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Performing Arts

“To me is seems as if when God conceived the world, that was Poetry; He formed it, and that was Sculpture; He colored it, and that was Painting; He peopled it with living beings, and that was the grand, divine, eternal Drama.” ~Charlotte Saunders Cushman

Arizona is home to a variety of theaters, symphonies, opera, ballet and more, many of which offer special performances and programs for schoolchildren.

Arizona Opera
“Look In” behind-the-scenes at how opera magic is made. Demonstrations in sets, costumes, wigs & make-up, lighting, sound, stage management and more take the audience on a journey through opera stagecraft. This free program is designed for all ages. Reservations are required. Performances: Symphony Hall, 225 E. Adams, Phoenix & TCC Music Hall, 260 S. Church, Tucson.

Arizona Theatre Company
Arizona Theatre Company, the State Theatre of Arizona, is the leading professional theatre in Arizona and the only resident company in the United States with a two-city operation. Now in its 43rd season, nearly 150,000 people a year attend its performances at the historic Temple of Music and Art in Tucson and the state-of-the-art Herberger Theater Center in downtown Phoenix. Each season reflects the rich variety of world drama—from classics to contemporary plays, from musicals to new works—along with a wide array of outreach programs, educational opportunities, access initiatives and new play programs. Check out their lesson plans:

ASU Gammage
Located on the Tempe campus of Arizona State University, ASU Gammage is among the largest university-based presenters of performing arts in the world. ASU Gammage is an historic hall designed by internationally renowned architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. The stage can be adapted for grand opera, musical and dramatic productions, or for symphony concerts, organ recitals, chamber music recitals, solo performances and lectures. The remarkable versatility of the stage is enhanced by a collapsible orchestra shell. ASU Gammage Cultural Participation programs create access for children and adults of all economic circumstances and cultures to community arts programs, world-class artists and innovative academic learning tools and initiatives. The Cultural Participation programs are the heart of ASU Gammage’s mission of connecting communities and fostering learning. Read the buzz, watch videos, see photos and listen to songs from shows playing at ASU Gammage by clicking here.

Ballet Arizona
Ballet Arizona’s Student Matinee program provides outstanding educational experiences of ballet for the youth of Arizona. Each year, over 9,000 youngsters from across the state of Arizona participate in these 60-minute programs designed to introduce the exciting world of dance and ballet to students. These performances are scheduled during a normal school day and conclude with discussions between the dancers and students. Student Matinees and accompanying teacher resources are developed using disciplines from Arizona Arts Standards. Performance locations: The Orpheum Theatre, 203 W. Adams St., and Symphony Hall, 75 N. 2nd St., in downtown Phoenix.

Childsplay Theatre
Childsplay is Arizona’s award-winning theatre company for young audiences and families. Childsplay’s mainstage season is available to school groups on weekday mornings at a deeply discounted price. Enjoy the full theatre experience for a fraction of the box office price. All performances to be held at the new Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe 85281.

Christian Youth Theater
An after-school theater arts training program for students ages 6-18, meeting at 7601 E. Shea Blvd., Scottsdale AZ 85260. CYT is dedicated to developing character in children through training in the arts and by producing wholesome family entertainment, all of which reflect Judeo-Christian values.

East Valley Children’s Theatre
At this theater, kids 5-18 perform theatrical shows! Part of the theater’s mission is to help kids gain confidence, build self-esteem and develop and foster creative skills and abilities. Each season, classes and workshops are also offered. Performances are given at the Mesa Arts Center.

Experience Arts School
Hosted at Word of Grace Church in Mesa, AZ; offering classes in a variety of art forms including music, acting, directing, theatrical design and production, dance, audio-visual, film, photography, painting, drawing and sculpture.

Great Arizona Puppet Theater
Award-winning puppet theater with a repertoire of over 50 shows including classic fairy tales, original stories, and educational programs; hands-on activities, workshops & birthday parties available. Performances at: 302 West Latham Street, Phoenix.

Herberger Theater
First built in 1989 to support and foster the growth of performing arts in downtown Phoenix, the Herberger Theater Center enables school-aged children to share in the unique experience of live performing arts. Located at: 222 E. Monroe St., Phoenix.

Mesa Arts Center
The Mesa Arts Center at 1 E. Main St. is an award-winning community resource dedicated to promoting greater knowledge of and participation in the visual and performing arts. The Center provides art classes, live theater, art exhibitions, festivals, concerts, films, lectures, and workshops for the public. They also offer classes for homeschoolers.

MoezArt Productions
Glorifying God through the arts with classes and workshops in theatre, drama, speech and debate, jazz ensemble, and more; Moezart Production classes are for high school or middle school credit and meet once a week in Mesa, Scottsdale, and Glendale; once-a-month workshops are held at the Foothills Library in Glendale.

