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A huge perk of homeschooling in Houston is the access to theaters.  We have taken advantage of the educational or school performances at the various theaters.  Homeschoolers are given the same discount and access to the same shows as public and private schools.  And, these shows have been an amazing experience.  Some of the theaters offer “talk backs” after the performance so the students can ask questions to either the actors or the stage crew (costume, lighting, sound, stage, etc.).  Some of the theaters offer open set changes during intermission so the students can see what is going on behind the curtains.  Some even have a cast member narrating this and offer explanations.  The traditional shows are great, but it is such a learning opportunity at the educational shows.  Most of the theaters have curriculum guides filled with resources, suggested readings, and additional activities to help tie the performance to other learning areas.  In addition, the educational shows are affordable.  We would never be able to see this many performances if we could only go to their traditional shows.

Here is the list of shows and theaters we are seeing this fall:

Midsummer Night’s Dream at Alley Theatre

Elixir of Love at Houston Grand Opera

A Christmas Carol at Alley Theatre

Scrooge at Theatre Under The Stars

Nutcracker at the Houston Ballet

Panto Wonderful Wizard at Stages Repertory Theatre

In addition to the above shows, my son has taken a two-hour theater lighting class at Techland .  We have made additional trips to talk with their employees and pick colored gel filters so we can do our own light effects at home.  Every theater trip for us is a chance for him to analyze their lighting and sound design as well as stage effects.  He loves the shows, especially musicals.  Theatre is a great way to incorporate music, arts, and literature into learning.

In a previous blog, Houston Has More To Offer Than You Know , I discussed all the theater options and more as well as information about group pricing and educational shows.  Houston is one of 5 cities in the US that have permanent theater companies and performances year round.  Houston is also recognized globally and is listed as a top theater city that is not London or New York .  If you are in Houston, I encourage you to check out our theaters!  If you are not in Houston, come visit or do some research for theaters near you.

Here are some other readings on the benefits of theater: