Fine Art, Installation Art, Theater
Artists Larry Moss and Kelly Cheatle, also working with John Wolfson, have been creating ‘full-blown’ installations that enchant both young and old for over twenty years. Airigami projects like Elastic Park, Balloon Manor, and Fantastic Flying Octopus have been the subject of much local, national, and international media attention. Their unique fine art and award-winning illustration work has been showcased around the world. Their achievements have been recognized by The Wall Street Journal, the Associated Press, CNN Headline, PBS, Smithsonian Magazine, and Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, The Martha Stewart Show, NBC’s ‘Today Show’, and they have appeared at the White House.
How to Catch a Mouse: Simple Machines at Work
STEM to STEAM: This interactive, theatrical performance utilizes balloons to construct a Rube Goldberg style mousetrap, teaching how simple machines work, and the forces in nature, which affect mechanical devices that are designed to complete tasks. (Grades K-6)
Magic, Danger, Suspense, and Silliness
You can expect ear to ear smiles and laughter from the audience! From wacky antics to impossible stunts, this show has something for everyone! Every member of the audience gets to be involved. Whether helping up on stage, contributing from their seat, or learning how to fool their friends, the whole audience leaves having been part of the fun!
Workshops and Residencies
A Pi Day Project: Making a Blueberry Pi
STEM to STEAM: In this hands-on Workshop, students use balloons and math to build a massive blueberry pie in the classroom. Younger students can work on their counting and arithmetic skills while older students get to use their knowledge of more advanced mathematics to calculate all of the elements of the pie, and get to see in a very tactile way, how well their calculations worked. This Workshop can be extended to accommodate a full Residency program as well as professional development programs. Contact for additional information. (3-12)
It’s a creative 2-D installation designed to be built by community members using biodegradable latex balloons! Designed by the experts at Airigami, this hands-on exhibit engages visitors in a communal project with maximum impact and minimal mess.
Are you looking for a unique teambuilding experience that will both delight and challenge your people? Are you looking for more than just an enjoyable afternoon? Are you hoping for energy and learning you can take back to work? If you are looking for any or all of this, you might want to consider Mission Inflatable!
1997: “Artist of the Year” – National Chapter of Young Audiences (selected from over 2000 artists in 32 nationwide chapters)
1996-2000: Common Ground Education Conferences: Workshop Presenter- Saratoga Springs, Albany, Rochester and Syracuse, NY
1996: Helen E. Quinn Service to Education Award-Alpha Alpha Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International
“My work evolves from a feeling place into a thinking place and endeavors to touch the heart and the spirit in ways that are common to us all . . . a common ground place that transcends the divisions and separations we create in our minds, which influence our everyday actions, our community and society as a whole. Over my years spent as an educator, teaching artist and storyteller, I have found that today’s students are eager to learn and apply lessons found in history and culture, in addition to developing the necessary skills to become critical and creative thinkers, cultural bridge builders and compassionate doers. As mentors, parents, and teachers, we adults have an obligation to prepare the young people, as well as, ourselves to become more insightful, civic-minded, forgiving and caring members of our communities yet to come.” ~ Almeta Whitis, Artist and Teacher
Almeta Whitis is a storyteller, writer, poet and teaching artist, whose life work involves exploring, presenting, and honoring cultural connections between people. She is a published author and a member of Just Poets. Her poems are featured in their anthology: Le Mot Juste 2012, 2014, 2106 and 2017.
Storytelling Concerts and Workshop Residencies
Our Differences? . . . Celebrate Diversity!
