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How Freedom Works

Students gain a deeper understanding of American government with this lighthearted and engaging workshop or performance. Topics include gerrymandering, the Electoral College, how a bill becomes a law, and presidential order of succession. Also available for virtual...

Shadowball: The Negro Baseball Leagues

Bobby Norfolk’s latest living history performance takes us on a fascinating journey through the heyday of the Negro Baseball Leagues, a time when this country was segregated by Jim Crow laws, and America’s “National Pastime” wore two faces, the whites-only Major...

Tales of the Underground Railroad: The Story of Henry “Box” Brown

Journey back to the historical era of the Underground Railroad in this theatrical reenactment of one man’s struggle for emancipation. Henry “Box” Brown was born into slavery in Virginia in 1816. After his wife and children were taken from him and sold, he had himself...

Dreams Deferred: The Poetry and Prose of the Harlem Renaissance

All aboard! Jump on the "A" train to celebrate the African-American art, music, and poetry exploding out of Harlem in the early 20th century. During this artistic journey, we will make stops for poetry, prose, vignettes and toe-tapping music! Bobby uses musical...

Medea, Thor & More: World Mythology

Note: This program can only be delivered virtually. Engaging, educational, and entertaining, MEDEA, THOR & MORE: WORLD MYTHOLOGY explores the meanings and functions of world mythology by bringing to life myths from several different areas of the world: “How Atum...

Harriet Tubman: An American Hero

By now, many Americans have learned that Harriet Tubman was the most infamous leader of the Underground Railroad, but what does that mean? What exactly was the Underground Railroad and how was it run? What were the roads that were taken into Freedom? How many miles in...

Scott Joplin: The Ragtime King

The music of Scott Joplin influenced a whole generation! Explore the life and music of an American original. This exciting and engaging program combines storytelling, live music and audience participation and traces Joplin’s path from an inauspicious beginning in...

Through the Eyes of York: The Lewis & Clark Story

York, William Clark's slave, was the only African-American member of the "Corps of Discovery" — the official name of the band of courageous explorers whose epic journey across our continent became immortalized as the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The Plains Indians...

Money Magic

Jeff wants a puppy. He wants a puppy more than anything so he asks his mom if he can get one. She says, “If you’re grown up enough to earn the money, then you’re grown up enough to take care of a puppy.” With the help of a zany cast of characters, Jeff learns to WORK...

Making it Happen!

What do you want to be? Jeff wanted to be an entertainer but he didn’t know how. He took a trip to the library, checked out some books and started learning. With effort, focus, perseverance and a good mentor – Jeff practiced and learned how to entertain.  He didn’t...

Women Get the Vote: America’s Suffrage Story

What if you were told that you couldn’t vote? That’s what half of the American adult population—the female half—was told until 1920. Using historical records and dramatic reenactment, Karen portrays a cantankerous suffragette and her modern day...

How Freedom Works (Deluxe Edition)

Students gain a deeper understanding of American government with this lighthearted and engaging workshop plus performance. A group of 20-30 students plus and adult work with Jay and Leslie of Laughing Matters in a workshop and then during the show, they become the...

Moving Through STEM

Designed especially for STEM nights, this program includes two 30-minute excerpts of this ensemble’s popular “Moving Through Math” and “Moving Through Science” performances. "Moving Through Math" targets grades K-2 and is an interactive lecture demonstration that...

Milky Way, Moons, and Meteorites

Join educator, author, and songwriter Dinosaur O’Dell for an interactive assembly about outer space science. The students learn about the planets in our solar system, gravity, the greenhouse effect, friction, and the difference between meteors, meteorites, and...

Endangered Species Project

In this live music presentation, audiences will learn about animals like Missouri’s own Hellbender Salamander, the ever-elusive Magic Rabbit, and the beloved sea cow – Manatee. You will also hear the tragic story of the Passenger Pigeon whose plight inspired the...

CSI: Photosynthesis!

