Discover Live and Virtual Arts Experiences in Our Season for Young People

For the 2024-25 school year, Tennessee Performing Arts Center offers exceptional performances for students, available in-person and virtually. Discover how the performing arts brings high quality instructional opportunities to inspire and connect, from theatre, music, and literature, to history, geography, and science.

In-Person Performances


Virtual Performances


In-Person Performances | $10 per student

Performance Details are Subject to Change

In-Person

Charlotte's Web


October 21-25, 2024 at 10:30 AM

Charlotte’s Web is based on E.B. White’s loving story of the friendship between a pig named Wilbur and a little gray spider named Charlotte. Wilbur has a problem: how to avoid winding up as pork chops! Charlotte, a fine writer and true friend, hits on a plan to fool Farmer Zuckerman. She will create a “miracle.” Spinning the words “Some Pig” in her web, Charlotte weaves a solution which not only makes Wilbur a prize pig but also ensures his place on the farm forever. This treasured tale, featuring madcap and endearing farm animals, explores bravery, selfless love and the true meaning of friendship.

Run Time: 60 minutes

Curriculum Connections: Communication and Language Arts, Literature Based, Music, Relationships and Family, Perseverance, Friendship, Communication, Loyalty

Grades K – 5

In-Person

Benzaiten


November 8, 2024 at 10:30 AM

TAIKOPROJECT’s latest full-length work shatters gender stereotypes and challenges notions of femininity and masculinity in the taiko world. Channeling the Japanese goddess Benzaiten, their new concert blends percussive power and strength with consummate grace and movement. Featuring edgy and opulent new costuming by kimono couture master Sueko Oshimoto and visionary compositions by Artistic Director Masato Baba, BENZAITEN unites Japanese tradition with modern American innovation. Instruments featured are authentic taiko drums, bamboo flutes, marimba, koto (Japanese harp), voice, and the group’s 350-pound mother drum.

Run Time: 60 minutes

Curriculum Connections: Music, Rhythm, Rhythmic Patterns, Instrumentation, Percussion, Group Performance

Grades 3 - 7

In-Person

Under Pressure!


November 18-22, 2024 at 10:30 AM

Doktor Kaboom, along with a magnificent cast of volunteers, demonstrates the power of something all around us, which although we cannot see it, affects us all. Pressure. Equal parts interactive science, comedy, and personal empowerment messages, Doktor Kaboom: Under Pressure! clearly illustrates physical science concepts which are also metaphors for some of the real-life mental and emotional pressures we all experience. In this new show, Doktor Kaboom will validate the pressures students may feel, and offer tools and life lessons for alleviating and dealing with the difficulties that face us all. Created by David Epley, Seattle, WA and co-commissioned by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Arts, Family Theatre.

Run Time: 60 minutes

Curriculum Connections: Science, Physical Science, STEAM, Theatre, Health, Respect for Others, Perseverance, Positive Attitude, and Responsible Decision Making

Grades 3 – 8

In-Person

A Christmas Carol


December 5, 6, 10 & 11, 2024 at 10 AM

In this heartwarming and spectacular production of A Christmas Carol, Nashville Repertory Theatre artistic director Micah-Shane Brewer brings Charles Dickens’ classic story to life on stage. Join the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future as they lead the miserly prosperous curmudgeon Ebenezer Scrooge on a journey of transformation and redemption. Through these encounters, Scrooge learns the true meaning of Christmas and the importance of kindness and generosity. The production features stunning sets and costumes that transport the audience to Victorian England and the timeless story is sure to be loved by audiences of all ages.

Run Time: 165 minutes with one intermission

Curriculum Connections: Historical Literature, Relationship Skills, Self-Awareness, Economics and Civics, Theatrical Presentation

Grades 5 - 12

In-Person

Fisk Jubilee Singers®


February 5, 2025 at 10:30 AM

Discover the history and explore the stories of the world-renowned Fisk Jubilee Singers’ original nine members in this choral performance under the direction of Dr. G. Preston Wilson. The current singers of the ensemble reflect on their roles as students and preservers of the group’s legacy during this blissful experience of beautiful storytelling through song.

Run Time: 60 minutes

Curriculum Connections: TN and US History, Fisk University and the Fisk Jubilee Singers®, Listening and Reacting, Choral Singing

Grades 5 – 12

In-Person

Step Afrika!


February 7, 2025 at 10:30 AM

This show introduces audiences to stepping through both a traditional and contemporary lens. Step Afrika! blends percussive dance styles practiced by historically African American fraternities and sororities; traditional African dances; and an array of contemporary dance and art forms into a cohesive, compelling artistic experience. Performances are much more than dance shows; they integrate songs, storytelling, humor, and audience participation. The blend of technique, agility, and pure energy makes each performance unique and leaves the audience with their hearts pounding.