“We are born, not with purpose, but with potential.” ~ Octavia Butler author of: Parable of the Talents
Currently, our country has become a more diverse and inclusive nation. Almeta’s presentation explores historic and contemporary beliefs and the societal changes that have been impacted or created by immigration. This presentation focuses upon the importance of creativity, self-awareness, and inner motivation in order to build appreciation and foster open, honest and respectful communication, which is necessary for living peacefully together in a multi-racial and multi-ethnic society. — Grades Pre K-2, 3-5, MS, HS
Stories from the Black Worlds
“Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place.” ~ Zora Neale Hurston
This fascinating program from the historic African Diaspora experience presents an in-depth look at diverse world cultures, by way of stories, songs, riddles, poems, legends and folk tales. Using wonder, magic, mystery and humor, Almeta Whitis captivates her audience, while engaging them in the interactive aspect of the art of the storytelling. – Grades K-2, 3-5, MS, HS
Harriet Tubman Pays A Visit
“Those who would tell a tale must look toward three ideals: to tell it beautifully, to tell it well and to tell the truth. The first is a gift of God, the second is the vision of genius, but, the third is the reward of honesty.” ~ W.E.B. Du Bois, author, philosopher
In a dynamic, costumed, first-person narrative performance, Almeta Whitis brings Harriet Tubman to life! The preeminent conductor of the Underground Railroad is portrayed for student audiences through a series of historical vignettes drawn from actual life experiences in Tubman’s fight for freedom, and equal rights for Black people under the law. —- Grades 4-5, MS, HS
Be a Dream Carrier: A Dr. Martin Luther King Day Celebration
Themes: Community Building, Understanding and Peace
“We see ourselves everywhere we find ourselves. Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.” ~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Young souls learn to accept responsibility for their actions. Mature souls learn to accept responsibility for their thoughts. Old souls learn to accept responsibility for their happiness”. Although problems exist in global proportions and many are the times when we feel alone, overwhelmed by the number and proportion of broken people and things in this world, causing us to wonder: “What can one person do? What can I do?” By his shining example, Dr. King lovingly and clearly taught us how one person can indeed make our world a better place for all of us. – Grades Pre K-2, 3-5, MS, HS
Great Ideas for Young Children: A Classroom Workshop
Do you love asking questions, ferreting out answers and exploring great ideas? ~ Almeta Whitis
What do you want to know? This introduction to philosophy and storytelling is a delightful opportunity for students to use their natural curiosity and tendency to ask endless questions of everyone, even themselves. Using popular picture books, we will learn how to listen critically, ask questions, participate in reasoned discussion, reflect and converse with precision, coherence and clarity, and engage in reflective thinking activities found in “The Ungame”. For a residency, our final project will involve creating our own, original picture book based upon what we learned from stories about philosophy and life. — Grades K-3
*Note: This presentation is best delivered in 30 minute classroom visits. Almeta can present up to eight (8) per day. She will bring her age-appropriate favorite picture books and/or can read from picture books chosen by teachers.
Aesop’s Fables: The Spirit in the Story
Tell me a fact, and I may learn something. Tell me a truth, and I might believe. Tell me a theory and I’ll see if it works. Tell me a story, and it may live in my heart forever. ~ East Indian Proverb
The time-honored and oft-told tales attributed to Aesop have been shared, handed down over many centuries. The famous Ethiopian philosopher and scholar used folktales populated by familiar animal characters imbued with human faults and foibles. His stories can help today’s student learn to look at the world with fresh eyes, emphasizing important core human values of kindness, understanding and fair play. This can also be a workshop series where students compose, rehearse and present their very own, original theater pieces based upon specific Aesop fables. — Grades Pre K-2, 3-5
*** NEW CLASSROOM PRESENTATION ***
Traveling the Silk Road: Myths & Story Motifs
“Tell me a tale that always was. Read me a story that I can be in. Tell me a story that I can read. Tell me a story that I can believe. Paint me a picture that I can see. Give me a touch that I can feel. Turn me around so that I can see everything I was meant to be.” ~ Michael Kiwanuka – song lyrics from Tell Me a Tale.
The intimacy and effectiveness of story sharing hails to ancient times when the first person stood before a communal fire, engaging their community. Often it was the teller of tales who was the most valuable member of a trading caravan, learning and sharing stories of people they encountered, seeding the journey with intriguing tales. With our Silk Road journey, we will learn myths and stories, history, art, and cultures of the peoples involved by employing universal elements of storytelling, which are compelling, engaging, and life-enhancing. — Grades 2-5, MS, HS
Theater, Dance, Visual Art, Music
The ‘storytelling theatre’ of DAYSTAR emphasizes a respect for Native American belief systems and world view while offering a broad interpretive reflection on those traditions. DAYSTAR performs and teaches the ‘old style’ traditional dance, historical and modern dance, masking and make-making, singing and character transformation. DAYSTAR is a multi-ethnic, multi-generational dance company that presents an expression of Indigenous peoples living strong in the 21st century. Daystar/Rosalie Jones was born on the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana and acknowledges Pembina (Little Shell) ancestry as passed through her mother’s lineage.
