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UIS announces 2007-2008 Class Acts Series at Sangamon Auditorium

May 8, 2007

Contact: Bryan Leonard, 217/206-8284, leonard.bryan@uis.edu

SPRINGFIELD -- The goal of Class Acts, the performing arts series for youth at Sangamon Auditorium, is to present a diverse performing arts program for youth in support of educational and cultural goals mandated by the State of Illinois for grades K through 12.  Now in its 22nd season, Class Acts strives to assist youth in understanding the nature of the performing arts by providing students with the experience of live performance and by furnishing teaching packets to assist teachers.  It endeavors to introduce students to new ideas that will promote their personal and social well being as well as their educational growth through familiarizing them with new forms of communication and acquainting them with the existence of other cultures and the contribution they have made on the world.

Class Acts tickets for K-12 public, private, and home schools are on sale now and can be reserved by calling the Sangamon Auditorium Ticket Office at 217/206-6160 or 800/207-6960 or online at www.SangamonAuditorium,org. Tickets are $5 each and every 16th ticket is free. The general public may purchase walk-up seats, if available, on the day of the scheduled event. 

The Class Acts series at Sangamon Auditorium is sponsored in part by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council and various local contributors.

Class Acts Educational Series

This is a list of performances that will be part of this year's Class Acts series at Sangamon Auditorium, UIS.  For further information about these events, including a complete show descriptions and information on how to reserve tickets, click on the show title.

Winnie the Pooh

Tuesday, October 2, 10 a.m. & 12:30 p.m. Grades K-2

It's a very busy day for Pooh in the Hundred Acre Wood! He has to complete his stoutness exercises, catch a Heffalump with Piglet, and also search for Eeyore's missing tail! Meanwhile, Rabbit needs assistance in an elaborate plan to play a trick on Kanga and baby Roo, and Owl dispenses some bird-brained advice. All the while, everyone's favorite bear is hungry, and searches for a little smackeral of honey...

Cashore Marionettes

Friday, October 12, 10 a.m. Grades 1-6

The Cashore Marionettes are so exceptional in artistry, grace and refinement of movement that they redefine the art of puppetry. The program is a series of touching portrayals and poignant scenes from everyday life set to stunning music by such composers as Vivaldi, Strauss, Beethoven and Copland. The original vignettes, through a combination of virtuoso manipulation, beautiful music, theatrical illusion, and artistic insight, The Cashore Marionettes take the audience on a journey that celebrates the beauty, joy, and wonder of life. 

Tomás & the Library Lady

Thursday, October 25, 10 a.m. & 12:30 p.m. Grades 3-5

Tomás loves stories! Grandfather tells them every night during the long summers, when the family leaves Texas to pick crops in Iowa. But soon Tomás knows all the stories by heart, and that's when Papa Grande tells him there is a place full of stories he's never heard before: the library. When Tomás meets the library lady, nothing is ever the same again.  By the end of the summer, Tomás has gained the respect of his family, the guidance of a colorful mentor, and a lifelong love of reading.  Based on the true story of Tomás Rivera, who began his life as a migrant worker and ended it as a university chancellor, Tomás and the Library Lady celebrates the wonder of reading.


Monday, October 29, 10 a.m. Grades 4-12

Inspiring and beautifully artistic, the Japanese taiko drummers of Yamato put their very souls into these unusual instruments whose sound stirs the hearts of people everywhere.  These highly skilled musicians, performing on drums ranging from the size of a dinner plate to a massive six-foot diameter drum, blend phenomenally powerful and dramatic drumming with music of delicate beauty and humor. Athleticism, superhuman feats of coordination and incredible intensity combine to produce a unique form of music.  Their performances are infused with the idea that the drumbeat, like the heartbeat, is the very pulse of life.


Friday, November 9, 12:30 p.m. Grades 2-12

Diavolo was founded in 1992 in Los Angeles by Jacques Heim to create large-scale interdisciplinary performances which examine the funny and frightening ways individuals act with their environment. Constantly changing the image presented to the audience, Diavolo has developed a movement vocabulary that creates an almost cinematic experience of powerful images that develop abstract narratives of the human condition.

If You Give a Pig a Party

Tuesday, January 29, 10 a.m. & 12:30 p.m. Grades K-2

"If you give a pig a party on some sunny afternoon, what's the first thing she will ask you?  She will ask you for balloons!"

If You Give a Pig a Party celebrates the irresistible adventures of a darling pig and her loveable friends.  The Mouse, the Moose, the Pig – together at last! Join all three for the biggest party of the year. Fans will squeal with delight when this little piggy decides to throw a party. Because if you give a pig a party, she is going to ask for some balloons, and then she's going to decorate the house, and then she'll put on her favorite party dress, and then ... you're invited to experience this World Premiere musical celebration!


