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Act One School Series

We are delighted to present the 2021-2022 Act One School season. The Act One School Series provides curriculum-linked, performing arts enrichment activities for students in grades K-12.

Review the event descriptions below, determine what programs work for you, and submit the order form.

Ballet Hispánico

October 26, 2021 at 10am

Cobb Great Hall

Grades K-6

Curriculum connections: dance, multi-cultural studies, history, music, geography

Ballet Hispánico, one of the leading dance companies in the US, takes audiences on a guided journey through Latinx dance and culture. This interactive, fun-filled exploration features excerpts of the Ballet Hispánico’s repertoire narrated by our artistic leadership. Music, cultural connections, choreography insights, and history come together to deepen the audience’s experience of dance. Students are exposed to world-class choreographers and cultural contexts while learning about Latinx icons.  

The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales 

Play based on the book by Jon Sciezka and Lane Smith
Featuring The Griffin Theatre Company

January 13, 2022 at 9:45am and 12:30pm
January 14, 2022 SFP Performance* at 9:45am

Pasant Theatre

Ages: K-5

Curriculum connections: literacy, theatre, history

Poor Jack. He’s got to use his wits to save himself from the terrible Giant, but a host of familiar fairytale characters keep messing up his plans—and then there’s that annoying Stinky Cheese Man! The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales deconstructs the tradition of the fairy tale. Characters slide in and out of tales; Cinderella rebuffs Rumpelstiltskin, and Goldilocks meets the Three Elephants. Nothing is quite the same as you remember it.

*SFP or Sensory-Friendly Performances provide a supportive and welcoming environment that will make live theatre accessible to those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), developmental disabilities, sensory processing disorder, and other sensory-sensitive people and their families. This performance is also open to neurotypical students. 

Into the West


A play by Greg Banks.  
A Wharton Center Theatre Production.
Directed by Bert Goldstein

Finn and Ally are two kids struggling to survive in the city of Dublin with their father. Their troubled lives are transformed when a mythical white horse materializes from the sea mist and leads them on an adventure of a lifetime. With just three actors playing sixty roles and live music throughout, Into the West bursts with heart and humor. 

Dog Man: the Musical

Presented by Theatreworks USA

Februrary 25, 2022 9:45am and 12:30pm

Cobb Great Hall

Grades K-4

Curriculum connections: Language Arts, Literacy, Multicultural Education, Science, Theatre

A hilarious new musical based on The New York Times #1 bestselling series from Dav Pilkey featuring the crime-biting canine who is part dog, part man and ALL HERO! He’s ready to take on Petey the Cat, the felonious feline who’s always hacking up harebrained schemes. Songs for the show by Kevin Del Aguila, a New York Outer Critics Circle Award nominee for Altar Boyz, and Brad Alexander, an Emmy© winner for Peg + Cat.

Of Equal Place – Isotopes in Motion 


Of Equal Place: Isotopes in Motion will present an exhilarating performance that combines dance, video, and physics while featuring professional dancers and guest performances by local youth. The show highlights the wonders of science and illuminates the research at the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB) and was inspired by Dance Exchange’s critically acclaimed work The Matter of Origins. Following the performance, audience members are invited to participate in Physics Day at Wharton Center and FRIB, a series of hands-on activities which explore dance, physics, and FRIB, including a tour of the FRIB.  Schools that can commit to participating in Physics Day at Wharton Center and FRIB will get first priority in tickets for the show. Follow up communication about Physics Day will be sent to each school after they have ordered the show. 

Performed by Dance Exchange and Happendance and co-directed by Elizabeth Johnson and Keith Thompson, in collaboration with Wharton Center Institute for Arts & Creativity and Women & Minorities in the Physical Sciences. Underwritten by the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams at Michigan State University with additional support by MSU University Outreach and Engagement, Science and Society at MSU and Office of the Vice President Research and Innovation.

How To Survive Middle School 

Created and performed by Robert Post  

May 3, 2022 at 9:45am and 12:30pm

Pasant Theatre 

Grades 5-8  

Curriculum connections: psychology, theatre, multi-cultural studies  

Comedian Robert Post barely survived middle school. Struggling because of various learning disabilities, he found that making people laugh saved him. In this multimedia performance, kids talk to kids in a compelling, funny, and educational show. Dealing with real issues affecting students today, including social media, testing, bullying, and peer pressure, these video testimonials by kids and their advocates (along with a generous dose of Post’s signature humor) will resonate.

Sponsored by Jackson National Life Insurance Company; TechSmith Corporation; and Wharton Center Inner Circle.