Orpheum Theatre
The historic Orpheum Theatre will begin having regularly scheduled free guided tours on Monday, September 9, 2002. The one-hour tours, which will be offered every Monday, begin at 12 noon and 1 pm. Tours are conducted by docents from the Friends of the Orpheum Theatre. “The Orpheum Theatre is easily the grandest, most beautiful entertainment venue in all of Arizona,” said Robert R. Allen, Deputy Director Phoenix Civic Plaza, Phoenix Stages Division. “It was originally built in 1929, the last major construction project in Phoenix before the Great Depression. After the City of Phoenix bought the Orpheum in 1984 it was decided to completely restore what was once known as the ‘Grand Dame of Movie Palaces’ to its original splendor. It took 12 years to complete that project, and the result is an Orpheum Theatre every bit as magnificent as it was when it was first opened. We believe everyone should have the chance to see it, and learn about it, to truly appreciate what a wonderful treasure we have here in Phoenix.” Built in an elaborate Spanish Baroque style, the Orpheum Theatre originally hosted vaudeville shows and silent movies as an integral part of a growing city (48,000 citizens) whose primary mode of transportation was streetcars. It became a movie house after World War II, then a live theater again, then a movie house for Spanish language films. Nearly destroyed during downtown Phoenix’s redevelopment in the late 70’s, it is now on the National Register of Historic Places and considered one of the country’s most significant entertainment venues. “We want to share all the details about the architecture, the original construction, the reconstruction, and the lush history of the Orpheum Theatre,” added Allen. The Orpheum Theatre is located at 203 West Adams Street, one block north of Washington. No reservations are necessary for individuals. Groups should call 602-534-5600 for tour bookings. Group tours may be scheduled throughout the week, depending upon theater availability.

Parsons Family Homeschool Field Trips
Jan Parsons organizes an annual schedule of field trips for homeschoolers at places such as: Actors Theatre, Arizona Opera, Arizona Theatre Company, Ballet Arizona, Broadway Palm Theatre, Center Dance, Childsplay, Cookie Company Theatre, East Valley Children’s Theatre, Music Memories, Phoenix Symphony, Stagebrush Theatre, and Southwest Shakespeare Company.

The Phoenix Girls Chorus
The Phoenix Girls Chorus is a non-profit choir for girls ages 7-18 who enjoy singing. Auditions are held in April-June each year. Check their website for concert updates, and help support the arts for youth.

The Phoenix Symphony
The Phoenix Symphony’s premier education program “Symphony for the Schools” provides outstanding educational and musical experiences for youth of Arizona. These daytime concerts and accompanying teacher resources have been developed using disciplines from Arizona Arts Standards. Several 45-minute concerts, designed to introduce the exciting world of music and the symphony to students in grades K-8, are offered throughout the year at a special discounted price. Performances at: Phoenix Symphony Hall, 225 E. Adams, Phoenix. Here is a link to their educational program overview page:

Phoenix Theatre’s Cookie Company
100 E. McDowell Road, Phoenix.
Each Cookie Company show comes with a downloadable learning guide that can be used in the classroom or in your living room!

Scottsdale Center for the Arts
The Scottsdale Center For The Arts is pleased to offer Arizona’s school children and teachers another stimulating season of arts education experiences. We invite you to share in our mission to present events of interest that help foster creative expression, diversity in thought, and awareness of cultural heritage. All the programs have been designed to assist you in providing your students with enriching and rewarding activities throughout the school year in addition to supporting your efforts to address the Arts Standards and meeting grade level expectations.

Southwest Brass
The Southwest Brass has been entertaining and educating since 1967. As the oldest professional chamber ensemble in Arizona, the SWB maintains an unparalleled commitment to excellence and superior innovations both on the concert stage and in the classroom. This dynamic group is known for its entertaining, casual rapport with audiences of all ages, and virtuosic renditions of classics to jazz. School programs might include a blending of science (outer space, dinosaurs, nature and the environment) and music or maybe history and social studies (Arizona, music from around the world, America) and music. Choose from popular themes such as “STAR QUEST,” “JURASSIC BRASS,” or “HOWL WITH THE WOLVES.” The Plylar Trumpet Academy offers private lessons, master classes, recitals, and other special events year-round for homeschooled children seeking musical enrichment. They have also authored, published, and distributed nationally a series of instructional book/cassette programs for beginning through advanced brass students.

Southwest Shakespeare Company
A non-profit, professional theatre company based in Mesa, Arizona, dedicated to performing Shakespeare and other classics. As an educational outreach, the SCC introduces students to live classical theatre by providing special performances for students; offering discount rates for full-length productions; having orientations, discussions and tours; and giving classroom workshops. (Topics include: Theatre Games, Shakespearean Scene Study, Stage Combat, Costumes, Shakespearean Theatre.) Teachers can attend seminars and download Teacher Guides to several plays. SSC also has thousands of costumes in all sizes from all time periods available for rent at reasonable rates for theatre companies, schools, service organizations, non-profits and others.

Symphony Hall
The home of The Phoenix Symphony, Arizona Opera, and Ballet Arizona, Symphony Hall also hosts events from touring Broadway shows to appearances by top musicians and performing artists.

Valley Youth Theatre
Performances and classes at: 525 N. 1st St., Phoenix.
Established in 1989, Valley Youth Theatre (VYT) is dedicated to helping young people learn and grow as performers and creators; and to instill in all young people an appreciation for the performing arts that can be carried with them into adulthood. For 21 years, VYT has trained young people in Arizona in all aspects of the theatre arts and the lessons of life. Our comprehensive program offers weekday and weekend classes as well as week-long workshops for performing arts students of all experience levels. We provide workshops which focus on Acting Technique, Acting for Teens, Musical Theatre, Improvisation, Story-Telling and Play Building, Audition Prep, plus one-on-one instruction.

Do you know of another good field trip destination not listed here?

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