Skip to main content

Theatre program for families opens the stage to songs, dance and stories

This fall and winter, the Northwestern University Theatre and Interpretation Center hosts a Saturday morning series called “Imagine U” for the whole family. Three different hour-long events will take parents and kids alike backstage, giving them a hands-on, insider’s look at how stage productions are put together.

“Imagine U is a series for children to explore the world of theatre by interacting with actors and experiencing the joy and magic of live performances,” said Lynn Kelso, artistic director for Imagine U. “Bringing children and families and the community together gives us the opportunity to celebrate our unique styles, cultures and gifts and to appreciate the wealth of diversity around us.”

Kelso said this year is the “year of stories,” and appropriately, the first event on Saturday, Nov. 6 at 10 a.m. in Wallis Theater is called “Stories from the Garden,” with songs and stories inspired by the beloved children’s novel The Secret Garden.

“The hour will be filled with song, movement and storytelling performed by director Rives Collins and his talented students,” Kelso said. “With the audience they will explore the world of Mary Lennox, hidden keys, walled gardens and the redemptive power of love.”

The winter Imagine U event will be Saturday, Feb. 19 in Wallis Theater. “Everybody Dances!” will explore story in dance, led by dance program coordinator Susan A. Lee and featuring interactions with Danceworks 2011 student performers.

The spring event held Saturday, May 7 at 10 a.m. in the Ethel M. Barber Theater is a miniature take on the annual Waa-Mu performance called “Wee-Mu.” Faculty member David H. Bell will lead the audience in exploring stories in song, along with cast members from Waa-Mu 2011.

Imagine U is recommended for children ages 5-10.

For more information or to purchase tickets, which are $5 per person per session, call 847-491-7282 or visit