Should I go to daughter's Shakespeare play? (need answer fast :) )

This is batter stated than what I would have written, but I absolutely agree with it.

And, I’ve seen some really decent Shakespeare at the local high school. Those young people are working so hard and giving it their all.

Both our children went to college too far for a casual trip to see them in a play. BUT, my son’s high school had a terrific drama program, and I enjoyed those plays as much for the performance as for the fact that my son was in them. They did a West Side Story good enough that I completely forgot it was a high school production.

What others have already said. You’re not going to the play to see Shakespeare. You’re going to the play to see your daughter.

This. You don’t have to do all three shows, but you should do one. It’s not an absolute obligation–if, say, you had a really important business trip or your brother was getting married or something, it’d be ok to miss it. Hell, if you had tickets to some sort of one-night only event that was really special to you, it might be ok to miss it–if you had seen her in lots of other performances, and if it wasn’t something like her first lead role. But to miss it because you just didn’t want to go? That’d be awful.

I think it would only be all right not to go if your daughter, unprompted and without you mentioning anything at all about it, asked/told you not to bother coming. I did that with some of my high school orchestra performances.

College I think depends on distance and what kinds of things your daughter is doing. I went to college 1500 miles away and certainly didn’t expect my parents to come to anything at all. That being said, freshman year I played the Mendelssohn Octet with some other students. It was a very special opportunity, one of my favorite pieces that I never thought I’d get to play. It wound up being really great and my parents now profoundly regret that they didn’t just go ahead and fly up to see it. I didn’t feel right asking them to spend the money and the time, but I wish I’d been a little more pushy and expressed how excited I was about it because I think all three of us would have less regrets over it.

I’m going to go against the grain here. Given that:

-You daughter performs regularly
-You have a great track record of supporting her
-Another family member will be there

I don’t think it’d be that bad to skip it. I was a drama geek, and I recall my mother skipping one of my many shows for a similar reason- she knew the show was a bit of a train wreck and not going to be very good. I appreciated her honesty, and I appreciated that she was treating me like an adult, rather than a little kid you clap for even when they are not very good. In many ways, that bit of honesty made her support at all my other shows even more valuable. In any case, i was too worried about who I was going to make out with backstage to think about it for long.

After high school, I think you are only expected to attend the big one-of-a-kind things.

Dad and I have been close for most of my life. I’m 33 now. He still comes to all my performances. He hasn’t come to my most recent one and I’m slightly hurt. We live in the same town and there have been ten performances. Then again, his priorities have been pretty messed up lately. Most of my fellow cast have had one or the other parent show up, and I did get to bring Mom.

RE how long you need to keep going to performances: if they carry on beyond secondary school they are supposed to improve. If they’re still doing performances that you don’t want to attend because of the quality of the performance that is probably the right time to discuss career choices.

My papa still flies out to see most of my performances. He saw every single thing I did while at school, and always honestly discussed it with me. The performances I do now he comes to see because he wants to see them.

Children’s Shakespeare is not something you can possibly watch in the same way you would a professional play. But you can admire their learning, you can admire the “reach for the stars”-element to it. That was what I remember my papa always saying was his favourite thing about my early performances: young people who reach for the stars and invariable completely miss, but watching it can still be a beautiful experience in its own way. Just not the regular theatrical experience way.

But young people learning about history, about Shakespeare, about the theatre, about standing on stage, learning lines, learning about working together, about why audiences laugh, learning about art and poetry and about life! Of course the play will suck. Relish it!

But the only reason why he thinks this isn’t going to be very good is because he assumes his daughter (and her castmates) isn’t good enough to do Shakespeare. It’s not because she’s told him the play sucks, or that no one is taking rehearsal seriously, or that she herself doesn’t really have her heart in it. His only reason for not going is his experience that


There’s no evidence that his daughter has said one word to make him this this performance is poor.

Also, it’s not clear from the OP that his daughter has had “many shows” He said:

That stuff may have been spread out over the last dozen years, and be one or two things a year, or she could be on a stage every few weeks. Also, this play could be something just done by the advanced theater class for the parents or it could be performing in front of 500 people. We really need more information: if it’s a full production, with a packed house, the kind of thing you spend weeks and weeks of rehearsing for hours after school, then I think he has to go. If it’s basically a class project for theater III, I think it’s a little less mandatory. We need more information!

Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt


You think this only because you didn’t sit through my niece’s 7th grade production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The dialogue had been translated to exaggerated 1970s language, and the performers were dressed in bell bottoms and miniskirts. I don’t know why.

It was still less agonizing than the 8th grade production of a play about an elephant that was tried for murder and hanged.

Polerius, Even when she’s in college, if your daughter excitedly tells you about her play, you should try to go. Be glad that she wants you there.

You’ve got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel like a good father? Well, do ya, pop?

I say go.

My parents didn’t go to every single performance, but they did go to most of them. I enjoy those memories of them sitting in the audience, beaming with pride.

To be honest, it would not have hurt my feelings if my parents had bailed out on a few month performances. I was pretty unflappable as a teenager. But now, looking back? It would hurt to remember my parents not showing up.

The fact that this is a new kind of performance for your daughter is all the more reason to go. As you said, Shakespeare is hard. Her performance might be awesome–or at least better than you’d expect. But if you don’t go, you’ll never know.


Worst case scenario, she’s indifferent and you’re bored to tears.

Best case scenario, she’s touched by your presence and cherishes the memory forever and you actually enjoy yourself.

I’d be willing to chance the worse case in the hope for the best case.

Go, of course. Duh.

Bad dad!! Go to the play!

Yeah, when I was in middle school my mother asked me if I wanted her to come to my first big orchestra recital. I told her “You can come if you want to.”

She didn’t come, and to be honest it still kind of bothers me nearly 20 years later. She told me later that she thought I didn’t really want her to come since I didn’t specifically say “I want you to come”, but the fact that she even asked led me to believe that she actually did not want to come and would only do so if I begged her. I still think this is true, as to the best of my memory she never came to any of my other orchestra performances and never even asked after that first one.

Update: Just came back

Based on what you all have said, I’m glad I went.

But it was a boring two hours, as expected.

I’m glad you went too :slight_smile: but I think people have been a bit hard on you in this thread. You’ve been to a lot of your daughter’s performances. My dad never came to any of mine. It makes me a bit sad.

My daughter had one like that in high school, a flower child version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, followed the next year by The Taming of the Shrew, set in Texas in the first half of the 20th century. I neither case was the dialogue translated, or only a little bit, but still… Memorable, but odd.

Polerius, I’m glad you went. I’m sure your daughter knows it wasn’t a Broadway production, but she also knows her dad was there.

Last year we all went to my granddaughter’s beginner band concert. In the middle of it my daughter (the aunt) leaned over and whispered to me, “I’m so sorry.”