Theatre Programs

As revealed in the earliest recorded history, theatre reflects the time and place of its origins. The creations of theatre artists come from perceptions of nature, from relationships and interactions with others, and from the artists’ inner selves. Through storytelling and other oral traditions, cultures define themselves and educate their members down through the ages. Theater gives voice to culture. Theater unifies groups, expresses important knowledge, reinforces group values, strengthens the individual and commemorates events, while it provides a powerful multi-sensory mirror that reflects social issues, challenges and accomplishments.(California State Framework for the Visual and Performing Arts)

Classroom Sessions

Puppetry

Puppet Story Themed Aprons – 5 choices
Students choose from the magical pockets of one of Jennifer’s famous aprons. They then journey to the world of castles and knights, select The Fairy Castle and let the aprons characters bring to life several of our most beloved tales and nursery rhymes. Enhance curriculum and learn more about birds, insects, and fairies (The Garden Story), California native species of forest and pond inhabitants (The Green Tree Story), ocean creatures living along Californias seashore and tidepools (The Ocean Story) or farm animals in the Farm Story.

Jennifer Aguirre

K-2 / 40 students / 40 min / $70

Contact:
209-532-5098
acorngarden@gmail.com
Online Registration


It’s a Small World
Teachers choose from Jennifer’s repertoire of stories from around the world. She will then provide a classroom experience that uses the stories to integrate student participation with the history of puppetry.

Jennifer Aguirre

K-3/ 40 students / 50-60 min / $70

Contact:
209-532-5098
acorngarden@gmail.com
Online Registration


Shadow Theatre
Tim will guide students through the process of creating their own shadow play, bringing stories to life through the magic of shadow theatre. Incorporating puppet making, mask and scene creation, and training in shadow performance, students will present stories from history, natural science, or their own imaginations. These sessions are an exciting adjunct to any curriculum and are easily adapted to specific studies.

Timothy Lee Smith

4-12 / 20 students / 3, 60 min sessions / $50 per hr/ $50 materials

Contact:
209-728-3566
happytimmytime@infostations.com
Online Registration


Storytelling

“You Call That Art?” Adventures into Abstract and Pop Art
In a two day visit, B.Z. Smith will take your class through the story of how modern art emerged and then morphed through modern history. On Day 2, students will take the plunge into wild expression, modeled after well-known contemporary artists. Survey will include Matisse, Picasso, Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, Jim Dine, And Alexander Calder, to name a few.

B.Z.Smith

5-8/ 30 students / 2/45 min. sessions/$150 total + $50 materials

Contact:
209-532-7697; 209-559-7692
bzsmith@me.com
Online Registration


“Storyteller Folk Art Dolls” Exploring the Roots of Folk Art
In a one-hour session, B.Z. Smith will tell stories and teach students to make a unique piece of folk art – a Storyteller Doll. Made from easy to find materials in simple steps, the Storyteller Doll will allow students to feel accomplished. B.Z. will also bring examples of other traditional Folk Arts to demonstrate the simple access that art has had throughout human history.

B.Z.Smith

K-4/25 students/60 min./$75 class, $25 materials

Contact:
209-532-7697; 209-559-7692
bzsmith@me.com
Online Registration


“Scribble Kings: Wassily Kandinsky and Ornette Coleman” Expressionism versus Classical Style
In a 90 minute session, B.Z. Smith introduces students to the concept of Expressionism demonstrated in both visual art and music as “scribbling” in form. Through the works of Russian Expressionist, Wassily Kandinsky and American out-Jazz Virtuoso Ornette Coleman, students will compare their art to traditional classical art styles. Then students will ceate their own 2-D Expressionist visual art pieces while listening to Ornette Coleman’s edgy jazz. The session will end with a movement activity that allows the students to express the physicality of Expressionism and Out-Jazz.