GAMES AND DANCES OF TURTLE ISLAND (K-8, adapted to class periods)
A participatory session to experience the animal, bird and fish stories of Indigenous peoples. The Fish Dance (Menominee), The Mosquito Dance (Cherokee), the Duck Dance (Creek), the Snake/River Dance (Ojibway). Songs and sign language can be included as time permits.
DANCES AND STORIES OF TURTLE ISLAND (high school level, adapted to class periods)
Signature Intertribal dances are demonstrated with explanation of their origination and history in North American Indigenous cultures. The Butterfly Dance (women’s fancy shawl), Legacy of the Dream (Jingle Dress Dance), The Grass Dance (men’s dance), The Hoop Dance. Students participate and learn these dances in longer sessions. Ask for details.
DANCING THE FOUR DIRECTIONS (high school level, adapted to periods or 1 hour)
An illustrated talk (40 minutes) on the Ojibway Medicine Circle that describes the world as a great Circle to which we all belong – a teaching tool to be utilized by anyone to understand how to live ‘the good life’. Performance (15 minutes) of ‘Dancing the Four Directions” is the story of one person’s journey to learn from the Water, the Deer and the Eagle. Talk and Dance can be presented formally on stage with lighting, if available.
DEEP Arts (formerly Rochester Children’s Theatre)
For Grades Pre K – 5
A Puppy Musical
50 – 60 minutes (flexible)
Real life Border Collie Likah is the inspiration for this very special musical story of unconditional love, pure joy, and dealing with the unexpected hurt of losing someone dear. Puppy-dog storyteller LIKAH just can’t wait to tell you about…LIKAH! Children are immediately drawn in to her charming world of exploration, wonder, and adventure as she discovers life’s lessons and challenges – puddles, snow monsters, and an older sister who doesn’t like her. Seen through the eyes of this sweet, innocent puppy-dog, those discoveries…some fun, some not so fun… transcend barriers and become totally identifiable to everyone. The LIKAH! enchantment will remain with your students for a very, very long time!
Study Guides and Professional Development
Topics address the concerns around emotional needs and how the content areas work together providing a strong emphasis on the whole child.
• Confidence building
• Sense of self
• Accepting and understanding differences
• Peer pressure
• Importance of strong family connection
• Coping with loss in a child’s world
o Loss of a loved one
o Loss of a friend
o Loss of a pet
Study Guides link New York State Learning Standards with Performance Indicators
• Using creative drama to communicate ideas and feelings
• Imitate experiences through dramatic play, role playing, storytelling, story dramatization
• Identify and use in individual and group experiences roles, processes and action
For Grades 7 -12
Finding Home: Shine the Light
50 minutes (flexible)
A powerful multi – media presentation focusing on social justice issues just as relevant today as yesterday: hate-crimes, persecution, displacement, discrimination & genocide through the historical lens of the Holocaust.
The cornerstone of the Finding Home: Shine the Light presentation is a short documentary film trailer designed for school use. The trailer follows the new musical Moses Man: Finding Home about the true story of a Holocaust survivor and that story’s collision with those of contemporary refugees. Linking them across generations by discrimination, persecution, genocide and displacement, the film trailer is accompanied by a multi-media presentation and discussion facilitated by a teaching artist to be a “gateway” for understanding, tolerance, and compassion for the next generations. The program inspires to strive for a better world by shining a light on how easily “they” could be “us,” and instigates consideration and change. Video link: https://youtu.be/HNYJ2tVjI1s
Doug Rougeux, BubbleMan
BubbleMania! with Doug Rougeux for K-8, 45-50 minutes indoors only
The Science of why bubbles pop and do not pop. Including Vivid demonstrations of Gravity, Surface tension, and Evaporation with Soap Bubbles Bigger than your head. The Art of Sculpture with bubbles linked together to make an Ice cream cone, a Flying Saucer, Disco Ball and others. For K-3 the assembly includes Shapes and the Story of Bubba Betty and their baby bubble Buffy staring a young bubble.
