Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Class Acts 2011-2012 Season

The University of Illinois Springfield kicks off the 2011-2012 Class Acts series at Sangamon Auditorium, Thursday, October 27th with 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. performances of Skippyjon Jones.   Class Acts is a series of educational shows and performances designed for young audiences which take place during the school day.  The goal of Class Acts is to present a diverse performing arts program for youth in support of educational and cultural goals mandated by the State of Illinois for grades K through 12.  The 2011-2012 Class Acts season is sponsored by PNC Bank.

2011-2012 is the twenty-sixth season of Class Acts events.  For each of the last several seasons, between 15,000 and 20,000 students and teachers have attended Class Acts events. 

Speaking of PNC’s involvement with the series, Doug Stewart, Regional President for Central Illinois said, “At PNC, we have a long history of strengthening and enriching the communities where we live and work, and we are pleased to serve as this season’s presenting sponsor for Class Acts.”

Teachers, administrators, and home school parents can reserve tickets through the Sangamon Auditorium Ticket Office at 217.206.6160 or 800.207.6960 or online at Tickets are $5.50 each, and every 16th ticket is free. The general public may purchase walk-up seats, if available, on the day of the scheduled event.  Parents interested in having their child attend a Class Acts performance are encouraged to talk to his or her teacher about arranging a field trip.  Additional information about the upcoming performances is available by contacting the Sangamon Auditorium Administrative Office at 217.206.6150. 

Youth programming in the Class Acts series and in conjunction with other Sangamon Auditorium events is supported in part by the Helen Hamilton Performing Arts Endowment for Youth Fund, gifts from Elizabeth and Robert Staley, the PNC Foundation’s Grow Up Great® initiative, and a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.

2011-2012 Class Acts season:

Skippyjon Jones
Theatreworks USA
Thursday, October 27, 2011
10:00 am & 12:30 pm
Grades preK-2
Based on the book by Judy Schachner, Skippyjon Jones is an enchanting musical about unleashing your powerful imagination and following your dreams.  Skippyjon Jones is a little kitten with big ears and even bigger dreams! Sometimes he pretends to be a bird, sometimes he pretends to be a llama, and sometimes he pretends to be a whale… Anything BUT a Siamese cat!  Skippyjon’s wild imagination takes over as he catches his reflection in a mirror. “I am not a Siamese cat,” Skippyjon exclaims, “I am a CHIHUAHUA!”  He dons a mask, a cape, and an accent, and transforms into the greatest canine sword fighter in old Mexico! But when the local pack of chihuahuas is terrorized by the gigantic bee, will Skippyjon be a ‘fraidy-cat or the top dog?

Aesop’s Fables
Eckerd Theater Company
Thursday, November 3, 2011
10:00 am
Grades preK-3
For centuries, the wit and wisdom of Aesop’s Fables have been passed down from one generation to the next, and now these well-loved animal tales are presented in interactive, story-theater style. Through lively storytelling and with the help of the audience, the actors use physical comedy with minimal props and costumes to bring to life familiar favorites like The Lion and the Mouse, The Tortoise and the Hare and The Fox and the Grapes along with tales not so familiar. Fun and chock full of imagination, Aesop’s Fables is a perfect introduction to some of the world’s most cherished stories and to the magic of live theatre!

A Thousand Cranes
Eckerd Theater Company
Thursday, November 3, 2011
12:30 pm
Grades 4-6
There is a legend that says that any person who folds a thousand paper cranes will be granted a wish. Sadako Sasaki was two years old. Her mother held her in her arms and sang a lullaby. In the house, her grandmother was making tea. Suddenly, a flash of light cut across the sky.  Ten years later, in 1955, when Sadako was a happy 12 year old school girl in Hiroshima, the radiation sickness came. Sadako began to fold cranes, wishing to be well again, wishing that an atom bomb like the one that took her grandmother would never be dropped again.  This play tells the true story of Sadako and of how her spirit of hope and strength continues to inspire young people the world over to work for peace.

Danny, King of the Basement
Roseneath Theatre
Thursday, November 10, 2011
10:00 am
Grades 3-8
Danny’s life is all about embracing change. He and his mom are constantly on the move, struggling to evade homelessness and overcome poverty. When Danny moves into a basement apartment, the kids he meets have more problems than being hungry. Penelope’s parents won’t talk to each other, and Angelo’s Dad sounds like a dinosaur. But Danny’s imaginative play creates a community that allows his friends to cope with their problems and ultimately to help Danny tackle the shame he feels about his inability to read.