Run Time: 60 minutes

Curriculum Connections: Musicality, Dance, Group Work, African History, Rhythm, History

Grades K - 12

In-Person

Goodnight Moon & The Runaway Bunny


February 13-14, 2025 at 10:30 AM

Goodnight Moon is a celebration of familiar nighttime rituals, while The Runaway Bunny’s pretend tale of leaving home evokes reassuring responses from his loving mum. Both tales feature endearing rabbit characters, and the soothing rhythms of bunny banter and dream-like imagery never fail to infuse young readers with a reassuring sense of security. Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia’s staged adaptation will bring a new sense of appreciation to stories that have delighted several generations.

Run Time: 60 minutes

Curriculum Connections: Puppetry, Visual Art, Literature, Rhyming, Rhythmic Patterns, Repetition, Passage of Time

Grades K – 3

In-Person

Astronaut Group 1


February 24-28, 2025 at 10:30 AM

The story of the original Mercury Seven Astronauts comes to life in an original theatrical production. Chosen from hundreds of crackerjack pilots for their fitness, intelligence, and courage, Project Mercury was more than the story of individual missions. It defined the manned space flight program to come, from Gemini to Apollo eventually taking mankind from the earth to the moon. Share Alan Shepard’s exhilaration as he breaks the earth’s atmosphere for the first time. Race with John Glenn as he makes the split second life-or-death maneuvers during reentry, and feel his relief when he emerges safe but drenched with sweat.

Run Time: 60 minutes

Curriculum Connections: World and American History, Social Justice, Science & Math, Storytelling, Political Science, English, Creative Writing, Current Events, STEAM

Grades 5 – 8

Free Virtual Performances

Performance Details are Subject to Change

Virtual

Walk Together Children

The 150th Anniversary of the Fisk Jubilee Singers®

September 1, 2024 - February 28, 2025

In Walk Together Children: The 150th Anniversary of the Fisk Jubilee Singers®, former director Dr. Paul T. Kwami and his students pay tribute to the original nine members of the Fisk Jubilee Singers, who were organized as a choral ensemble in 1871 to perform and raise money to support Fisk University. As today’s singers explore the personal stories of the trailblazers who paved the way for future generations in Walk Together Children, they reflect on their roles as students and preservers of the world-renowned choral group’s rich legacy. Inviting viewers to share in their unique bond and learn the significance of the Negro Spirituals and their value in today’s culture, the film is a dual concert event celebrating the 150th Anniversary of the Fisk Jubilee Singers and a call to action for the bright future ahead for Fisk University and all of Nashville.

Created in collaboration with Dr. Kwami and director Jon Royal, the film is produced by Tennessee Performing Arts Center (TPAC).

Run Time: 55 minutes

Curriculum Connections: TN and US History, Fisk University and the Fisk Jubilee Singers®, Choral Music

Grades 5 – 12

Virtual

Dr. Kaboom's Newton's Laws of Motion


September 16 – December 13, 2024

Described as “part Mr. Wizard and part Mr. Rogers,” Doktor Kaboom uses the excitement of rocketry to present Newton’s Laws of Motion in multiple, over-the-top, demonstrations. Each of Newton’s 3 laws is clearly explained, comically demonstrated, and followed by a DIY project that students can do as a class, in groups, or individually. 3 Laws, 3 lessons, 3 projects!

Run Time: 32 minutes

Curriculum Connections: Sir Isaac Newton’s 3 Laws of Motion: Inertia, Acceleration, Action/Reaction, Safe Science, Math, Costume and Set Design, Character, Improvisation, Understanding, Respect, Cooperation, Making good choices, Critical Thinking, Creativity, Collaboration, Communication

Grades 3 – 8

Virtual

Jacked!

by Idris Goodwin

October 18 - November 22, 2024

It’s Jack and the Beanstalk with a modern-day twist. In this reimagined world, Jack and his mother struggle to live happily ever after. When his farm can’t feed him, his community can’t support him, and his mother can’t take care of him, Jack takes matters into his own hands. After climbing the beanstalk and stealing the giant’s goose, Jack flees home and discovers the goose’s golden eggs have a mysterious, intoxicating power that turns his world upside down. Directed by Jamie McKittrick, Metro Theater Company’s Jacked! fuses storytelling and poetry with nonstop hip-hop and break-beat music by Jackie “Jackpot” Sharp in this fresh, energetic virtual production that uses hand-drawn animation based on visuals by artist Nick Kryah.

Run Time: 40 minutes

Curriculum Connections: Storytelling, Narration, Problem-Solving, Family Dynamic, Helping, Rhyming, Poetry, Music, Sound Design, Digital Technology, Role Playing, Imagination, Creativity

Grades K – 4

Virtual

Doodle Pop


November 1-29, 2024

A mischievous duo starts to doodle… and ends up creating a whole imaginative world! They invite us along on their sea adventure with a tiny little turtle. What will happen as we follow their vivid drawings into this beautiful watery world, and will they return the turtle to the sea safely? This touching and playful non-verbal show by BRUSH Theatre uses live musicians who perform the accompanying score and sound effects, stunning interactive animation projections and live whiteboard drawings, and an abundance of theatrical imagination.

