordinary physical theatre, magic and movement. The Cat and his Hat appears one rainy day and turns The Boy, Sally and the Fish’s world upside down. At first it is fun, but Sally and the Boy soon find themselves in a chaotic predicament. They need to find the courage to tell that Cat that his mischief is just too much. Once everything is restored, they face the moral dilemma: do they tell Mom what happened?

          Everyone knows how brilliantly Dr. Seuss encouraged reading readiness and literacy, but there’s even more to learn! Our production of Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat is filled with juggling, balancing, and other feats of physicality. Get students up and moving in a Physical Education lesson on the basics of juggling with scarves.

          Explore Math and Science concepts like repeating patterns, balancing, and the effect of pushes and pulls on movement by seeing how The Cat in the Hat balances an umbrella, a fishbowl, and even a cake! Learn about the cycles of sunny and rainy weather, and share what you like to do on a rainy day.

          Introduce ethical concepts around risk taking and roles and responsibilities at home by asking students to imagine what they would do in Sally and the Boy’s places. What do they think Sally and the Boy told their mother when she got home? Would they tell their mother about The Cat’s visit? The play offers an opportunity to discuss strategies for handling situations where someone wants to play in a way that is unsafe, and ways to make sure everyone playing feels comfortable.

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