Wednesday, February 6, 10 a.m. & 12:30 p.m.
Grades 9-12

Wrecked tackles the issues of alcohol abuse in the lives of teenagers and their families with intelligent humor, subversive wit and candid reality. Through innovative staging and contrasting performance styles, the play presents two perspectives: teenagers as victims of parental alcohol abuse and teenagers themselves as abusers. Hip to teen culture, playwright Chris Craddock has done a rare thing - he's created an engaging and provocative theatre experience about significant social issues that is funny, entertaining and accessible to teens without compromising the power of its educational agenda.

Katie Couric's The Brand-New Kid

Tuesday, February 19, 10 a.m. & 12:30 p.m. Grades K-3

New teachers…new books…new faces! It's the very first day of second grade, and Lazlo S. Gasky is the new kid in school. He's your typical seven-year-old boy, but because he doesn't look or speak quite like the others, the teasing and taunting begin. When Ellie McSnelly realizes how tough Lazlo has it, she risks being ridiculed herself to spend an afternoon with him. After playing soccer, eating strudel, and making new friends, the two teach their classmates a valuable lesson – one that's not in their schoolbooks – about the need to give others a chance. Adapted from Katie Couric's popular children's book, this uplifting new musical proves that being yourself is the best way to be.

Buffalo Soldier

Wednesday, February 20, 10 a.m. & 12:30 p.m.
Grades 4-8

"Buffalo Soldier" was the name used for the segregated, African-American troops who served our country for nearly a hundred years – from shortly after the Civil War until the early 1950s.  This inspiring play tells the true story of our nation's longest-surviving Buffalo Soldier and veteran of the Spanish-American War, Jones Morgan, a rambunctious 107-year-old African-American who, in 1990, was "discovered" living in poverty in Richmond, Virginia.  The son of freed slaves, Morgan had served as a Buffalo Soldier in 1898 at the age of 15 and was chosen to tend Teddy Roosevelt's horse in the Battle of San Juan Hill.  The play tells the story of a wheelchair-bound army reservist from Hawaii and a hardened inner-city boy from Richmond who join forces to learn the truth about Jones Morgan.

Toying with Science - Garry Krinsky

Tuesday, April 1, 10 a.m. – Grades 5-8,
12:30 p.m. – Grades 2-4

Toying with Science is a fast-paced, varied and dynamic program.  It combines circus skills, mime, original music, and audience involvement in the exploration of the scientific principles of gravity, leverage, fulcrums, and simple machines.  Garry and his audience investigate basic scientific information and delve into the imaginations of scientists who have played important roles in the exploration and discovery of concepts that define our world.  Garry brings a number of science-based toys to life with motion, music, humor and insight.  He grants audience members a chance at stardom by inviting a few to join him on stage and participate in juggling or balancing activities with his playful guidance.  His original, up-beat songs offer additional information on fulcrums, levers and basic mechanics.  He impresses upon his audience the idea that by mastering simple scientific concepts, one can produce terrific results. For example, the ability to find the center of gravity is demonstrated when he balances multiple ladders, topped with a giant beach umbrella on his chin at the same time! As personable as he is professional, Garry consistently dissolves the boundary between himself and the audience, making for a truly unique experience.

Harry the Dirty Dog

Wednesday, April 16, 10 a.m. & 12:30 p.m. Grades K-2

Harry has everything a little white dog with black spots could want. There's just one problem: he hates taking baths. He hates them so much, in fact, that one morning he runs away. After a wonderful day spent playing in the dirt, Harry gets so grubby that he turns into a little black dog with white spots…and returns home to find that his family doesn't recognize him!

Laura Ingalls Wilder: Growing Up on the Prairie

Friday, April 25, 10 a.m. & 12:30 p.m. Grades 3-5

In one of America's favorite classic stories, Laura Ingalls and her pioneering family travel across America in search of a place they can call home. A true tomboy at heart, Laura shares her Pa's pioneering spirit and passion for the outdoors.  Her Pa encourages her to keep a diary of their travels, but Laura is too busy playing on the prairie, fishing, and chasing gophers. 

Facing obstacles such as scarlet fever and eviction from their land, the Ingalls' pioneering spirit and family bonds are tested but never broken. This uplifting story of one of America's most beloved authors comes to life in ArtsPower’s popular musical.

About Sangamon Auditorium, UIS

Located on campus of the University of Illinois at Springfield, the auditorium hosts more than 120 performances annually.  Home to the Illinois Symphony Orchestra and Springfield Ballet Company, it is the only auditorium of its kind and size in the Springfield area with a seating capacity of 2,018. 

With a staff of nine full-time employees, graduate assistants, more than 400 volunteers, ushers, and local stagehands, Sangamon Auditorium continues to fulfill its mission of presenting and supporting varied cultural and educational professional arts activities to the audiences in Springfield, Sangamon County, and the surrounding areas.  The auditorium administrative offices can be reached at 217/206-6160 or by e-mail at onstage@uis.edu.



The University of Illinois at Springfield, one of three U of I campuses, is a small, public liberal arts university that offers 42 degree programs: 21 bachelorís, 20 masterís, and the Doctorate of Public Administration. UIS has a special mission in public affairs and service and is known for extraordinary internships, a wireless campus, extensive online offerings, and a commitment to teaching.

UIS: Creating a Brilliant Future



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