Student Matinee Performance Series

As part of our mission to integrate the arts into classroom academics, the Behind the Curtain Resource Guides are intended to provide helpful information for teachers and students to use before and after attending our performances. The activities presented in these guides are suggested to stimulate lively responses and multi-sensory explorations of concepts in order to use the theatrical events as a vehicle for cross-cultural and language arts learning. Educators are encouraged to use our suggestions as springboards to lead your students into meaningful, dynamic learning; extending the dramatic experience of the plays. Study Guides are provided in Adobe Acrobat PDF format.

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In-Person Shows


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JUNIE B.'s ESSENTIAL SURVIVAL GUIDE TO SCHOOL

Book & Lyrics by Marcy Heisler, Music by Zina Goldrich
Adapted from the Junie B. Jones series of books by Barbara Park
Directed by Nancy Schaeffer

September 28 – November 3 at 10:00 AM and 12:30 PM with selected 10:30 AM shows
Maximum Theater Capacity: 385
Estimated Run Time: 60 minutes

Kindergarten and Up

Listen up, I tell you! Junie B. Jones is back, and she's got some advice to give...eventually. It was her brilliant idea to put together a survival guide for next year's students, but now she's at a total loss for what to add to it! It doesn't help that all her friends are full of cool ideas and dance numbers. How's a girl supposed to deal with all this competition? Hilariously, of course! In this musical extravaganza great for back–to–school time, Junie B. Jones learns some important lessons about school, patience, and personal growth. This play is perfect for fans of Junie B. and newcomers alike!

Show Themes: Childhood, Patience, Humor, School, Friendship, Learning to get along, Creativity, Family

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Harry Connick, Jr.'s
THE HAPPY ELF

Music & Lyrics by Harry Connick, Jr.
Book by Lauren Gunderson & Andrew Fishman
Directed by K. Doug Miller

November 29 – December 16 at 10:30 AM with selected 10:00 AM shows
Maximum Theater Capacity: 385
Estimated Running Time: 75 minutes plus intermission

Kindergarten and up

From the Grammy–winning musician, Harry Connick, Jr... this jazz musical is sure to get you in the holiday spirit! Eubie is, much to the exhaustion of his coworkers, an elf of unparalleled and endless energy looking to get a spot on Santa's coveted sleigh team. When his unstoppably sunny spirit comes into contact with the miserable town of Bluesville – where every single child is on the naughty list – he's in for the shock of a lifetime. Will his relentless positive attitude be enough to turn this gloomy place around, or has the happiest elf in the North Pole finally met his match?

Show Themes: Positivity, Potential, Curiosity, Hope, Teamwork, Equality, Seeing the good inside, Trying something new

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DON'T LET THE PIGEON DRIVE THE BUS! THE MUSICAL!

Based on the book by Mo Willems
Published by Hyperion Books for Children
Script by Mo Willems & Mr. Warburton
Lyrics by Mo Willems
Music by Deborah Wicks La Puma
Dramaturgy by Megan Alrutz
Directed by Nancy Schaeffer

February 2 – February 24, 2023 at 10:00 AM and 12:30 PM with selected 10:30 AM shows
Maximum Theater Capacity: 385
Estimated Run Time: 60 minutes

Pre-K and up

The Pigeon is having a bit of an identity crisis – he never gets to do ANYTHING, and people just want him to "fly off". Everything changes when the confident, cool Bus Driver rolls into town, and the Pigeon finds himself with a brand new goal: DRIVE THE BUS! But, is it even possible? Time to find out! Written by Mo Willems: creator of the #1 New York Times bestselling, Caldecott Honor award–winning Pigeon picture books...this zany show is ready to take audiences for the ride of their lives!

Show Themes: Humor, Purpose, Independence, Confidence, Exploration, Jobs, Puppetry

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Cry Havoc Theater Company's
ENDLINGS

Written & Directed by Mara Richards Bim
Developed with the teens of Cry Havoc

February 14 and February 16, 2023 at 10:30 AM
Maximum Theater Capacity: 138
Estimated Running Time: 90 minutes, includes talkback

Grade 7 and up

DCT is honored to be presenting the final production of Cry Havoc Theater Company. In its eight–year history in Dallas, the teen theater company has been celebrated for putting young artists in the lead as creators and actors of bold art that disrupts expectations and shakes up old, entrenched conversations. ENDLINGS is a thought–provoking play that tackles climate change, social justice, grief, the pandemic, art, and much more with frank, youthful honesty. First–person interviews with individuals who are living on the front lines of climate change are juxtaposed with conversations among the teens of Cry Havoc to create a mind-shifting, thought–provoking, must–see theater piece that serves as a powerful conduit for community dialogue around issues that matter to all of us. Post–show conversations with subject matter resources will follow every performance.

Show Themes: Environmental Awareness, Climate Change, Hope, Activism, Socialization, Collaboration, Dealing with loss

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LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET

Winner of the 2016 Newbery Medal
By Matt de la Peña, Illustrated by Christian Robinson
Adapted by Gloria Bond Clunie
Directed by vickie washington

March 21 – April 6, 2023 at 10:00 AM and 12:30 PM with selected 10:30 AM shows
Maximum Theater Capacity: 385
Estimated Run Time: 60 minutes

Kindergarten and Up

On a Sunday after church in a bustling, ethnically and culturally diverse American city, CJ and his Nana board the public bus for their weekly trip across town to help out at a soup kitchen. Along the way, CJ notices the many differences among people and asks tons of curious questions: Why don't we have a car? How come that man can't see? How come it's always so dirty over there? How?...Why?...With Nana's fearless and compassionate guidance, CJ discovers that everyone and everything has a unique rhythm and purpose; that the world's got answers if we listen with more than our ears and see with more than our eyes. This inspiring and imaginative play is based on The New York Times bestseller that won a Newbery Medal, Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor, and a Caldecott Honor.

