“It’s not all about sports, Don.” That’s what Don Rodman, the Founder of Rodman for Kids, remembers his wife Marilyn telling him.
“I always on my own sent kids to sporting events,” Don told the Boston Globe in 2013. “She must have gotten frustrated with me after a while, and she said, ‘You know, Don, there is another world out there.’”
The Theatre for Kids program began in 2003. In 2007, it was renamed The Marilyn Rodman Theatre for Kids program. Marilyn Rodman passed away in May 2013.
The Theatre program endeavors to broaden the horizons of at-risk youth and foster a lifelong appreciation of performing arts by exposing kids to live, professional theatre.
The Theatre program routinely fills every seat at a show.
In July, over 2,500 kids visited the Boston Opera House to see Phantom of the Opera. “We bought every seat in the house, because we wanted kids to experience this beloved, classic musical,” said Don. “The feedback from the kids was overwhelming. They were enthralled by the production. In fact, without any prompting, they gave a standing ovation during the encore.”
“Last summer we filled the Charles Playhouse with 500 kids to see the Blue Man Group,” he added. “The kids had such a good time we did it again a month later.”
Next month, the Boston Opera House will be packed with 2,000 kids again for The Lion King, a program favorite.
Thanks to Marilyn’s insistence that kids needed exposure to other things besides sports, over 50,000 children have attended theater performances!
The children aren’t the only ones that have benefited from Theatre for Kids.
At a recent play two mothers chaperoning the event connected on something other than the performance. They had a lot in common with each other. They were both single moms who had moved to Massachusetts, and had no family and few friends in the area.
The two women were in tears because they were both so happy to have found someone in the same situation. They are now the best of friends!
The Theatre program promises a happy ending for all!