Stephen F. Austin State University

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Children's Performing Arts Series offers exciting lineup for young audiences

August 30, 2017 - Robbie Goodrich
SFA's Children's Performing Arts Series opens with two performances of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" at 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 13, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus.
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - The Children's Performing Arts Series at Stephen F. Austin State University will once again bring fun, educational shows that entertain and inform East Texas youngsters.

The series, presented by the College of Fine Arts, features five nationally touring shows designed to engage audiences of all ages. Careful consideration is given to show topics, which always include teachable classroom elements, according to Diane Peterson, Fine Arts Box Office manager and director of the series.

"CPAS shows are a great way to supplement class curriculums, and our in-depth study guides provide suggestions for pre- and post-performance activities and discussions," Peterson said.

CPAS shows bring hundreds of students from schools throughout East Texas to the SFA campus to enjoy the productions.

"Our shows are often sell-outs, so we encourage teachers to book their classrooms early to take advantage of these great field trips that provide fun and educational outings for children," Peterson said. "We also offer great discounts for large groups."

This year's lineup taps into four children's shows offered by the Virginia Repertory Theatre, and it brings back the action-packed Super Scientific Circus.

The 2017-18 series opens Friday, Oct. 13, with "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs." This musical adaptation of the classic Grimm's fairy tale comes to life with a talented ensemble of actors and wonderful puppets. Follow along as Snow White meets her pint-sized friends, takes the apple from the Evil Queen, receives a kiss from the Prince, and lives happily ever after. This faithful rendition of the fable will inspire young audiences to read the original. This performance is for children in kindergarten through fifth grade.

Perhaps the best loved holiday story of all time, Virginia Repertory's adaptation of Charles Dickens' classic "A Christmas Carol" on Friday, Dec. 1, is particularly suited to children. Watch Mr. Scrooge have a change of heart from stone to gold as he is visited by the ghosts of Christmas, transforming him into a kinder, gentler man. All the joy, sentiment and meaning are here, without being too scary for young audiences. The play is for children in kindergarten through fifth grade.

Children can learn more about black history with a performance of "Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad" on Thursday, Feb. 1. This stirring drama with music is a classic tribute to the great American who freed herself and hundreds of her people from the bonds of slavery. Traveling by night and in extreme secrecy, her courage helped to change the world. Share her inspiring and adventurous life with students in this factual and deeply moving musical history lesson written for children in second through eighth grade.

The longtime favorite Super Scientific Circus returns to the SFA campus on Wednesday, March 7, with Mr. Fish and Trent the Mime once again proving that science can be fun and funny. They use amazing circus skills involving boomerangs, bubbles, beach balls, bullwhips and magic to introduce the principles of friction, inertia, centripetal force, aerodynamics and more. The show targets students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

The series concludes Friday, April 27, with "The Ugly Duckling," the fable of the swan who grows up 'ugly" in a family of ducks, later to find his appearance changing as he discovers his true identity. Virginia Rep unites Hans Christian Andersen's classic ugly duckling with other animal "misfit" heroes from the folk traditions of other cultures who work together to earn their home on the King's estate and find the self-confidence that only friendship and accomplishment can provide. The musical targets children in kindergarten through fifth grade.

Performances are at 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on show dates in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus. Tickets are $7.50 for individuals and $6 per person for groups of 20 or more.

To order tickets, call (936) 468-6407 or (888) 240-ARTS. Visit the CPAS website at http://www.cpas.sfasu.edu/ for additional information.