Discovery Day is a free event that allows local children and parents to explore the theatre in an immersive and family-friendly experience that engages the senses and the imagination. Children learn about theatre and imagination through games, crafts, and hands-on workshops.
“Discovery Day is all about opening the theater doors to the community and inviting them in to see how theater really works and making them a part of our theatre family for the day,” said Nicole Bouclier, the Assistant Director of Production.
“A lot of the kids who come here have never been to the theater before, they’ve never seen a play before, they’ve never been behind the scenes of a professionally-run theater. I think the hope is that a lot of the kids that come will catch the theatre bug,” said Resident Teaching Artist Eliza Orleans.
This year’s Discovery Day is titled The Dream Factory: Bring your dreams to life! Children will play dress-up games, tell stories through improvisation, create landscapes with light and color, build cities out of boxes, and make their own musical instruments. Workshops and activities will aim to inspire creative thinking, imagination, and storytelling through dream-building.
“When we were choosing a theme, we loved the idea of storytelling and dreams, and somehow wanted to tie those two pieces together. With dreams comes imagination, and having children come into a theatre and imagine anything they wanted was exciting to us,” said Logan Pratt, the Event Coordinator for Discovery Day.
In past years, Discovery Day has brought in as many as 250 local children and their families. This year, the staff hopes to see even more. “I’m hoping that we reach more kids and families than we’ve ever reached before. I hope we see new faces coming into the theater. I hope that we sort of re-invigorate the staff and the town and the community and get everybody excited about the rest of the season,” said Orleans.
Discovery Day is planned by members of the Next Stage Residents program with support from the education department, but it has become a favorite event among the entire staff, with many departments volunteering their time to join in the fun.
Todd Yocher, the administrative assistant to the managing and artistic directors, has been an active participant in Discovery Day for several years. “I’m hoping that we have a great turnout and that Mother Nature cooperates!” he says of this year’s event.
When asked what he would say to children and families thinking about attending Discovery Day, Yocher replied, “Forget television for one day, and come to Long Wharf Theatre for an interactive adventure. You’ll be glad you did!”
Discovery Day 2016: The Dream Factory will take place at Long Wharf Theatre, 222 Sargent Drive New Haven CT on January 23rd. Registration begins at 9:00am. The event begins promptly at 9:30am and runs until 12noon. Families can pre-register for the event by calling the box office at (203) 787-4282. More information is available online at https://www.longwharf.org/discovery-day-2016.