Thank you to our 2019 Education Program sponsors.


Student Matinées: Education Programs

The Sandler Center Foundation, in partnership with Spectra Venue Management, offers a unique cultural experience to teachers, students and homeschool families through its Education Program.  We believe that all children should have access to arts programming, regardless of their socio-economic status.  At the core of this education program are our weekday matinées, chosen with the area’s students and teachers in mind.  These performances provide many students with their first experience in a world-class performing arts venue, while also providing a fun learning experience to support and enhance the Virginia Standards of Learning (SOLs).

The Sandler Center Foundation’s Education Program matinee options for the upcoming 2019-20 school year will be forthcoming. In the meantime, please browse our 18-19 offerings.

  • Student matinees are open to public schools, private schools, and homeschool groups.
  • Performances are offered at the special rate of $10 per student.
  • Title I schools in Hampton Roads are eligible to apply for funding to support student matinee attendance. Matinees for 2019-20 will be released later this summer. Please check back regarding information on reservations and funding applications.
  • Two showings (10:00 AM & 12:00 PM) of each performance are offered.
  • Performances are approximately one hour in length. It will be noted if a performance length varies from this.
It was rewarding to hear students guessing who each character was based on what they knew about them and their studies before the character revealed themselves. They enjoyed the creative use of props and music to bring a story they love to life. Our students don’t have many of these experiences, so every exposure they have to the arts is extremely influential. Seventh Grade Teacher

(After attending The Lightning Thief), Bayside Middle School

The play was awesome; I hope that we get to go back there next year. Second Grade Student

(After attending Miss Nelson is Missing), Georgetown Primary

I loved this play so much I didn’t want it to be over. Kindergarten Student

(After attending Nugget & Fang), Cornerstone Christian School

When we were leaving, one of our students said, “I didn’t like this play, I LOVED IT! Several others echoed this same sentiment. We also heard “awesome”, “great” and “Can we see it again?” Thank you so much for this most memorable opportunity for our students! Second Grade Teacher

(After attending Moon Mouse: A Space Odessey), Rena B. Wright Primary School

2018-2019 Performances

Professor Wow’s Fun-Believable Science

NOVEMBER 19, 2018 | Paul Adam Productions | Grades 3-6

Company/Show Information
CLICK HERE to watch a preview!

Curriculum Connections:
Chemical Bonds | Kinetic Energy | Classification | Life Science | Ecosystems | Physical Science

WOW! Pow! How! When students see Professor Wow’s zany, high-energy FUN-Believable Science Show℠ and experience the fantastic, 12-foot tall “Foam Monster,” the impossible “Balloons in Orbit,” the uproariously funny “Bernoulli TP Wipe Out Challenge” and the “Super-Colossal Vortex Cannon.” They learn that nothing is impossible—as long as it obeys the laws of science!

The Phantom Tollbooth

JANUARY 29, 2019 | Brad Simon Organization – Enchantment Theatre Company Grades 1-6

Company/Show Information

Thank you to ALDI for sponsoring this performance with a grant award to support attendees from local Title I schools.

Curriculum Connections:
Geography | Performing Arts | Language Arts | Social Studies | Literature | Visual Arts | Mathematics

An original stage adaptation of the beloved classic by Norton Juster, with illustrations by Jules Feiffer. Milo, the boy “who didn’t know what to do with himself,” drives his toy car through a mysterious tollbooth that appears in his bedroom and soon finds himself on an eventful and dangerous quest rescuing the Princesses Rhyme and Reason, who, in the war between words and numbers, have been banished to the Castle in the Air. Milo travels through the Forest of Sight where he experiences different Points of View, accidently leaps to the Island of Conclusions and travels through the Mountains of Ignorance, where he must escape its Demons in order to save the Princesses. With the help of his steadfast companions, he perseveres and brings Rhyme and Reason home, restoring peace to the realm. Along the way something magical happens to Milo; he discovers the delights of friendship, curiosity and knowledge, and that life — his own life — is filled with endless possibilities.