Someone has killed Penelope’s beloved plant – and she calls in an expert detective to help her solve this mystery: “Detective C.O. Science.” However, Detective Science never works alone. Instead, she utilizes a large group of CSI interns, played by your students!...

Natural Wonders… Earth Protectors Who Led the Way

Former St. Louis Zoo Naturalist and Great Ape Keeper Dianne Moran leads students on a journey into environmental history as she portrays either Mountain Gorilla Researcher and Defender Dian Fossey, or Mother of Environmentalism Rachel Carson. Stepping from character,...

Chef Alfredo and Madam Souffle

Join Chef Alfredo and Madam Souffle as they cook up some fun with facts in their kitchen – your classroom! These entertaining and crazy cooks will use Drama Based Instruction (DBI) to show the relationships between sets of data, the order for solving equations, and...

Tales With a Point: Fables and Fairytales

The Cady duo not only bring fables and fairy tales to life in this energetic performance, they help children analyze the stories by identifying characters, settings, plots, and morals. Jay and Leslie use theatricality, humor, circus skills, and audience participation...

Rhythms, Rhymes & Raps: Poetry, Prose & Rap Stories

Kids discover the music of poetry through a rollicking multi-cultural tour of raps and traditional verse. Bobby turns traditional tales, such as “Little Red Riding Hood” or “The Three Billy’s Goat’s Gruff,” into finger-snapping, toe-tapping verse. He transforms...

Juggling Jeff’s Diabetes Show

R.E. Porter visits Dr. Dave and learns about the differences between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, what insulin is, as well as diabetes management and prevention. Lots of audience interaction and several demonstrations with audience volunteers! Audience: Grades K-8...

Juggling To Read

Reading is everything!  It allows us to communicate with each other, learn new things, pass on history, be entertained, explore the world and pass notes to each other!  It also helps us to drive!  Everything you see in the show can be learned in a book!  What will you...

Juggling Jeff’s Jester History

A healer? Dietitian? Social equality leader? Entertainer? That's right - we are talking about the medieval jester! A 45 min. presentation on the historical medieval jester. Includes audience interaction, volunteers, juggling, comedy and more. Audience: Grades K-8...

Wiley and The Hairy Man

This play, set deep within a southern swamp, centers around a young girl, her mother, her faithful dog, and the Hairy Man who haunts Wiley's days and dreams. Dance, drama and music bring to life the adventures of this plucky heroine. In an exciting duel of wits, Wiley...

Instant Improv

Using students’ suggestions, school themes or curriculum connections, Ed Reggi and two ensemble members of Paper Slip Theatre create a play for your students. In addition to watching the play unfold before their eyes, audience members participate by portraying...

Peter Rabbit Grows a Garden

This performance features Peter Rabbit growing his own garden after receiving seeds and instruction from a disgruntled farmer named Jill. Problems arise when a gopher steals some of Peter’s carrots.  Peter has to resolve the issue by sharing his knowledge of gardening...

Amazing Animals!

Join veteran Zoo naturalist and living history performer Dianne Moran as she presents a fun-filled learning experience. Live animals (spiders, insects, snakes, lizards and small animals), bio facts of skins, skulls, etc. along with lots of audience participation...

Sum of Our Favorite Numbers

Laughing Matters shows students that numbers can be fun. Stacking cups and juggling makes addition, subtraction, multiplication and division enjoyable for visual learners. A fun filled fairy tale, “The Ruler Who Measured Too Much,” is sure to entertain and inspire...

Read It Right Now

In this energetic, interactive performance, mime, juggling and magic make literacy come alive! Letters get animated as Jay mimes the entire alphabet from A (arrow) to Z (zipper). A clever magic trick is used to introduce rhyming words, synonyms, antonyms and...

Letters, Numbers, Shapes and Colors

On a journey through the alphabet from A to Z, Jay and Leslie use mime, juggling, sign language, and a big bag of tricks to teach little ones basic concepts they need for kindergarten. The centerpiece of the show is "M is for Mystery" where students learn to recognize...

