If you follow this blog at all, you know that we tend to go to a lot of theater. One of the really cool things about Northwest Children’s Theater in particular is the multiple ways children can get involved with the theater experience- from attending plays, taking classes, Girl Scout workshops, going to theater camp, or even volunteering. We have taken advantage of most of those opportunities, but we recently gave volunteering a shot for the very first time!
Children as young as 4 are allowed to be assistant ushers or program passers (as long as an adult is with them). Nugget has been itching to do this for a while. There have been times we have arrived early and he has asked for jobs to do. The staff there is so amazing, and they have given him extremely important responsibilities like making sure the bathroom lights are on and that there is toilet paper in the boys bathroom. He took these tasks quite seriously.
This fall, we decided to do it the real way. I signed the three of us up to be usher’s for the season opener play, How I Became a Pirate. We were told to arrive an hour prior to show time. After your first time, you are asked to arrived 40 minutes prior to the start. After some quick paperwork for the grown-ups, we were assigned our duties.
Nugget and I were designated as program passers. Nugget’s face about broke from his excited smile. He grabbed some familiar faces (like I said, we go there a lot), to role play his job and took it all very seriously. He was a fantastic program passer.
Chicken got to be a stage guard, which meant she sat on the steps leading up onto the stage to keep curious kiddos off the stage. She was very excited. I was busy with Nugget, but apparently she tracked down the mom of a kiddo who was adamant about getting on stage. Don’t mess with my kid!
As we waited for patrons to arrive, we were asked to help fill in missing numbers that they tape to the back of seats to make them easier to find. As this involved the use of a packaging tape dispenser, both kiddos were totally on board.
We were told that once our duties were done, we could sit anywhere there were open seats. As the show we were at didn’t happen to be overly crowded, we would up with a pretty good view! It did take us a moment to get into audience mode after coming straight from our ‘job,’ but we settled in quickly and thoroughly enjoyed the show!
Apart from the benefit of being allowed to see the show without purchasing a ticket, we were also heach given a token for a free concession to use at the next show we come to.
Northwest Children’s Theater also started a passport program this season. You earn stamps in your passport for doing different things related to attending the theater, and volunteering is one of them. There are prizes as you acquire stamps. First stamp- check! In order to acquire additional stamps, you can do things like take public transportation to a show, dress up for a show, take a class, etc. Next time you are there, take a minute to check it out!
What it is: fun, developmentally appropriate assigned jobs, a way to ease the financial burden of going to shows, a way for kids to feel involved and helpful
What it’s not: for kids who are painfully shy
You can sign up to volunteer here: https://nwcts.org/usher-a-show/
You can buy tickets here: https://nwcts.secure.force.com/ticket