Show Themes: Kindness, Generosity, Empathy, Service, Diversity, Community, Intergenerational Friendship

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CHARLOTTE'S WEB

Written by Joseph Robinette
Adapted from the book by E.B. White
Directed by Artie Olaisen

April 27 – May 26, 2023 at 10:00 and 12:30 PM with selected 10:30 AM shows
Maximum Theater Capacity: 385
Estimated Running Time: 75 minutes plus intermission

Grade 1 and up

The best–loved children's story of all time and winner of The Newbery Honor! Discover the true meaning of friendship and life's everyday miracles. Get caught in Charlotte's web to save Wilbur, the "radiant" and "humble" pig, and make friends once again with all his loveable barnyard neighbors. One of the first books ever written for children exploring issues of mortality, CHARLOTTE'S WEB is an emotional tribute to friendship with universal themes depicting courage, compassion and the ever–changing cycle of life.

Show Themes: Mortality, Kindness, Friendship, Family, Nature, Sacrifice, Wonder, Perseverance, Admiration, Coming of age

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Virtual Shows


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DCT's NATIONAL TOURING PRODUCTION

MISS NELSON HAS A FIELD DAY

Book, Music & Lyrics by Joan Cushing
Based on the book by Harry Allard and James Marshall
Directed by K. Doug Miller

Estimated Run Time: 60 minutes

Kindergarten and up
Cost: $5 per person

Are you ready for some football?! Well...don't look to the Horace B. Smedley Tornadoes for a win because they've never even scored a single point! With an unfocused team that won't change their attitudes, Coach Armstrong goes crazy. So, Miss Nelson, the school's favorite teacher, calls in a trusted, but highly feared reinforcement in this zany musical spectacular. The bold and intimidating Coach Viola Swamp whips the Tornadoes into shape just in time for the big rivalry game. Ready. Set. Hut!

Show Themes: Humor, School, Sports, Team Effort, Hard Work

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Download Digital Chapter Guide

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TEEN SCENE PLAYERS present...

THE RAVEN SOCIETY

By Philip Schaeffer
Music by Philip Schaeffer
Based on Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven"
Directed by Nancy Schaeffer

Estimated Run Time: 45 minutes

Grade 4 and up
Cost: $5 per person

Quoth the Raven..."Nevermore." Meet The Raven Society: a group of nine dedicated to meeting at midnight to recite and discuss Edgar Allan Poe's poem "The Raven." Trouble is, it happens to be the 2020 pandemic, and health recommendations deem meeting in a graveyard – while appealingly atmospheric – just too uncertain for this spooky group. Surely a Zoom call would work just as well. But, what's this mysterious figure that keeps appearing? In this eerie, funny, and educational show, The Raven Society proves that true horror dwells within.

Show Themes: Creativity, Imagination, Social Distancing

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TEEN SCENE PLAYERS present...

ANDI BOI

Written and Directed by Bruce R. Coleman
Co-produced with Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts
in partnership with First Unitarian Church of Dallas

Estimated Run Time: 60 minutes

Grade 7 and up
(Contains adult language)

Cost: $5 per person

As more and more young people are coming to terms with gender identity and transitioning, there is a need for resources that can encourage conversation and understanding in a safe and open environment. Dallas Children's Theater is pleased to add this topic to its series of internationally-recognized teen issue plays. Andi is a transgender teen entering his first day of school identifying as a male. Former classmates recall his last name when they hear it, but there is something different about Andi that keeps the dots from connecting clearly in their minds. Soon his new teachers, classmates, and his classmates' parents will figure it out. How will they react? With aggression? With compassion? With confusion? Inspired by one teen's journey, ANDI BOI is told with a sensitivity towards Andi and uses wit, heart, and warmth to help audiences find their way to greater compassion and awareness. Setting up post-show conversations with subject matter resources is encouraged. Contact DCT for assistance.

Inspired by one teen's journey, this play is not attempting to represent the spectrum of scenarios that are going on in the transgender community, but rather to pave a way to start conversation and foster awareness and understanding.

Show Themes: Gender Identity, Tolerance, Empathy, Kindness, Growth

Download study guide




For more information on study guides, contact Marianne Kolar, Field Trip Coordinator, at 214-978-0120 (email fieldtrips@dct.org).

*Dates, times, and titles subject to change without notice.

IMAGE CREDITS
JUNIE B.'s ESSENTIAL SURVIVAL GUIDE TO SCHOOL, Harry Connick, Jr.'s THE HAPPY ELF, and DON'T LET THE PIGEON DRIVE THE BUS! THE MUSICAL! all produced through special arrangement with Music Theatre International www.MTIshows[dot]com. ENDLINGS: courtesy of Cry Havoc Theater Company. LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET produced by special arrangement with GURMAN AGENCY, LLC, a theatrical literary agency. www.gurmanagency[dot]com; logo courtesy of Penguin Random House LLC. CHARLOTTE'S WEB produced by special arrangement with Dramatic Publishing, Woodstock, Illinois. ANDI BOI logo designed by Bruce R. Coleman. All other images (c) 2022 Dallas Children's Theater.

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