Treasured Stories by Eric Carle
Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia
Friday, January 13, 2012
10:00 am
Grades preK-2
Mermaid's much-anticipated new production will bring together old favorites and new friends. Featuring evocative music, stunning visual effects and innovative puppetry, the triple-bill highlights three of Eric Carle's most beloved tales.  The Very Hungry Caterpillar is joined by a whimsical cast of adventurous animals drawn from the pages of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?  The poignant story of a young girl's unusual quest, Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me, completes an hour-long performance, which both entertains and educates.

The Color of Justice
Theatreworks USA
Friday, February 17, 2012
10:00 am
Grades 3-9
Thurgood Marshall, prominent legal counsel for the NAACP, has been traveling around the country looking for families who will step forward and join the battle against segregation in the Supreme Court case Brown vs. the Board of Education. He finds the Carter family, including eight-year-old Grace Carter, who is tired of "colored" schools having to settle for ripped books and hand-me-down school supplies from well-equipped white schools. And so the little girl and the great man begin a battle. A battle against fearful friends and neighbors who want to leave well-enough alone. But a battle that they ultimately win, changing their lives and the lives of black schoolchildren all over America.

Fancy Nancy and Other Story Books
Theatreworks USA
Thursday, March 8, 2012
10:00 am & 12:30 pm
Grades preK-3
A series of mini-musicals based on your favorite story books!  Fancy Nancy just doesn't understand why she's the only one who appreciates the value of frilly accessories and a prodigious vocabulary.  As Duck is elected as the leader of the farm, and then governor, voters wonder if Duck will bring a new bill to Capitol Hill in Duck for President.  Find out if Babymouse win the lead in the school musical, or if will Felicia Furrypaws steal the show in Babymouse: The Musical.  In Pirates Don’t Change Diapers, Jeremy Jacob's seafaring mateys show up to claim a buried treasure, but they wake up his little sister and the crew must go on babysitting patrol.  Leonardo, the Terrible Monster learns that maybe it's better to be a wonderful friend rather than a terrible monster.  Andrew insists that he doesn't need to use the restroom first, but once he's buckled in the backseat, he hears the call of nature in I Have to Go! 

Garry Krinsky
Toying with Science
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
10:00 am, grades 5-8
12:30 pm, grades 2-4
Commissioned and developed with the Museum of Science in Boston, Toying with Science explores the scientific principles of gravity, leverage, fulcrums and simple machines. Combining circus skills, mime, original music, and audience involvement, Garry and his audience investigate basic scientific information and delve into the imaginations of scientists who explore our world. He turns audience members into stars as he playfully shares the stage, juggling, balancing and welcoming them into his colorful world. In a dramatic finale, he balances five ladders at one time on his chin as he demonstrates how to find the center of gravity!

Illinois Symphony Orchestra
Play Me A Story!
Friday, April 20, 2012
10:00 am, grades K-3
12:30 pm, grades 4-6
The Illinois Symphony Orchestra Youth Education Concerts are designed to introduce and acquaint students with the exciting sounds of symphonic music.   Play Me A Story! will explore music's ability to create moods, express emotions, and communicate ideas - all of which are important elements of storytelling.  Conductor Donato Cabrera, Resident Conductor of the San Francisco Symphony and Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra, has selected a variety of colorful orchestral works to illustrate music as a communicative and expressive tool.  These works will serve to "set the scene" of a story, introduce and develop characters, and evoke action and emotion.  Music's suggestive power can relay stories in the most vivid way, especially when listeners are engaged and their imaginations are active.  Students will become aware that music is a powerful communicator, one which communicates to us in a way that goes beyond speech or sight.

Through the Eyes of a Friend: The World of Anne Frank
Theatreworks USA, a Living Voices’ Production
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
9:30 am, 11:00 am & 12:30 pm
Studio Theatre
Grades 6-9
This moving program is a poignant portrait of friendship and survival, brought to life through the eyes of Anne Frank's "best" friend.  Sarah Weis, the daughter of an average German family, is forced to move to Holland when the Nazis come to power. In Holland, Sarah becomes friends with Anne Frank, but the Nazis invade when they are teenagers. The story follows Sarah and Anne as they are transported to prison camps and endure pain and loss.  Sarah survives and is living a new life in America when she is sent a copy of Anne's diary. Sarah learns that she must never forget; through her, the memory her friend lives on.

Through The Eyes of a Friend is told from the view point of a fictional "best friend" of Anne Frank. Sarah is a composite character inspired by the experiences and testimonies of many individuals who knew Anne Frank at certain points in her life as well as those young people who experienced the Holocaust throughout Europe.