BubbleCircus! with Doug Rougeux for K-8, 45-50 minutes outdoors or inside
A one person Circus telling the story of a silly kid who read how to Juggle, learned Magic, studied Mime and Theater in College, saw the Nation as a Ringling Bros. Circus Clown and then became the BubbleMan and Bubbled the World from Mumbai to Mexico to Montreal.
Flower City Vaudeville
Flower City Vaudeville offers a number of uniquely entertaining, all-ages programs for theaters, schools, museums, festivals, and summer camps. We have performed at the Rochester Fringe Festival, Ithaca Fringe Festival, Writers and Books, the Multi-Use Community Cultural Center, Spotlight Theater, Strong Museum of Play, Rochester Museum and Science Center, Camp Good Days, as well as many area schools, recreation centers and public and private events.
In Jest with Nels Ross
Nels Ross’ gravity-defying arts-in-education programs promote character education, wellness, math, science, reading, and fun!
Nels provides several popular performances that blend physical theater, variety arts, humor, music, and a theme. Teachers, students, and others consistently give these programs rave reviews. Study guides provide curriculum connections for the arts, language, physical education, social studies, math, and science. Also, programs can include workshops and be adapted to highlight specific goals or concepts.
Nels Ross is a highly sought after performer and presenter who has won the hearts of American and international audiences through his shows, keynotes, and more. He went to his first performing arts workshops at eight years old. During the next decade, he studied physical comedy, juggling, acting, and other arts, applying his talents everywhere from street festivals to theatrical productions.
Since those early days, Nels has studied theater at the University at Buffalo, completed degrees in mathematics and education, toured with a non-profit circus, trained with instructors from Ringling Brothers and Cirque du Soleil, written for Juggle magazine, taught many performing arts courses and workshops, and provided shows and presentations for countless schools, companies, organizations, and events.
Juggling & Life Skills Playshop
Combine hands-on playshops with any performance to help participants develop coordination, confidence, self-discipline, and other life skills through age-appropriate activities. Props may include feathers, scarves, beanbags, rings, clubs, sticks, spinning plates, and Chinese yo-yos. Playshops appeal to different intelligences and improve tracking, motor, and sequencing skills used in reading, writing, math, and science.
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Professional Development: Build Net Mirth
An entertaining exploration of ”play for grown-ups.” Nels demonstrates how humor and play can serve as effective tools to help parents, educators, and other working professionals. Used properly, these tools can enhance: wellness, morale, motivation, learning, creativity, leadership, communication, relationships, team building, and productivity. Available as a one- to two-hour program for in-service training, conferences, and corporate events.
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The Greatest Show on Mirth
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Read to Achieve
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High on Life
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Jay Stetzer Storyteller
A celebrated storyteller throughout the US since 1978, Jay has given outstanding performances at festivals, schools, colleges, and conferences, and has appeared frequently on radio, television, and with orchestras around the US. He has been a performing member of Young Audiences since 1983 and was selected as a finalist for their “Artist of the Year” award in 1988.
In 2008 he received the “Artist of the Year” Award from the Arts and Cultural Council of Rochester, NY.
As a performer, Jay provides a unique interplay of the spoken word, music, mime, sign language, and audience participation to create a vibrant experience that captivates every student’s imagination and attention. Throughout the performance he interposes elements of story, cultural information, and values inherent in the tales. It’s a one-of-a-kind approach to the fundamental material of story.
Jay has spent the better part of the past half-century in the classroom as the performing arts teacher at The Harley School. He specializes in integrating the arts into the classroom curriculum.