Run Time: 52 minutes

Curriculum Connections: Performance & Interactive Design, Clowning and Physical Theatre, Music & Composition, Sound Design, Projection & Digital Technology - Perspective, Light, Scale, Animation; Ocean habitats and sea life, Role Playing, Imagination, Creativity

Grades PreK – 2

Virtual

Miss Nelson Has a Field Day


February 10 - March 7, 2025

Return to Horace B. Smedley School where the Smedley Tornadoes have never won a football game. In fact, they have never even scored a single point! With such a poor record and a team that is out of control, kind-hearted Miss Nelson comes to the rescue when she enlists the help of her alter ego, the ill-tempered Miss Viola Swamp, to coach the team and whip them into shape. Considered by all to be “the meanest substitute teacher in the whole world,” Coach Swamp applies her trademark discipline to the players’ training, demanding tough exercises and no back talk. In the end, the team changes their attitude, pulls together, sharpens their skills, and manages to win the biggest game of the year.

Run Time: 65 minutes

Curriculum Connections: Reading, Writing, Comprehension, Vocabulary, Measurement, Teamwork, Collaboration, Encouragement, Discipline, Dedication, Resilience, Creativity, Theatre, Music

Grades K – 5

Virtual

The American Revolution


April 1-29, 2025

History in 50 minutes—seven actors, two feet off the ground, share 21 square feet of space and recreate the entire American fight for independence from Lexington to Yorktown. Using only the actors’ bodies, voices and (pantomimed) cannons, this production by Theater Unspeakable evokes an epic time period in American history. Combining tongue-in-cheek humor with a dash of derring-do, the American Revolution displays the company’s rowdy brand of bare-boned and imaginative physical theatre.

Run Time: 50 minutes

Curriculum Connections: American History, American Revolution, Groupwork, Spatial Awareness, The New World, Sons of Liberty, Independence, Boston Tea Party, Physical Theatre, Storytelling, Comprehension, Creativity

Grades 5 – 12

Virtual

Diary of a Wombat


April 1-29, 2025

Millions of young people around the world have adored the multi award-winning picture book, Diary of a Wombat. Now this iconic work, written by Australian Children’s Laureate (2014 – 2015) Jackie French and illustrated by Bruce Whatley, comes to the stage. Meet Mothball, the naughtiest wombat in Australia. Bored with her daily routine, Mothball goes in search of shelter and food, creating chaos in the lives of the humans around her. Doormats, trash bins, and washing lines are no match for this mischievous marsupial. Between a packed schedule of scratching, sleeping, and eating, Mothball discovers that with a bit of persistence, humans are quite easily trained! This delightful non-verbal adaptation by Monkey Baa Theatre Company features puppetry, movement, and live cello music from a team of revered artists.

Run Time: 45 minutes

Curriculum Connections: Animal Behavior and Habitat, Storytelling, Theatre, Instrumental Music, Biodiversity and Change, Ecosystems, Supply and Demand, Responsible Decision Making and Behavior

Grades K – 3

Travel Grants

TPAC can assist with travel costs by completing our Travel Grant Application. Schools pay for their transportation, and the grant awards reimburse 50% of that expenditure. Funds will be distributed after required documentation is submitted to TPAC.

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Ticket Subsidies

TPAC covers a large percentage of performance costs to ensure all students have access to performing arts experiences. When requested in advance, we can provide ticket subsidies to schools in need of funding assistance.

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HEADER: (L to R) Doodle Pop, photo supplied by Holden Arts; Matthew Dwight Lincoln, Cassidy Layton, Taylor Marie Rasmussen of Charlotte's Web, Photo by Jeremy Daniel; TAIKOPROJECT, Photo by Bird Photography.

VIGNETTES: Matthew Dwight Lincoln, Cassidy Layton, Taylor Marie Rasmussen of Charlotte's Web, Photo by Jeremy Daniel; TAIKOPROJECT, Photo by Bird Photography; Doktor Kaboom, Photo by Dan Morris; Nashville Repertory Theatre's A Christmas Carol, Photo by Chad Driver; Fisk Jubilee Singers®, Photo supplied by Fisk Jubilee Singers®; StepAfrika!, Photo by Lindsay Stayton; Goodnight Moon & The Runaway Bunny, Photo supplied by Shaw Entertainment Group; Astronaut Group 1, Photo supplied by Geodesic Management; Doodle Pop, photo supplied by Holden Arts; Miss Nelson Has a Field Day, Photo supplied by Holden Arts; The American Revolution, Photo supplied by Shaw Entertainment Group; Diary of a Wombat, Photo supplied by Holden Arts.

THANKS TO OUR EDUCATION PARTNERS