Dickens’s Davy Copperfield at Imagination Stage

Charles Dickens’s most autobiographical novel has been turned into an original musical that transports the audience to 19th century England where a young Davy learns lessons in resilience, how friends can help you through hard times, and the meaning of home.

As with a novel, this Imagination Stage play is divided into chapters, each telling a different part of Davy’s story. As a young child, Davy lives happily with his mother and a nurse who play with him and teach him to read by age five. Life is good until his mother remarries and his stern step-father and step-aunt move in and take over his education and discipline. Davy copes with his new circumstances by losing himself in his late father’s books. Eventually, Davy is banished to boarding school. Although he misses his mother, he is happy at boarding school once he becomes friends with the other students. Soon after he arrives at boarding school, Davy learns his mother has passed away. Davy’s step-father then sends him, at just age 10, to work in a factory, where he is miserable. For a short while, Davy lives with a family, but because they are not related they are not able to take Davy with him when they leave London. Davy soon decides to run away and find his long-last Aunt in hopes that she will take him in and finally give him a home. Throughout his adventures, Davy relies upon lessons he learned in the books he has read.

As with any Dickens story, the story of Davy Copperfield has some darker themes which may not be appropriate for younger children. However, this musical was written just for children, so it is an excellent way to introduce children to this classic story. Davy Copperfield is also a great way to introduce children to the concept of relying on themselves to fix a situation when things go wrong. Many children, and adults, will undoubtedly be able to identify with Davy’s escape into books at times he is unhappy.

This play skews to an older audience than many of Imagination Stage’s other productions, but it is well worth seeing!

Davy Copperfield is playing in repertoire with Anatole:  Mouse Magnifique. For those lucky enough to see both plays, it is very interesting to see how the same set and actors can transform to tell such different stories.


Good to know

  • ecommended for ages 6+
  • Runs through March 31st
  • There is a sensory-friendly performance on performance on Mach 31st at 4:00 pm
  • Tickets start at $15 and can be purchased here.
  • Runs about one hour and forty-five minutes, including intermission
  • Parking is available at meters on the street or at the parking garage on the same block. Garage parking is free on weekends.
  • Imagination Stage has a sound-proof booth with a view of the stage and sound for children who may become antsy
  • After the show extend your day by eating at one of the many kid-friendly restaurants within walking distance.


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