Go Behind the Scenes at the Auditorium Theatre on “Family Fun Day”

On Sunday, November 13, the historic Auditorium Theatre will open its doors to families for a fun-filled day complete with kid-friendly architectural activities led by the Chicago Architecture Foundation, dancing lessons with former Joffrey Ballet dancer Erica Edwards, vocal workshops with Too Hot To Handel star Rodrick Dixon, and writing activities with Dance Magazine critic Zachary Whittenburg. Families also can participate in acting games, scavenger hunts, crafts, and many other interactive activities great for kids of all ages! All aspiring performers, budding architects, dance critics-in-training, and future audience members are invited to come and learn how the Auditorium Theatre makes the magic happen. All activities are appropriate for kids and kids-at-heart, and the event is FREE!


“For the past two years, Family Fun Day has provided a unique opportunity for young and old alike to explore our theatre, dance, sing, and create together,” says Kristen Hansel, the Auditorium Theatre’s Assistant Director of Educational Programming. “As we move into the third year of this free event we are excited to welcome new partners (such as the Chicago Architecture Foundation) and old friends to lead families in the experience of truly ‘making the magic’ of performance!”


Dance Like the Pros with The Joffrey Ballet’s Erica Edwards (1-3PM)
The Joffrey Ballet’s Director of Community Engagement (and a Joffrey Ballet dancer for 15 years) Erica Edwards will lead dance classes for families. During her time dancing with The Joffrey Ballet, Edwards was named a Black History Maker by the Chicago Sun-Times, nominated for the Princess Grace Foundation Award, and featured in Ebony magazine as a Young Leader of the Future in the Arts. She has performed in productions including The Nutcrackerand Cinderella.

Raise Your Voice with Too Hot to Handel’s Rodrick Dixon (1-3:30PM)
Explore your artistic voice and learn to sing like a star when you join Rodrick Dixon, star of the Auditorium Theatre’s annual production Too Hot to Handel: The Jazz Gospel-Messiah. Young people will warm up their vocal instruments and then create their own short performance to be shared with friends and family! The 12th annual performance of Too Hot to Handel takes place on January 14 and 15, 2017.

Be the Critic with Zachary Whittenburg (2-4PM)
For aspiring writers in the middle and high school range, former Time Out Chicago dance editor and regular contributor to Dance Magazine Zac Whittenburg will lead four 20-minute writing workshops. Culture critics-in-training will learn critiquing tips from a pro as they watch a filmed dance performance and get the chance to write their own reviews!

Be the Choreographer with DanceWorks Chicago (3-5PM)
Choreographers from the contemporary dance company DanceWorks Chicago will be on hand at the Auditorium to lead choreography workshops! Perfect for future Balanchines, Aileys, and Grahams.

Plus, families who complete the scavenger hunt will be entered into a drawing for a Family Night Out, which includes a family set of tickets to an upcoming Dance Theatre of Harlem performance (Nov. 18-20) and dinner at the Italian restaurant tesori!

More Information

Families can pre-register for Family Fun Day online here.

Families may also register at the Auditorium Theatre on the day of the event.

Groups of 10 or more may contact Kristen Hansel by email at khansel@auditoriumtheatre.org or by phone at 312.341.2359 to pre-register.

Last entry to the event is 4:15PM.

Auditorium Theatre’s 2016-17 Season Upcoming Events

September 22: On Stage With … Susan Werner

September 23: The Devil’s Ball

September 24: Cole Porter 125 – A Birthday Celebration

September 29: Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater: Flamenco Passion

November 5-6: Lizt Alfonso Dance Cuba: Cuba Vibra!

November 11: Chicago Jazz Philharmonic: The Mississippi River: Black and Blues

November 18-20: Dance Theatre of Harlem

January 14-15: Too Hot to Handel: The Jazz-Gospel Messiah

About The Auditorium Theatre

The Auditorium Theatre, located at 50 E. Congress Pkwy in Chicago, is an Illinois, not-for-profit organization committed to presenting the finest in international, cultural, community and educational programming to Chicago, and to the continued restoration and preservation of the National Historic Landmark. In September of 2014, the Auditorium Theatre was awarded the inaugural Fifth Star Award by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.

The Auditorium Theatre 2016-17 Season is made possible in part with support from the MacArthur Foundation, the Illinois Arts Council and the Palmer House Hilton. For more information about programming, volunteer and donor opportunities or theatre tours, call 312.341.2310 or visitAuditoriumTheatre.org. For a complete listing of events at the Auditorium Theatre, please click here.