Jay has recorded five award-winning CDs of stories, including Fables in Four Minutes, World Full of Stories, Five O’Clock at the Zoo, the Fantabulous Cumulo-Nimbuli Pump, and Parking in Manhattan. All are available through Amazon, iTunes, and his website: www.jaystetzer.com
Just Clowning Around! with Cindy & Jim Pelc
Cindy and Jim Pelc of Just Clowning Around! are experienced, quality entertainers creating a unique blend of comedy and magic. Our performances are educational, entertaining and fun; a winning combination that delights thousands of people every year! We have honed our skills during a 30 year, full-time career of entertaining and continue our education at seminars and conferences.
We perform primarily as magicians and endeavor to keep the clown-comedy performance traditions accessible to our audiences. We create customized, comedy magic shows for your classroom, school programs and after school venues. We provide fast, fabulous face painting and balloon sculptures, specializing in creating merriment and memories for children and adults.
NEW! Local Latina Civil Rights Advocate Maria Lopez
In the Summer of 1967 at the height of the Civil Rights Movement, 21 year old Maria Lopez new to Rochester from Puerto Rico decided to register to vote but was denied. Ms. Ramos portrays Maria telling her story and struggle to exercise her American Right to vote. The performance ends with a talk back and discussion on current U.S. Puerto Rican identity, status and the current conditions on the island of Puerto Rico. Educational, Informative and connected to issues within the local Latinx community.
The Juan Bobo Folktales
This highly interactive, energized performance brings to life several of the misadventures of a much-loved classic Puerto Rican fictional character, Juan Bobo, immersing students into Hispanic culture through call-and- response chants, movement and imaginative play. (K-6) Residency is available upon request.
Indigenous Folktales: The Art of Storytelling
Through several indigenous Folktales, total immersion in this cross-cultural performance gives students a deeper understanding of diverse cultures, with hands-on participation in the steps of storytelling, chants and creative movement. (3-8) Workshop on Storytelling is available upon request.
The Story of Coqui Frog
STEM to STEAM: Ms. Ramos presents a fun and highly energized educational, inter-disciplinary and bilingual program for young audiences. The story of the Coqui as retold by Ms. Ramos teaches many lessons while educating young audiences on the only U.S. tropical rain forest. (K-4)
Artists Career Panel Presentation – Theatre Artist
High School Work Based Learning Coordinators will welcome Annette Ramos as a Theatre Artist for a panel presentation, developed to allow students to consider the role of their art interest/passion in their future plans. This Panel will help students learn how they may be able to continue in their interest areas. Mrs. Ramos can provide a solo presentation or join a team of artists from other arts disciplines including Visual Art, Music/Vocal, Storytelling, and Dance.
The Art of Storytelling
Students experience total immersion in a cross-cultural experience, inspiring and motivating them to engage in the tradition of storytelling. (3-8) Single Class Size.
An Introduction to Biomes
STEM to STEAM: Explore one of six biomes, natural world environments classified by their predominant vegetation and the animals that adapt to them, using storyboards, fact sheets, and by sharing what was discovered with the rest of class. (K-4) Single Class Size.
This workshop allows Ms. Ramos to provide teachers and staff members with direction on the best ways to integrate theatre experiences into daily classroom learning. This consultation session does not replace a traditional Professional Development experience, but allows for quick, close discussion between a small group of educators and a highly experienced theatre teaching artist. Consultations may be scheduled for up to 10 people and are provided for Teaching Staff.
Early Childhood Residencies
Former WolfTrap,STEM certified: Customized early childhood literacy residencies. Works collaboratively with classroom teachers during a residency, weaving arts into the classroom curriculum to improve academic growth in the following areas: emergent literacy, self-awareness and self-confidence, group awareness and socialization skills, problem-solving skills, ability to concentrate and remember, gross and fine motor control, awareness of individual creativity, motivation and enthusiasm for learning, and conceptual and verbal skills. Exemplary literature is used throughout each residency. Residency sessions are six weeks in length, with the teaching artist visiting a classroom two times a week for 45-60 minute sessions, for a total of twelve sessions. (PreK-2)
Arts for Learning Hispanic/Latinx Dual-language Theater Residencies
Ms. Ramos teaches an informative and interactive theatre program exploring Hispanic/Latinx themed influences, inspiring and motivating students to engage in theatre games, acting, improv, storytelling, reading scripts, scene study, playwriting and teaching theater vocabulary. Students will write their own storylines, create their own characters, make costumes and props, learn blocking & stage design leading to performance. Ms. Ramos offers an art experience that leads students to develop an understanding of Hispanic/Latinx Cultural dimensions participating and developing skills in Theatre Arts.