Rosie Revere, Engineer & Friends

FEBRUARY 4, 2019 | TheatreWorks USA | Grades 2-5

Company/Show Information

Curriculum Connections:
Communication | Language Arts | Music | Social Studies | STEM

Ms. Greer’s classroom includes three inquisitive out-of-the-box thinkers. Rosie Revere has big dreams, Iggy Peck has a relentless passion for architecture, and Ada Twist’s curiosity can drive her teacher crazy. A fun new Theatreworks USA musical based on the books Rosie Revere, Engineer, Iggy Peck, Architect and Ada twist Scientist by Andrea Beaty which spotlights the STEM curriculum (focusing on science, technology, engineering and math).  

Buffalo Soldier

FEBRUARY 8, 2019 | Virginia Rep on Tour | Grades 3-12

Company/Show Information
CLICK HERE to watch a preview!

Curriculum Connections:
Biography | Family Ties | History | Multi-Cultural | Music

Created in association with the Virginia Historical Society.  Based on the true story of our nation’s longest-surviving Buffalo Soldier and veteran of the Spanish-American War, this dramatic play with music tells the heroic story of the brave soldiers of the 9th and 10th Cavalries, who served our country well with little of the recognition they deserved. In 1996, Buffalo Soldier was one of twelve plays selected as the

Best American Plays for Young Audiences and has been performed at the Pentagon in honor of African American History Month. Buffalo Soldier was written by Virginia Rep’s Founding Producer, Bruce Craig Miller, and developed with support from Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest New Works for Young Audiences, a program of the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Fund.

A Sick Day for Amos McGee

MARCH 19, 2019 | Virginia Rep on Tour | Grades K-5

Company/Show Information

Curriculum Connections:
Art | Literary Classic | Family Tie |  Music | Reading | Self-Esteem | Language Arts | Character Development

Based on the 2011 Caldecott Medal Winning book by Phillip and Erin Stead.  The creator of Virginia Rep’s Buffalo Soldier and Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile has written a fun, rousing new musical based on one of the most beloved children’s books of the last decade. Amos McGee is as kindly and conscientious a zookeeper as you will find. Day after day he demonstrates the perfect way to bond with each of his friends: running races with the tortoise, spending quiet time with the timid penguin, and being always there with a handkerchief when one is needed by the sniffling elephant. When one day Amos himself feels under the weather and must remain home in his bed, the animals must decide together what they can do to return the favor.

Cinderella Lecture Demonstration

MARCH 20, 2019 | Richmond Ballet | Grades K-5
45 minutes in length, including Q&A segment

Company/Show Information

Curriculum Connections:
Dance  | Literature  |  Music

Richmond Ballet, the State Ballet of Virginia, will present an adaptation of Cinderella. Almost every culture has a Cinderella story, and children all over the world know of the slighted sister who is treated like a servant who, through the power of magic and love, becomes a princess. Students will enjoy this story from the viewpoint of her bossy step-sister and how Cinderella’s transformation affects her. The retelling of this classic fairy tale will have audiences captivated throughout and ready to dance for joy in the end.

This performance is made possible in part by a grant from the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Ugly Duckling

MARCH 28, 2019 | Lightwire Theater | Grades K-4

Company/Show Information
CLICK HERE to watch a preview!

Curriculum Connections:
Art | Language Arts | Science | Technology | Theater

Of the five eggs in Mother Duck’s nest, one is the largest and last to hatch. Bigger and paler than the others, this last hatchling is treated as an outsider by Mother Duck and her ducklings. He may be the best swimmer of the brood, but this alone is not enough to ensure his acceptance. Knowing only rejection, this Ugly Duckling goes out into the wild alone. Reflecting upon his plight under the glow of a remote willow tree, he sees a wily cat creeping in the direction of Mother Duck’s nest. The Ugly Duckling follows and watches as one lagging duckling is captured and taken back to the cat’s lair. In true heroic fashion, this Ugly Duckling succeeds in vanquishing the cat and rescuing the captured duckling. Celebrated by Mother Duck and her ducklings for his uniqueness, all realize that he may have been an ugly duckling, but he has grown into a beautiful and powerful swan.