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Family First Nights®

Family First Nights® is a nationwide program specifically designed to encourage under-served families to attend theatre on a regular basis. Many programs exist for students to attend the theatre; however, if the experience is not supported and sustained within the students' home environment, there is little lasting impact promoting theatergoing as a lifelong activity.

By engaging the entire family and offering repeated exposure through multiple visits, Family First Nights offers the participating families the opportunity to make live, professional theatre part of their cultural heritage.

Partner social service agencies are responsible for identifying appropriate families, coordinating family participation, and organizing transportation and other logistics.

About the Program

  • Family First Nights provides specially-priced theatre tickets for families who may not otherwise be able to attend Broadway and Touring Broadway shows. Families are selected by local partner social service agencies.
  • Families commit to attend the theatre together three times per year.
  • Each family member pays $10 per ticket for orchestra seats, often less than the cost of a movie ticket.
  • Additional ticket costs are paid for by grants and sponsorships.

Participating families take part in post-performance discussions. They receive family theatre packets including study guides, etiquette information, a guide to who's who backstage, and a CD of the show, if available.

In New York City, The League has partnered with families selected by the Community Association of Progressive Dominicans, Amber Charter School Parent Association, Broadway Housing Communities, Former Councilmember Gale Brewer’s office and the Harlem Children's Zone in Manhattan; the Seth Low IS 96 PTA in Brooklyn; Dunton Block & Civic Association, Inc. and Maspeth Town Hall in Queens; and YMCAs in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island.

In past years, partial funding has been secured from the Friars Foundation, Bloomberg Foundation, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and Department of Youth and Community Development, and the Theatre Sub-District Council, among others.

Family First Nights has also taken place in Appleton, WI; Atlanta, GA; Buffalo, NY; Charlotte, NC; East Lansing, MI; Fayetteville, AR; Hartford, CT; Indianapolis, IN; Jacksonville, FL; Memphis, TN; Milwaukee, WI; Rochester, NY; St. Paul, MN; Tampa, FL; Tempe, AZ; Utica, NY; and West Palm Beach, FL.

Family First Nights was established in 2005.

For more information about Family First Nights, please contact Rachel Reiner. Please note: Families are selected through social service agencies and should not contact the program directly.

Family First Nights® is a joint venture of The Broadway League and The Broadway League Foundation.


Pictured above top: Participating families from the South Brooklyn Youth Consortium attending The Color Purple.
Pictured above bottom:  Harvey Fierstein greets participating families from Harlem Children's Zone.