PUSH Physical Theatre
Intense athleticism, gravity-defying acrobatics, and soulful artistry are the trademarks of award-winning PUSH Physical Theatre. Founded in Rochester, NY in 2000 by husband-and-wife team Darren and Heather Stevenson out of a desire to “push” the boundaries of conventional theatre, PUSH has since earned an international reputation as one of the leading U.S. physical theatre companies.
Recently featured in collaborations with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, the Ying Quartet, and Pulitzer Prize-nominated composer Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon’s two multi-media operas, PUSH has produced a wide range of its own full-length and short works. These masters of physical storytelling have received the Community of Color/Anton Germano Dance Award, the Performing Artist of the Year Award from the Arts & Cultural Council for Greater Rochester, and the University of Rochester’s Lillian Fairchild Award.
In addition to a busy touring schedule, PUSH has a long history of creating arts education programming for grades K-12 and college students. Performances feature selections of their work followed by an audience talk-back, with discussion topics including human relationships, social interaction, stereotypes, etc. Workshops introduce students to the movement arts and support curriculum areas such as physical science, character development, and literacy.
PUSH PHYSICAL THEATRE PERFORMANCE:
PUSH’s team of talented ‘human sculptures’ presents Next Generation Learning Skills using acrobatic strength, stunning physicality, and emotional depth. Core subjects such as physical science, literacy, and the arts are explored within the context of health, creativity, innovation, communication, and collaboration. Relationships between classroom learning and career and life skills are examined in the areas of social awareness, responsibility, adaptability, and flexibility. Performers carefully guide audiences throughout the program. Individual pieces are given context that is grade-level appropriate to help students interpret the work on a level that is relevant to them. Program can include Q&A. (Grades K-12) (Science/Language Arts/Health/Nutrition/Physical Activity//Cultural Awareness/Next Generation Learning Skills)
PUSH PHYSICAL THEATRE WORKSHOPS:
PUSH provides physical theatre workshops that support and expand curriculum. The following are examples of workshops that were created in collaboration with teachers and designed around their specific curriculum needs. If you have great idea for a workshop, please let us know!
• Simple Machines
This workshop facilitates a deeper internal understanding of the Physical Sciences as students both analyze and synthesize topics such as simple machines, transfer of weight, magnetism, and energy through physical movement and discussion.
Science exercises focusing on the concept of teamwork, balance, and trust are used to encourage the development of friendship skills and to guide students to thought-provoking ‘ah-ha!’ moments. (Grades K-6) (Science/Next Generation Learning Skills)
Classical music guides eager imaginations during participatory exercises relating to the changing of seasons and the effects they have on our everyday lives (i.e. growing spring flowers, grumbling summer thunderstorms, falling autumn leaves, drifting winter snowflakes). Students become aware of their personal responsibility for maintaining their health throughout the year as they act out dressing up for an afternoon at the beach or an anticipated snow day. It is a scientific fact that no two snowflakes are alike; each is beautiful in its own unique way. Likewise, each one of us is unique and has something special to share with those around us. (Grades PreK-2) (Science/Physical Activity)
• Healthy Heroes
3-2-1-0 Be a Healthy Hero! This workshop has continuous physical activities that support the Be A Healthy Hero campaign for our community’s kids. Students run for the healthiest snack choices in our relay race, get tips on learning to love exercise through physical theatre, and end the class with a bit of something just as important: rest. (This workshop includes a coloring book for each child to take home.) (Grades K-4) (Health/Nutrition/Physical Activity)
From egg to adult, the four stages of the life cycle of a butterfly are physically created by students in individual and group exercises. Students become the process of metamorphosis through movement, and physically demonstrate their growing understanding of each stage while they make connections to their own physical and social lives. (Grades 2-4) (Science/Next Generation Learning Skills)
• Art & the Brain
