Though more a sanctuary than a school, the theatre provides a learning experience like no other — especially for inquisitive, youthful audiences. At Marin Theatre Company, student matinees have returned for the 2022-2023 season, with two offered per show and most productions suitable for students in sixth through 12th grade.
The lights dim on minds ready to critique authenticity with their fresh and steady gaze. The verdict? High praise and ready discussion. So far, student audiences have taken in two of the four shows in Marin Theatre Company’s season, and each time the post-show talkbacks are illuminated by the students’ active, eager imaginations.
The aim of MTC’s student matinees is to support teachers with engaging art and thoughtful content, and for it to empower their curriculum and class conversation. Further, the matinees seek to support students as vital members of the local community, and to create an intergenerational appreciation of impactful art in high form. So far, these goals have been met, and with positive feedback.
The shows that students experience are unaltered, staying true to the professional runs in order to maintain the integrity and complexity of each production. On Dec. 7, schools in the Bay Area flocked to see August Wilson’s “Two Trains Running.” This timeless and telling play, set in 1960s Pittsburgh, tackles industry, neighborhood evolution and race. The themes are so vibrant, they echo directly into present-day conversations. In fact, a representative from Sonoma Art Academy (which attended the Dec. 7 matinee) took to social media to share images of their smiling students standing in front of the show poster; the post went on to describe the show as “an excellent production with incredible performances and [a] deeply compelling story.” The play runs through December 18th.
Upcoming productions for school groups include “Justice: A New Musical,” a show about the first female judges in Supreme Court history. In it, iconic Justices Sandra Day O’Connor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor are depicted at the height of their power. The show is produced by renowned playwright Lauren Gunderson and musical team Bree Lowdermilk and Kait Kerrigan.
The season’s final inspiring play for school groups will be “Where Did We Sit on the Bus?” by Brian Quijada, featuring additional compositions by Satya Chávez. The show explores the experiences of the Latino community during the Civil Rights Movement.
Marin Theatre Company is here to serve as a resource to its community. By sharing its productions with local schools, the theatre strives to support the work educators do in building rich experiences for students. At MTC, creating a sanctuary for large ideas in high art that both youth and adult audiences can enjoy continues to lead the season. Teachers and school administrators interested in student matinees can reach out to the MTC Education Department online at this form, by email at [email protected] or by phone at 415-388-5208. Individual and adult group tickets for regularly scheduled shows can be secured by visiting marintheatre.org, by emailing [email protected] or by calling the box office at 415-388-5208.