Founded in 1987, First Stage has grown from a small theater for young audiences to a nationally acclaimed company drawing annual audiences of more than 145,000 people. First Stage is one of the largest professional children's theater companies in the United States and the second largest theater company in Milwaukee. In addition to performances for family audiences, First Stage offers:
- Matinee performances for school groups—Every school group attending a matinee receives a free educator enrichment guide that offers suggestions for activities and discussion questions linking the production with the class curriculum.
- Theater in Education programs for area schools—First Stage spends more than 2,000 hours annually in classrooms throughout southeastern Wisconsin offering pre-performance and post-performance classroom workshops and after school creative drama programs. In addition to teaching appreciation and encouraging participating in theater, First Stage also offers arts integration programs to teach academic subject matter using active learning and theater techniques.
- First Stage Theater Academy is committed to teaching "life skills through stage skills" and has become the nation's largest theater arts education program for young people.
- First Stage is a member of the American Alliance for Theatre and Education, the Wisconsin Alliance for Arts Education and TYA/USA, the international association of theater for children and young people, as well as Milwaukee Arts Partners and Theatre Wisconsin. First Stage is a Cornerstone Member of the United Performing Arts Fund. The company is the recipient of the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts' 2002 Bravo Award for outstanding achievement in the performing arts.
A Note About Age Recommendations, Young Children and Babies
- To assist you in choosing plays most appropriate for your family, we offer age recommendations that take into consideration a specific production's performance style, length and subject matter. Our plays can be enjoyed by children, teens and adults alike, but you are the best judge of your child's ability to understand and appreciate a specific play. If you have a question about a specific production, please call our Patron Services Manager at (414) 267-2961. While we welcome children ages three and older and their families into our theater, we recommend that children under age three do not attend our performances. Please keep this in mind when making your ticket purchase.