Schooltime at Van Wezel

Live Performances

Bill Blagg's Magic Science Lab image

don’t let the pigeon drive the bus

Appropriate for students in Grades PreK-2

10 and 11:45am – October 16, 2024 (North Port Performing Arts Center)

10 and 11:45am – October 17, 2024 (VWPAH)

Whatever you do, don’t let the Pigeon star in his own musical production! With a script written by Mo Willems, the creator of the #1 New York Times best-selling, Caldecott Honor award-winning “Pigeon” picture books, and featuring music by Deborah Wicks La Puma (Elephant & Piggie’s We Are in a Play!), Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! The Musical! is even more fun than staying up late and having a hot dog party!
It’s not easy being the Pigeon-you never get to do ANYTHING! But when the Bus Driver has a crisis that threatens to make her passengers (gasp!) late, maybe that wily bird CAN do something.

Featuring an innovative mix of songs, and feathers, Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! The Musical! is sure to get everyone’s wings flapping.

Black Violin Promo Picture

origami tales with kuniko yamamoto

Appropriate for students in Grades K-5

10:00 and 11:45 – November 13, 2024

Welcome to the infinite world of Origami! In Japanese, ori means “to fold” and gami means “paper”. Using origami, music and audience participation, Kuniko provides a magical introduction to Japanese culture and the art of simplicity. In “Origami Tales”, mythological character masks & puppets, amazing flowers, and a dragon—all made from origami—set the stage, while Kuniko shares heartfelt stories from ancient Japan.


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black violin

Appropriate for students in Grades K-12

11:00 – November 21, 2024

Black Violin is composed of classically trained violist and violinist Wil Baptiste and Kev Marcus who combine their classical training and and hip-hop influences to create a distinctive multi-genre sound that is often described as “classical boom”. The band released their major label debut Stereotypes (featuring Black Thought of The Roots and MC Pharoahe Monch) on Universal Music which debuted at #1 on the Billboard Classical Crossover Chart and #4 on the Billboard R&B Chart. NPR took note and declared “their music will keep classical music alive for the next generation”. The band is currently touring the US and will release their new album Take The Stairs in November.

For more than a dozen years, Black Violin has been all about taking things further, exceeding expectations, challenging conventions. The classical-meets hip-hop duo has steadily built a devoted following and a diverse touring base— culminating in such triumphs as two sold-out shows at the Kennedy Center with the National Symphony Orchestra commemorating the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s death—while occupying a musical lane that’s entirely its own.

Wil expresses the idea that, no matter how unique Black Violin’s music may be, it is ultimately more than just a creative enterprise. “It’s really a movement,” he says, “an organism that’s its own thing and really feels necessary.”

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dr. kaboom

Appropriate for students in Grades 2-8

10:00 and 11:45 – December 3, 2024

So much science, so little time. . . Doktor Kaboom is having trouble picking his favorite science demonstrations, so he’s bringing them all! Unfortunately, there are way too many to do them all in one show. The solution: The Wheel of Science! Doktor Kaboom has built a great big spinning wheel and labeled it with everything from optical illusions to chemical reactions to a homemade hovercraft, and more! At least a dozen fantastic demonstrations ready to go. Wherever the wheel stops, that’s what’s next! Will we turn a water bottle into a rocket or catapult bananas across the stage? Electrocute a pickle or create artificial gravity? Who knows? No two shows will be the same. So, step right up, and let’s spin that wheel!

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gruffalo’s child

Appropriate for students in Grades PreK-3

10:00 and 11:45 – January 22, 2025

The Gruffalo said that no Gruffalo should ever set foot in the deep dark wood…
Follow the Gruffalo’s Child on her adventurous mission in Tall Stories’ enchanting adaptation of the much-loved picture book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler.  One wild and windy night the Gruffalo’s Child ignores her father’s warnings about the Big Bad Mouse and tiptoes out into the night.  She follows snowy tracks and encounters all sorts of woodland creatures, including a debonair snake, eccentric owl and a cunning fox.  But the Big Bad Mouse doesn’t really exist, does he?  And what will the Gruffalo’s Child do when she finds him?

Three performers use Tall Stories’ distinctive style of physical storytelling combined with humor and catchy original music to create this lively performance. A wonderful follow-up to the original Gruffalo production but also perfect for anyone new to the deep dark wood…  Join the Gruffalo’s Child on her brave adventure and let your imagination run wild with songs, laughs and scary fun for everyone!

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lightwire’s moon mouse: a space odyssey

Appropriate for students in Grades PreK-5

10:00 and 11:45 – February 10, 2025 (VWPAH)

10:00 and 11:45 – February 11, 2025 (North Port Performing Arts Center)

Marvin the Mouse wants to be popular. Constantly bullied and picked on by the “cool” rats, he is labeled as a loser and a geek. As respite from the continuous badgering, Marvin retreats into his science books and a world of fantasy. He longs to have adventures and to be the hero. Join Marvin on the space adventure of a lifetime: a trip to the surface of the moon on his homemade rocket where he meets a strange cast of misfit creatures, learns of infinite peril, and views awesome beauty.

Will Marvin make his dreams come true and experience the glory and acceptance he craves? Lightwire Theater is proud to present Moon Mouse, a cosmic adventure about celebrating differences.


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mister g’s senorita mariposa

Appropriate for students in Grades PreK-3

10:00 and 11:45 – March 11, 2025

MISTER G (Ben Gundersheimer) is a Latin GRAMMY Award-winning artist, author, and educator. Hailed as “a bilingual rock star” by The Washington Post, and “irresistible” by People magazine, he tours internationally playing everywhere from Lollapalooza and Lincoln Center to climate change rallies on Capitol Hill. An official partner of the United States Forest Service and the author of four multicultural picture books published by Penguin Random House, MISTER G’s stories and songs performances aim to help children see each other across borders and foster cross-cultural connections.

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wbtt’s brer tiger and the big wind

Appropriate for students in Grades K-5

10:00 and 11:45 – April 3, 2025 

A collaboration with Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe
A heartwarming musical re-telling of the William J. Faulkner classic tale. Playfully reimagined by Jim Weaver and his talented artists at Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe, this musical will sing, dance, and growl its way into your heart!

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the pa’akai we bring

Appropriate for students in Grades 1-6

10:00 and 11:45 – April 15, 2025

This original production introduces audiences to the Native Hawaiian relationship to pa‘akai (salt).  Traditionally, pa‘akai is food, medicine, a sacrament and a treasured gift.  The play follows a family with multiple generations of salt farmers on Kauai, mixing in ancient stories, hula, live music, original songs and plenty of audiences participation into a tasty potluck of performance, joyously served up with aloha.
Created by Honolulu Theatre for Youth in partnership with the Bishop Museum and cultural elders and leaders, the performance is intended for a multi-generational audience, so audience members young and old can have this restorative experience together.