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The folks at New Rep Theatre in nearby Watertown recently extended an invitation to attend a rehearsal of their new production of Oliver! and we gladly accepted. My two older sons and I had the pleasure of watching the cast and crew work on their performance of Oliver!, a musical based on the novel by Charles Dickens.

Photo via New Rep Theatre

Director Michael Bobbitt was a very gracious host, offering us a behind-the-scenes tour of the set, some information on the show’s inspirations (Lemony Snicket & Tim Burton) and checking in on us during breaks in the action to explain what was happening. The rehearsal we saw occurred during their “tech week” which meant we had a chance to see some of the technical components involved in making a play happen. A sound engineer adjusted the levels for various speakers and even showed us how he added a delay for some based on the time it takes for sound to travel from the stage to certain spots in the audience. That was one of many cool peeks behind the curtain (so to speak) we experienced. Unsurprisingly though, the highlight for my boys was the appearance of a fight choreographer who helped the cast members work through a scene that involved some grappling between actors while the Director gave us some context and demonstrated a few tricks of the trade.

We decided to head home around 9 PM but left intrigued about the performance and look forward to returning to see the show in its entirety with the rest of the family. My sons marveled that the kids in the performance were staying up so late (rehearsal was slated to run until roughly 11 PM) and asked a series of questions about their schedule, if they could sleep late, etc. I was more focused on the impressively disciplined behavior of the young actors at such a late hour but somehow that went unnoticed by my boys. Either way, their interest in theatre was piqued, which is great timing as they’re headed to see a performance of Tuck Everlasting later this month in Concord, MA.

Click here for more info and to purchase tickets if you’re local and interested. Note: This was not a sponsored post but the theatre did allow us to attend their rehearsal.

Have you taken your kids to see a play recently that they enjoyed? Please share it with me below in the comments or on Twitter, where I’m @DadLifeStories. Thanks for reading!