Students are asked to evaluate the hypothesis of noted neurologist V.S. Ramachandran in his research into the “science of art.” Dr. Ramachandran’s “10 laws of art” are, as yet, unproven, which allows children the excitement of investigating, questioning, and responding to cutting-edge science in process. They combine visual and movement art as they answer key questions such as: “Can we observe the laws in well-known paintings?”; “Do the laws transfer to movement?”; and “Can art be created by purposely breaking the laws?” Far from being a purely academic discussion, students create physical theatre experiments to test the limits of the laws of science used by artists. (Grades 4-12) (Science/Next Generation Learning Skills/Cultural Awareness)
• Human Pop-Up Books
Students have the opportunity to view an art form that uses no words and leaves then with the challenge of transposing movement language into written or spoken language. By creating their own “Human Pop-Up Book,” they will be faced with the challenge of analyzing a literary work and identifying key vocabulary vital to the storyline. Then, they translate and synthesize those words into a series of movements that reflect the story as it was in its original written/illustrated form. Students work in teams and collaboratively put their thoughts and ideas together. (Grades K-12) (Language Arts/Next Generation Learning Skills)
Through the themes of strength and power, cooperation vs. competition, leadership and responsibility, partnership and trust, and self-discipline vs. external control, students will analyze positive and negative character traits. They’ll engage in theatre and movement skills to learn how to overcome fear of failure and channel aggression into success rather than bullying. Students will also identify the benefits of self-control and the differences between leading and intimidating to build confidence and make positive choices regarding their actions towards themselves and others. This residency includes a planning meeting with the classroom teacher, conducted with the school psychologist or social-worker. (Grades 3-12) (Character Development/Social & Emotional Well-Being) Note: students are divided by gender.
The Game Changers -A celebration of Black history. (K-5)
Topher will take the audience on a journey from the slave plantations through the civil rights movement. They will venture on the underground railroad as they sing Follow the Drinking Gourd. The show will culminate with the song “Change begins With me” as the audience remembers men and women in our country of great courage. The audience will help write a verse of their own as they add their own heroes who changed our world. Fredrick Douglas will be highlighted this year.
Giraffes Can’t Dance (PreK-3)
Meets Early Childhood, Music, Theatre & Character Education needs: Enjoy interactive storytelling, dance and drumming while experiencing the story that teaches self-esteem, self-confidence and a celebration of individuality.
Custom Created Programing
Crafted to meet Early Childhood, Music, ELA, Math, Theatre & Character Education needs: One of Topher’s unique skills is the ability to custom create or co-create a program specific to the needs or your your school or individual classroom. Not only is this a fantastic way to meet your unique situation, it is also a very rewarding and positive experience for educators as well as students.
Go Ahead Try This At Home!
Truth! Comedy! And the Juggling Way! This is a light hearted look at the life of a juggler. It’s funny when you drop, people are always looking up your nose, and everyone thinks you’re a clown! Despite some of these drawbacks juggling has a lot to offer and manipulation the props and the audience is all part of the fun! A show for the entire family
“WOW!” Tony Infantino of Tony & Dee in the Morning, WARM 101.3 FM.
“Thank you for your fantastic juggling act at School 33. Your performance was outstanding.” Melissa Swald Camman, Pirate Toy Fund, Executive Director
I Can’t Yet! Show
I Can’t YET! is about turning failure into success. This show is a slapstick look at learning. Mistakes are not permanent! This is an audience participation show that teaches goal setting, learning step by step, and challenging yourself to do amazing things. Ted uses the skills of manipulation and balancing to bring these concepts to life. I Can’t Yet has been performed at the Strong Children’s Museum, Trinity Montessori in East Rochester, NY and Creative Themes Summer Camp. The show is appropriate for ages 3 to 103.
“Ted had the audience, ranging in age from 2 to 92, in the palm of his hand.” Judi Weil, Children’s Coordinator, Audubon Court Books, Ltd. Wisconsin.