Juggling the Earth’s Resources

In this fast-paced performance, juggling and diagrams bring environmental education to life. This program features a discussion of the impact of burning fuel on the ozone and global warming, a fun and interactive demonstration of the water cycle and a juggling...

Shakespeare’s Story: A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Shakespeare created magnificent poetic theatre, but he started with great stories. Kings, queens, fairies, magic; many of his stories read like classic fairy tales. In this one hour session teaching artist and Shakespeare storyteller Daniel John Kelly guides his...

Moral of the Story

Research tells us that the BEST way for young children to learn how to treat others is through stories that help them develop empathy and understanding. These fun-filled stories do just that without a single moment of preaching or didactic-ism! Also available for...

Spiders ’n’ Bugs ’n’ Butterflies

Creeping, crawling, fuzzy, flying insects fill these interactive stories with wiggles and giggles! Also available for virtual performances. Audience: Grades PK-K Format: Performance Teaching Artist: Sherry Norfolk Request Info / Book Program [salesforce...

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

Tales of storms, rain, drought, clouds and weather! Also available for virtual performances. Audience: Grades PK-K Format: Performance Teaching Artist: Sherry Norfolk Request Info / Book Program

North to Alaska!

Folktales from Alaska introduce children to the animals and customs of our northernmost state in a way they will never forget! Also available for virtual performances. Audience: Grades PK-K Format: Performance Teaching Artist: Sherry Norfolk Request Info / Book...

Music! Music! Music!

Melody, rhythm and dance provide the motif for these stories! Kids will be dancing, singing, clapping and tapping along! Also available for virtual performances. Audience: Grades PK-K Format: Performance Teaching Artist: Sherry Norfolk Request Info / Book Program...

Leapin’ Lizards!

Geckos, chameleons, horned lizards, gators and crocodiles slither and slide through these multicultural tales! Also available for virtual performances. Audience: Grades PK-K Format: Performance Teaching Artist: Sherry Norfolk Request Info / Book Program [salesforce...

It’s For the Birds!

Crows, owls, ravens, hawks and buzzards are among the many winged creatures that inhabit these folktales! Also available for virtual performances. Audience: Grades PK-K Format: Performance Teaching Artist: Sherry Norfolk Request Info / Book Program [salesforce...

In, On and Around the Pond

In, On and Around the Pond: Animals that live in or near the pond provide a lively theme for this active program featuring frogs, ducks, geese, beavers and maybe a water snake or two! Also available for virtual performances. Audience: Grades PK-K Format: Performance...

I Read It in a Book

Each of these stories brings a favorite picture book to life, helping children make the important connection between stories and the printed word. Audience: Grades PK-K Format: Performance Teaching Artist: Sherry Norfolk Request Info / Book Program [salesforce...

I Can’t Sleep

When we have trouble going to sleep or staying asleep, it’s comforting to know that others share the same problems! Also available for virtual performances. Audience: Grades PK-K Format: Performance Teaching Artist: Sherry Norfolk Request Info / Book Program...

Frolicking Frogs

Happy, hoppy stories of frogs from around the globe. Also available for virtual performances. Audience: Grades PK-K Format: Performance Teaching Artist/Partner: Sherry Norfolk Request Info / Book Program

Down on the Farm

Old MacDonald is joined by a host of critters and characters who make the barnyard the happening place to be! Also available for virtual performances. Audience: Grades PK-K Format: Performance Teaching Artist: Sherry Norfolk Request Info / Book Program [salesforce...

Around the World and Back Again

Folktales from around the world teach children about neighbors near and far, and how much alike we really are. This program can easily be tailored to specific continents or regions. Also available for virtual performances. Audience: Grades PK-K Format: Performance...

Storytelling Express: A Musical Journey Around the World!