B.Z.Smith

K-4/ 25 students/ 90 min. / $135 class, $35 materials

Contact:
209-532-7697; 209-559-7692
bzsmith@me.com
Online Registration


Stories From Around The World
Select from Rain Forest Stories, new stories about the animals and peoples of the rain forest; Celtic Celebration (Ireland, Scotland, Wales), From the Four Corners (family of mans diverse cultures), Hare Raising Cotton Tales (“trickster rabbit”, including some African), Peace Tales (tolerance, respect, cooperation), Starlight, Star Bright (the skies, including some Native American), or What’s Fair is Fair Gustice, fairness) for grades K-12; It’s All Greek to Me (ancient Greece, Rome) for grades 6-12; or All the World’s a Stage (Chaucer and Shakespeare performed in period costume) for grades 7-12.

Cynthia Restivo

age varies / 60 students max / 30-60 min / $50

Contact:
209-533-8624
restivo@mlode.com
Online Registration


American History
Select from Immigrant Voices (stories of the immigrant experience) or Gold Mountain (folktales of the immigrants) for grades 3-12; 1492 (Columbus’ time on both sides of the Atlantic), 1776 (Colonial America), or Eureka! (California Gold Rush) for grades 4-12; Voices of the Voiceless (the early labor movement) for grades 7-12; Underground Railroad or ”Stepping Over the Line” (harrowing stories of tremendous courage as people broke the chains of slavery link by link) for grades 4-12; or Brother, Can You Spare a Dime? stories from the Depression era for grades 7-12.

Cynthia Restivo

age varies / 60 students max / 30-60 min / $50

Contact:
209-533-8624
restivo@mlode.com
Online Registration


Special Stories and Tales
Select from Pumpkins, Apples &: Acorns (autumn and East Indian or Halloween), Gobble Gab (autumn, Thanksgiving & Native American), or Winter Jubilee (winter traditions and holidays) for grades K-6; or Stories of the Seasons (series for each season), Tough Girls Tales (girls as heroes), Whether the Weather is Fair or Not (weather), Our Five Senses (how our senses help us) for grades K-5, or Do It Yourself Stories (maximum 30 students and Cynthia team up to create and tell imaginative tales together) for grades K-12.

Cynthia Restivo

age varies / 60 students max / 30-60 min / $50

Contact:
209-533-8624
restivo@mlode.com
Online Registration


Stage Etiquette

How To Be An Audience
When Sonora Childrens Theatre says, “Teaching kids how to act,” we mean it. Besides teaching acting classes we have an etiquette class that focuses on table etiquette and “how to act” while at a fancy tea or dinner. Out instructor, Oleta Haley, has taught etiquette and has owned a successful tea room in Texas for several years. This class is fun because when the kids understand proper etiquette it’s always a fun time showing off their skills and teaching others. We can arrange to set up a tea for students to use their skills.

Sonora Children’s Theater

2-12 / 30 students / 90 min / Fee TBA

Contact:
209-588-8632
SCTmanager@gmail.com
Online Registration


Stage Combat

Fake Fighting for Kids
Stage combat is taught by Eric Owens and is a very popular class with the kids at Sonora Childrens Theatre. You can see stage combat throughout many of SCT’s play and performances, including the “live mannequins” at the Vault. This class will teach the various movements involved in stage fighting while making sure that no one gets hurt. Lots of physical activity is used in the class and we need a space large enough for all the students to move around the room easily.

Sonora Children’s Theater

2-12 / 30 students / 90 min / Fee TBA

Contact:
209-588-8632
SCTmanager@gmail.com
Online Registration


Theatrical Productions

Shadow Theatre
Tim will guide students through the process of creating their own shadow play, bringing stories to life through the magic of shadow theatre. Incorporating puppet making, mask and scene creation, and training in shadow performance, students will present stories from history, natural science, or their own imaginations. These sessions are an exciting adjunct to any curriculum and are easily adapted to specific studies.

Timothy Lee Smith

4-12 / 20 students / 3, 60 min sessions / $50 per hr/ $50 materials

Contact:
209-728-3566
happytimmytime@infostations.com
Online Registration


Performances / Assemblies

Storytelling

Grades K-2

“Fairy Tale Fantasies” Stories to Build Understanding, Context & A Sense of Story Structure
Designed for primary-age students. With at least 3 dynamic stories, the program will include audience participation and a good mid-way stretch.

