Curtains Up For Kids

 

 

 

Nearly 10,000 students visit the Basie Center every year as part of its Curtains Up for Kids school show program — and for many, it’s their only opportunity to experience live performing arts. From classical music with modern twists, to the diversity of Asian and African artistry or historical plays like I Have a Dream, the Basie Center inspires students to dream forward through culture and artistic expression.

 

Interested in seeing a performance in person? Click here for a reservation form.

WHAT TO EXPECT:

  • A live performance at the Count Basie Center for the Arts in one of our venues: The Hackensack Meridian Health Theatre or The Vogel.
  • Teacher study guides with pre and post-show activities are provided before the performance to maximize learning in the classroom and gain a deeper appreciation for the school show itself.
  • Limited pre and post show workshops are available upon request.

TICKET PRICING:

  • $12 each – Individual Sales
  • $10 each – Education Groups of 10 or more students
  • One complimentary chaperone ticket for each 10 student tickets purchased.

Financial assistance is available. Please fill out our reservation form for more information.

The Basie Center is very grateful to the Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, Monmouth County Board of County Commissioners, New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and the Mary Owen Borden Foundation for their support of Curtains Up for Kids.

For tickets or more information, email [email protected]

 Applicants will receive an email confirmation within one week of your reservation. In the event you do not receive a confirmation, email [email protected].

UPCOMING 2024-25 SCHOOL SHOWS

Performances have grade recommendations listed beneath each title, however teachers and administrators are encouraged to research and ask questions before booking to ensure content is age appropriate. School Shows are designed to be approximately one hour long (*some exceptions apply.)


SONIA DE LOS SANTOS

IN-PERSON PERFORMANCE: Tues. Oct. 8th 2024 at 10:30AM
Recommended for grades: PK-4

LOCATION: The Vogel

Sonia De Los Santos was born with a smile on her face (that’s what her mom says) in Monterrey, Mexico and has been singing in Spanish and English for audiences of all ages since 2007, when she joined the Grammy Award® winning group Dan Zanes and Friends.

With a mission of creating experiences that families can enjoy together, Sonia shares about her journey and inspiration as an artist.

Register


Storytelling
Cultural Connections
Music

 


SUGAR SKULL! A Dia de Muertos Musical Adventure

IN-PERSON PERFORMANCE: Fri. Nov. 1st 2024 at 10:30AM
Recommended for grades: 1-7

LOCATION: Hackensack Meridian Health Theatre

SUGAR SKULL! A Día de Muertos Musical Adventure is a touring bilingual/bicultural musical for young audiences and families that uses traditional regional music and dance from Mexico to tell the story of twelve-year-old Vita Flores. Vita thinks her family has gone loco planning a celebration for deceased loved ones. Why throw a party for the dead? But when a spirited candy skeleton suddenly springs to life, Vita finds herself on a magical, musical journey to unravel the true meaning of Día de Muertos.

Register


Bilingual Storytelling
Cultural Connections
Dance
Music
Cultural Traditions + Celebration
Fantasy

 


THE COLOR PURPLE the Musical
Presented by Phoenix Productions

IN-PERSON PERFORMANCE: Fri. Nov. 15th 2024 @ 10:30AM*
Recommended for grades: 9-12

LOCATION: Hackensack Meridian Health Theatre

THE COLOR PURPLE is an inspiring family saga that tells the unforgettable story of a woman who, through love, finds the strength to triumph over adversity and discover her unique voice in the world. This musical adaptation of Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel (and the popular 1985 Steven Spielberg film) spotlights Celie, a downtrodden young woman whose personal awakening over the course of 40 years forms the arc of this epic story. With a joyous score featuring jazz, ragtime, gospel, African music and blues, THE COLOR PURPLE is a story of hope, a testament to the healing power of love and a celebration of life.

*Please note, this performance is 90 minutes long.

Register


Storytelling
Social/Emotional Learning
Musical Theatre
Anti-Bullying
Family
Self Discovery
Music
Hope

 


THE NUTCRACKER
Presented by The Company of Dance Art

IN-PERSON PERFORMANCE: Fri. Dec. 13th 2024 at 10:30AM*
Recommended for grades: K-12

LOCATION: Hackensack Meridian Health Theatre

Experience Tchaikovsky’s THE NUTCRACKER as brought to life by the Company of Dance Arts, New Jersey’s premiere pre-professional ballet company. Join Clara as she journeys through the Land of Snow and the Kingdom of Sweets to meet the Sugarplum Fairy in this magical performance.