Conductor Bobby Norfolk and Engineer Dave Farver will magically transport you on their express train across vast continents where you will meet mysterious characters whose adventures will entertain and enlighten you.  You’ll be amazed as Bobby brings to life diverse...

Voices of the Past: Famous People of Missouri

Experience the drama, humor and excitement of the fascinating people and historical events of early St. Louis & Missouri. This program will highlight the Great Fire and Cholera Epidemic of the 1800’s, myths and facts of slavery in St. Louis and the various ethnic...

Tales Worth Telling: Stories of Character Education

Bobby puts a new spin on the age-old practice of using stories to impart universal values, such as cooperation, self-esteem, honesty, responsibility and respect in this series of tales that focus on enhancing Character Education. Available for after school and virtual...

Stories to Celebrate Special Themes!

Throughout the school year, there are many thematic events for students to learn timely lessons. Bobby has an array of stories to help celebrate these special events in your classroom. For the first semester, he has scary and not too scary stories for Halloween....

Living History Programs

Bring a historical character into your classroom. Through first person narrative, Bobby will bring to life one of the following: Through The Eyes of York: The Lewis & Clark Story (Grades 3-12) Dreams Deferred: The Poetry and Prose of Harlem (Grades 6-12) Scott...

Back to the Books: Stories that Encourage Reading

Excite your students with the joy of reading!  Using high energy animation and dynamic sound effects, three-time Emmy Award winner Bobby Norfolk brings to life myths, folktales and legends! By highlighting popular library books, Bobby illustrates the power of...

Folktales From Around the World: Stories of Cultural Diversity

Dynamic sound effects and Bobby’s lively, animated style highlight this presentation of tales from the Far East, Africa, Europe and America. As Bobby compares and contrasts different cultures students learn that people from around the globe are more alike than...

Secret Agents of the Underground Railroad

These exciting, true stories of amazing danger and adventure bring to life the real heroes of the Underground Railroad, an informal network of safe houses and trails used by 19th century black slaves to bring people to freedom. Through this program, important parts of...

Musical Traditions from the Middle East

Featuring a wide array of exotic instruments, this performance focuses on the rich musical heritage of the Jews, Arabs and Persians. Through ancient stories and song, two of St. Louis’ most talented multi-instrumentalists, Farshid Soltanshahi, a native of Iran, and...

Sounds of Brazil

With the program “Sounds of Brazil,” Samba Bom brings the audience on a journey into the five regions of Brazil by playing the music of each region. The program is a cornucopia of information about Brazilian history, geography and people, starting with the indigenous...

A Feelin’ Called the Blues

Join Charlie on the steel and acoustic guitars and Sandy on his harmonica as they trace the history of one of America’s oldest and most original art forms — the blues. From its roots in slavery to the present day, students learn how the blues shaped much of today’s...

Words from the Drum

Kunama drums, sings, dances and tells stories with a vibrant energy, bringing together students of all ages.  The tales, rich in African-American folklore, come to life through audience participation in music and dance from the United States, Africa, Brazil and the...

Dancing Through the Decades

What songs would you hear if you turned on the radio 20, 40 or even 60 years ago? Find out in this fabulous program by one of the top ten musical groups in St. Louis, as rated by The Riverfront Times. From “Jump, Jive and Wail” to the “Electric Slide,”  Kittie Moller...

Interstellar Counting Systems for Space Aliens (and Kids)

Students are engaged through interactive stories and songs that incorporate finger plays, movement, fill-in-the-blank lyrics, counting, and dramatic expression. During this musical journey, Dino and the students discover monsters under the bed, help a space alien fix...

Eat Like a Rabbit, Swim in Peanut Butter and Other Healthy Tricks

Dino, the Nutrition Musician, communicates his message about healthy food and an active lifestyle through interactive music and stories, engaging children with finger plays, movement, fill-in-the-blank lyrics, counting, dramatic expression and humor. The students meet...