Grades 3-5

“Who Told Stories First?” Traaditional Folklore of the Indigenous People of the World
Designed for middle graders. With up to 4 stories, the program will include geographic and historic context, plus ample opportunities for audience participation.

Grades 6-8

“Whatcha Gonna Do About It?” Folktales and Personal Stories that Push Us to Question and to Build a Better World
Designed for Middle School age students with up to 4 stories that promote social awareness, good decision making processes and building a personal ethic of fairness and responsibility.

All Grades Together or an Evening of Family Stories “Story Bag”
Since many schools enjoy bringing families together for school community events, this program is designed to engage a wide range of interests, experiences and needs.

B.Z.Smith / Assembly Fee: $150

Contact:
209-532-7697; 209-559-7692
bzsmith@me.com
Online Registration


Masks and Movement
A Mask hides – a Mask reveals! Performance artist Dianna Craig presents a short piece that demonstrates how movement has the power to breathe life into a mask, and how a mask leads the audience on a journey into delight and imagination. She will then introduce the audience to masks from her collection and lead students through a few group activities to experience basic elements of “mask movement,” such as balance and concentration, self-expression, and confidence.

Dianna Craig

K-6/ capacity / 60 min / $250 (includes travel)

Contact:
530-753-8435
dedecraig@yahoo.com
Online Registration


Tuolumne County Family Story
The fictional character, George Chance, brings Tuolumne County history to life with a multi-media presentation. This program describes five generations of a local family, from the Gold Rush to Modern Day. Projected historical photos illustrate the past while original songs and storytelling take the audience there and back. The stories, music and illustrations combine to create a sense of history, family and place-all told with a sense of humor!

Mark Stoltenberg

4-12 / no limit students / 40 min + Q&A time / $225 or 2 for $400

Contact:
209-928-3436; 768-3441
stoltenberg@mlode.com
Online Registration


Music and Storytelling
Traditional American folk songs and stories from around the world are offered in a lively oral tradition. All the songs and movement activities are participatory and interactive, with emphasis on building listening skills, improving sensorymotor integration and rhythm, building attention capacities, exploring feelings, and having fun in the process. All songs and stories are age and developmentally appropriate and, when possible, related to the season. Please let Bill know in advance what the children are working on so he can shape the material to augment and enhance their lessons.

Bill Roberson

Preschool-4 / 60-300 students / 50-60 min / $250

Contact:
209-533-9317
mccoolson@mlode.com
Online Registration


Residencies

Cooperative Improv
Combining lessons in music, dance and theatre, students will learn the skills and habits of collaboration in the creation of improvised pieces.

Cynthia Restivo

2-4/ 30 students / 45 min; 4-8 sessions needed/ $40/ session

Contact:
209-533-8624
restivo@mlode.com
Online Registration


Character Study
Focus on character analysis. development and performance. Characters motivations and objectives will be examined asthey translate into performance.

Cynthia Restivo

4-5/ 30 students / 45 min; 4-8 sessions needed/ $40/ session

Contact:
209-533-8624
restivo@mlode.com
Online Registration


Playwriting
Utilizing traditional motifs, students will create group plays for performance exploring ancient civilizations studied in history and social studies lessons.

Cynthia Restivo

6-7/ 30 students / 45 min; 4-8 sessions needed/ $40/ session

Contact:
209-533-8624
restivo@mlode.com
Online Registration


All the World’s a Stage: Intro to Shakespeare
A performers approach to Shakespeare. Using whole body engagement, students will each develop and present a monologue from a Shakespeare play Focus is on analysis of text, character and imagery.

Cynthia Restivo

8-12/ 30 students / 45 min; 4-8 sessions needed/ $40/ session

Contact:
209-533-8624
restivo@mlode.com
Online Registration

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