Register


Dance
Storytelling
Music
Cultural Traditions + Celebration

 


THE PEKING ACROBATS

IN-PERSON PERFORMANCE: Mon. Mar. 31st 2025 at 10:30AM
Recommended for grades: PK-12

LOCATION: Hackensack Meridian Health Theatre

THE PEKING ACROBATS® have redefined audience perceptions of Chinese acrobatics. They perform daring maneuvers atop a precarious pagoda of chairs and display their technical prowess at such arts as trick-cycling, precision tumbling, juggling, somersaulting, and gymnastics. They push the limits of human ability, defying gravity with amazing displays of contortion, flexibility, and control. THE PEKING ACROBATS are often accompanied by live musicians who skillfully play traditional Chinese instruments; the time-honored Chinese music coalesces with high-tech special effects and awe-inspiring acrobatic feats, creating an exuberant entertainment event with the festive pageantry of a Chinese Carnival.

Register


Storytelling
Music
Acrobatic Stunts
Cultural Traditions + Celebration

 


STOMP

IN-PERSON PERFORMANCE: Thurs. Apr. 3rd 2025 at 10:30AM
Recommended for grades: 2-12

LOCATION: Hackensack Meridian Health Theatre

Matchboxes, brooms, garbage cans, Zippo lighters, and more fill the stage with energizing beats at STOMP: the inventive and invigorating stage show that’s dance, music, and theatrical performance blended together in one electrifying rhythm.

*Please note, this performance is not sensory friendly as it includes loud music and sounds.

Register


Music
Dance
Rhythm
Creativity

 


PETER AND THE STARCATCHER
Presented by Phoenix Productions

IN-PERSON PERFORMANCE: April 4th 2025 at 10:30AM*
Recommended for grades: 4-12
50 SEATS REMAIN!

LOCATION: The Vogel

Based on the popular children’s book series, this Tony Award-winning play upends the century-old story of how a miserable orphan comes to be The Boy Who Would Not Grow Up (a.k.a. Peter Pan). From marauding pirates and jungle tyrants to unwilling comrades and unlikely heroes, Peter and the Starcatcher playfully explores the depths of greed and despair… and the bonds of friendship, duty and love. Featuring a few actors portraying more than 100 unforgettable characters, PETER AND THE STARCATCHER uses ingenious stagecraft and the limitless possibilities of imagination to bring the story to life.

*Please note, this performance is not sensory friendly as it includes dark lighting and loud sound effects.

Register


Storytelling
Social/Emotional Learning
Story Theatre
Literature
Friendship
Fantasy

 


 

The Gaggle: An interactive theatre & education Podcast by Actors Playground Mini Misfits troupe

PRE-RECORDED CONTENT AVAILABLE ONLINE: Mini Misfits – The Gaggle Podcast
NO REGISTRATION REQUIRED!
Recommended for grades: 4-7

The Gaggle is a one-act play transformed into a podcast to provide an arts experience from the safety of your classroom. Following a group of middle schoolers, The Gaggle is about a clique’s rein over the school and how their bullying effects the students and themselves. This episodic podcast focuses on anti-bullying, social-emotional learning skills, and relevant relatable topics for you and your students to explore. A teacher study guide with prompts for lessons and activities to follow each episode is included. Workshop experiences (virtual or in-person) are available for an additional cost.

View


Theatre
Media Arts
Anti-Bullying
Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Connections

 


*Seeing live theater offers a range of academic, social, and emotional benefits to children. This includes:

  • A greater ability to accept people with different opinions from their own and understand the diversity of ways others experience the world
  • An increased hope for their own future, with the ability to imagine attending college and envisioning success
  • A greater recognition that the arts can have a place in their lives in the present and future
  • Improved engagement and behavior in school environments, which can impact success
  • Increased success on standardized tests; higher writing scores; and a stronger command of narrative devices

*Read more about the impact of viewing performing arts on students.

 


 

In-School Arts Classes

We believe participation in the arts:

  • is essential to a well-rounded education and motivates lifelong learning
  • fosters creativity, self-esteem, teamwork, and problem solving skills
  • develops a strong work ethic and the ability to focus
  • advances community connections and promotes inclusivity and diversity
  • inspires empathy, compassion and tolerance
  • enriches life and generates joy

During this time it’s more important than ever that we all learn creative solutions that inspire, educate, and entertain.

Through a variety of  arts-based activities students will build their social-emotional learning and 21st Century learning skills. These are increasingly important given the current level of challenges both in and out of the classroom.

These engaging workshops and residencies are designed to build upon your current classroom strategies while layering curriculum with fun.

Please click here for more information or to request a residency 

 

Our Outreach program began as a collaboration with the Red Bank Borough School District in 2005. Today, we serve over 550 students annually with in-school, after-school, and summer performing arts classes in the Primary and Middle schools in Red Bank and the Joseph R. Bolger Middle School in Keansburg.

Our goal as educators is to instill a passion, appreciation and love of the arts. Besides enhancing one’s perspective and interpersonal skills such as communication, cooperation and creative problem solving, arts education is truly a magical elixir that raises one’s self–esteem, self-efficacy and confidence.

 

 

Need Help? Have Questions?
Contact the Education Department
Anthony Greco
Arts Education and Outreach Manager
732-224-8778 x 151
[email protected]