Around the World with Dinosaur O’Dell

Go on an adventure around the world! This geographical journey transports students to all seven continents and highlights details about each one.  Utilizing interactive music and stories, Dino sings of the world’s longest river, the tallest mountains and the largest...

Haitian Market Dance

Join award winning musician Rodney Lindor on a voyage to Haiti. Students will experience Rabordy, Djoumba and Contradance all set to the rhythms of the Haitian Drums. With an afternoon at a lively marketplace as the backdrop, students will explore the culture of Haiti...

Moving Through Science

Students learn from Sir Isaac Newton and his team of dancers how scientific principles affect human movement in this performance.  As students witness The Law of Motion Dancers perform a series of leaps, turns, and lifts, they discover how scientific knowledge can be...

Stories of West Afrika

This ensemble is eager to take students on a fun-filled excursion that is bound to leave a lasting impression on their hearts and minds. Learn about the customs and art of Mali and Guinea in West Africa through engaging drumming, song, and dance. Students will earn...

Africa to America

Beyond Measure Dance Theater delivers a dynamic performance involving the history, culture, language and creation of three dance styles: West African, Jazz Swing and Hip Hop. Through the use of song, dance and poetry written by the creator, Alicia “Sunshine” Gbaho,...

Voices of the American Dream: The Ellis Island Story

What would cause thousands of people to give up a way of life, leaving their homelands and, sometimes, their family members behind to come to foreign shores? Students will find out with Dianne Moran by dressing in turn of the century clothing, showing personal...

Revolutionary War, An American View

The battlegrounds of Valley Forge, Trenton, and others stand witness to the Revolutionary War. However little is known of the battle of Ft. San Carlos, fought on May26, 1780 at Fourth and Walnut streets, right here in St. Louis. Students learn why the colonists...

Missouri, Eyes to the West

The realities of the wagon train migrations to the west were exciting but filled with struggles of people searching for a better life. Lewis and Clark opened the West, but it would be another 40 years after the expedition ended before great numbers of pioneers would...

Lewis and Clark’s Sacagawea

Learn about the life of Sacagawea, the Shoshone woman who became immortalized because of her journey accompanying the Corps of Discovery in 1804-1806. Sacagawea recounts the story of her amazing life and adventures. In Shoshone dress, with articles for her survival,...

Earth Woman Stories

Join Living History presenter Dianne Moran as she leads your students back to a time when hundreds of Native Americans lived as one with nature. In the Residency, students will learn the importance of tribal storytelling, the lessons they taught and dress in Native...

Colonial Peasant Woman

Colonial life in the Midwestern woodlands is resurrected as Dianne appears in period dress to tell true stories of the wilderness and village life. She answers questions including — Who were they? Why did they move here? What did they do at home? What games did the...

Civil War Diary

Explore the life of a woman during the Civil War with storyteller and historian Dianne Moran. What was life like during the war? Did women participate in any of the fighting? Dianne plays her mountain dulcimer, spins a few tales and shows relics from the battles. She...

Amazing Creatures!

Join veteran zoo naturalist Dianne Moran as she engages students to join her on a journey into the wild realm of animals! Live animals, animal bio facts (skins, skulls and uniquely preserved specimens) along with lots of student participation highlight this fun and...

Moving Through Math

This interactive lecture-demonstration is a fun and lively program using music and dance to bring elementary math and geometry to life. The performance catalyzes children’s capacity to grasp mathematical concepts by simultaneously stimulating visual, auditory and...

Blast Off to Health

Join award-winning musician and master storyteller Dino O'Dell for a dose of healthy fun. Dino introduces students to a cowboy, a space alien and five singing carrots in a show that teaches nutrition, healthy activities, the "crash" of eating junk food, and the...

FIRE DOG Roll

FIRE DOG engages students in an entertaining and interactive performance that shares songs and stories in creative ways.  Students take a rock and roll journey where they meet Missouri’s endangered “Hellbender” Salamander, take an airplane to the Amazon, walk with the...