Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Area schools invited to matinee performances at Saint Mary’s

WINONA, Minn. — The Performance Center of Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota is pleased to announce the 2011-2012 school-only matinees. This year’s matinee performances provide inexpensive opportunities for area students in kindergarten through grade 12 to experience the best in performing arts.

Two events are especially suitable for students in upper middle and high schools: Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience on Sept. 16 and the “Letters Home” production by Griffin Theatre on Nov. 1.

Interested schools should contact Tove Wiggs at (507) 457-1716 or twiggs@smumn.edu to reserve seating for their school groups. If e-mailing, include “SCHOOL MATINEE” in the subject line and include the following information:

• Name of School
• Contact name, phone number, and email address
• Number of students expected to attend
• Grade level or age range of students (whichever is applicable)
• Number of expected chaperones
• Any needed accessibility services

All seats cost $2 per person (for students and chaperones) and payment is due upon arrival. Schools are asked to limit chaperones to one adult per 10 students, when possible. You will be contacted to confirm your school’s participation.

Groups should plan to arrive between 20 and 30 minutes prior to the performance. Those who arrive earliest are seated first. Most events last 50 to 60 minutes and offer study guides with pre- and post-performance activities and discussion topics.

Go to www.pagetheatre.org to find more information about the artists, study guides and links to artist websites. Click on the “School Matinee” link to find more information.

School matinees 2011-12

Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience
FRIDAY • SEPT. 16, 2011 • 10 a.m.
Grammy winner from Louisiana
The Creole for Kidz & The History of Zydeco program is centered on the indigenous zydeco music of the French speaking Creoles of south Louisiana and is accompanied by a six-page study guide used to help prepare students in advance for the performance.
Terrance Simien, an eighth-generation Louisiana Creole, has been playing his indigenous Creole Zydeco music for two decades. His music has been heard around the world. In 2009, Disney Pictures released “The Princess & The Frog,” features the music of Simien, Terence Blanchard and Dr. John.
* Recommended for grades K-12

Griffin Theatre
“Letters Home”
TUESDAY • NOV. 1, 2011 • 10 a.m.
Present day soldiers and families connect
“Letters Home” puts the current war in Iraq front and center by bringing to life actual letters written by soldiers serving in the Middle East. The production is inspired by the New York Times op-ed article, “The Things They Wrote” and the subsequent HBO documentary, “Last Letters Home” and additionally uses letters and correspondences from Frank Schaeffer’s books, “Voices From the Front,” “Letters Home From America’s Military Family,” “Faith of Our Sons,” and “Keeping Faith.” The play-without-politicizing gives audiences a powerful portrait of the soldier experience in the ongoing war. Please note there is a short post-production question-and-answer session. Overall, schools should plan for 90 minutes.
* Recommended for grades 9-12

Theatreworks USA
“Duck For President” and Other Stories
WEDNESDAY • FEB. 29, 2012 • 10 a.m. or 12:30 p.m.
6 stories for the silly season
This all-new musical revue features mini-musicals based on best-selling children’s books including: “Duck For President,” “Fancy Nancy,” “Pirates Don’t Change Diapers,” “Babymouse: The Musical,” “Leonardo the Terrible Monster,” and “I Have To Go!” Since 1961, Theatreworks USA has enlightened, entertained, and instructed over 68 million people in 49 states and Canada, now performing for about 4 million people annually. They were at the Page last year with “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.”
* Recommended for grades K-4

Pushcart Players
“Peter and the Wolf”
Tuesday • APRIL 17, 2012 • 10 a.m.
Classic tale brought to the stage
“Peter and the Wolf” is an adaptation of the traditional Russian folktale set to music by Sergei Prokofiev. While providing a charming introduction to the world of music and musical instruments, this enchanting tale is all about the adventure of growing up. Danger becomes reality and creative innovation becomes essential as young Peter meets the challenge of survival in the outside world. Pushcart is now in its 38th season of producing theatre and arts-in-education programming for young viewers. Recent credits include highly successful performance tours of the former Soviet Union and the Czech Republic, several performances at The White House, and both public and peer recognition through numerous awards for outstanding work in children’s theatre.
* Recommended for grades K-6

Dance Repertory Company
“Le Corsaire”
THURSDAY • APRIL 26, 2012 • 10 a.m.
Exciting dance by area dancers
The ballet “Le Corsaire,” loosely based on a poem by Lord Byron, follows Medora, a beautiful slave girl, and Conrad, a dashing pirate, as they journey through a tapestry of captive maidens, rich sultans, swashbuckling abductions, and dramatic rescues — all culminating in a happy ending.
* Recommended for grades 3 and older

Support for the educational programming comes in part from the Xcel Energy Foundation, and the Winona Foundation in support of “Letters Home.”