Inspired by the twisted genius of Roald Dahl, this is the story of Matilda. Her dreadful parents can’t stand her. Her headmistress is a horrible, nasty, name-calling, life-sucking tyrant who puts kids in cupboards with nails and broken glass. (And you thought you had it bad.) This captivating kid-power romp revels in the anarchy of childhood. Celebrating the tenacity of the small, Matilda proves that the strength to be yourself (along with a little telekinetic power) will prevail at the end of the day.
Matilda is all about the power of young people to change their world, which makes it the perfect inspirational show for your fearless child!
Best for ages 6 to 96, Matilda runs now through June 23 at Children’s Theatre Company.
Get in the spirit with these fun activities to get to know the show better!
“You! What is your name?”
“Matilda. Matilda Wormwood.”
Role On The Wall
There are many characters in Matilda, and each has their own motivation and end goal. In this activity, you’ll brainstorm external and internal factors for several characters to create a deeper, more empathetic understanding of character motivations.
Choose a character from the play, like Matilda, Bruce, Miss Trunchbull, Michael, or Mr. Wormwood. Then, draw an outline of the character you’ve selected on a piece of paper, and tape it to the wall. Brainstorm all the external things that impact the character (like other characters, incidents we see and those we hear about, societal pressures, etc.) and write those around the outside of the figure. Next, fill the inside of the character with ideas of how the character feels about all the things on the outside.
Mix it up: If you did not pick Matilda, retell or rewrite the story of Matilda from the perspective of the character you did select. How does that change the story? Did this activity change your opinion of that character? Have you ever experienced similar feelings or events?
Ensemble in Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical | Photo by Dan Norman
“Even if you’re little, you can do a lot!”
Revolting Children Who Changed the World
Research some real-life kids who proved that “even if you’re little, you can do a lot”—just like Matilda! Think of children who saw injustice in the world and fought to change it, or children who started their own businesses to help others, or children advocating for another cause!
You can even learn about the causes our student actors in Matilda are passionate about on Off Book here: https://offbook.childrenstheatre.org/student-actors-making-a-difference-91adfd715fa0
What causes are you passionate about, and how do you support them? Are there things you can do on our your own, or others that you can rally a group of friends to help you with?
Make a flyer or poster about a cause you support! Give information about why you have chosen it, and how people can help. For example, if you’re passionate about recycling, educate people about the environmental impact with words and pictures, tell people why you’ve decided to support it, and share tips on how they can help! Share your designs with us on social media using #CTCMatilda and #RevoltingChildren.
Sofia Salmela as Matilda in Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical | Photo by Dan Norman
“You liked my cake, didn’t you, Bruce?”
Trunchbull’s Chocolate Cake
Now that spring has finally sprung (or has it…?), grab your family and friends and head outside! (This activity requires a large open space such as a gym or playground.)
Choose one person to play the role of Miss Trunchbull, who will stand at one end of the open space. Encourage this person to use their body to become the character of Miss Trunchbull. Sitting next to them is a stool or chair with a plate of “chocolate cake” (prop food works well or it can be as simple as a roll of tape). The rest of the group should stand at the opposite end of the space. When Miss Trunchbull turns her back to the group, the students can sneak to try to steal the piece of cake. When Miss Trunchbull turns to face them, they must freeze in place. If Miss Trunchbull catches anyone moving, she yells “Off to Chokey!” and the person caught is sent back to the starting line. When a person succeeds in stealing the cake, they become the new Miss Trunchbull!
Emily Gunyou Halaas as Miss Trunchbull in Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical | Photo by Dan Norman