May 17, 2010

Student Matinees - the Teachers like them too!

Contributed by Donna Glick

Recently, the Huntington's Department of Education decided to try a "pay what you can" ticket offer for the student matinee of Prelude to a Kiss on Thursday, June, 3, 2010. We asked Bill Deschenes, a teacher from Pierce Middle School in Milton, to describe the student matinee experience for us, from the teacher's point of view. His enthusiasm really took us by surprise - thanks Bill!

I've been taking my kids to the Huntington's student matinees for many years now and am happy to report that the Huntington does it right! They are serious about exposing young people to the theater and providing an enriching experience for them.

Attending such high quality shows is a terrific opportunity for the kids. Most theaters, especially those of this caliber, do NOT offer morning performances at all, so to be able to take students to the theater during the school-day is a real treat. Plus, the Huntington does everything possible to make it affordable. A $12 ticket at the student matinee might cost about $70 for the same performance in the evening. An incredible and very generous deal.(Now with this new "pay what you can" offer, it is made even more affordable.)

If you do decide to take your students to see PRELUDE, however, take advantage of the other services the Huntington offers:

--Their curriculum guides are excellent--packed with information on the play including historical and cultural context, overarching themes, activities, lesson plans, vocabulary, theater etiquette, etc. It's a tremendous resource.

--The Huntington will help you prepare your students for the play by sending someone to your school to lead your students in pre-show activities. Or you may opt to take your kids to the theater before the matinee for a pre-show talk and tour.

--Another great resource is the Huntington's website, where blogs, interviews and video clips are posted. Visit the site with your students and click around.

--The Huntington's Teacher Preview Night allows you to see the production for free before you take your class. This allows you to enjoy the show as an audience member first so that you can better prepare your students for the matinee.

--After the performance, stay! The post-show Q&A session with the cast members is well worth attending and a wonderful way for your students to fully process the experience. Plus, it's terrific way for your kids to interact with real, working, professional actors.

And now for a non-Huntington related tip: After the show there's no need to rush back to school... Have your kids bring bag lunches and go enjoy them by the reflecting pool at the Christian Science Church Park--safe, peaceful, picturesque. A perfect way to wrap up the day!


Bill Deschenes
Pierce Middle School, Milton

If you would like more information about our Student Matinees, or the June 3rd Pay What You Can offer,contact Meg Wieder at 617 273-1558 or

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