The Sandler Center Foundation is thrilled to be entering its 10th year of supporting educational programming at the Sandler Center. At the core of the Education Program are our weekday matinees, chosen with area teachers and students in mind. We are proud to partner with Spectra Venue Management of the Sandler Center to provide a diverse and robust line-up of performance offerings. We believe that all children should have access to arts programming, regardless of their socio-economic status, and we strive to be a resource for teachers and administrators.
Following the Virginia Beach tragedy in May, our Foundation’s Executive Committee was committed to exploring ways to honor our community and its people. This included a decision to dedicate the entire season to the children in our community. Additionally, we intentionally sought programming that would further enhance and extend our offerings to best serve the whole child, not only academically, but emotionally as well. We are excited to offer matinee content addressing STEM, Natural History, Literature, History, Multi-Cultural Studies, Women’s Studies, Biography, Music, Dance, and Character Education (perseverance, values, self-esteem, and behavior awareness). 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 both the Virginia Standards of Learning (SOLs) and classroom instruction. We look forward to a fantastic season and continuing our role in providing quality arts experiences for our area youth.
Reservation requests for the Sandler Center Foundation’s Education Program matinees are open NOW. Please visit this page after that time to complete a reservation request form. Also, please be aware that you cannot leave the reservation request form and return at a later date. (If you are a Title I school applying for funding, please be aware that additional questions will be asked of you, and we recommend completing those questions prior to accessing the online reservation request and funding form.)
- Student matinees are open to public schools, private schools, and homeschool groups.
- Reservations must be made in advance; there are no ticket sales for these performances at the Sandler Center Box Office.
- Performances are offered at the special rate of $10 per student.
- Two showings (10:00 AM & 12:00 PM) of each performance are offered.
- Most performances are 1 hour in length, except for the Richmond Ballet Lecture Demonstrations which are 45 minutes in length.
- Title I schools in Hampton Roads are eligible to apply for funding consideration to support student matinee attendance.
- Recommended grade levels are provided by each production company. Please review the descriptions and study guides if you need assistance determining if a performance is the appropriate fit for your group.
The True Story of Pocahontas
NOVEMBER 12, 2019 | Virginia Rep on Tour | Grades K-5
Approx. 60 Minutes
Language Arts | Multicultural | History | Biography | Women’s Studies
Pocahontas is a name known to every school-age child and yet her true story is shrouded in myth. With an emphasis on historical fact, Pocahontas is revealed as a playful, strong-minded young girl who changes her world before she will change her beliefs or herself. Follow Pocahontas as she grows from a girl who helps the Jamestown colonists survive, to the young woman, wife, and mother who carries her message of peace and mutual cooperation across the Atlantic to the mighty King of England. Join Pocahontas on her amazing journey and see how courage and determination can change the world.
Have You Filled A Bucket Today? The Musical
DECEMBER 3, 2019 | Virginia Rep on Tour | Grades K-5
Approx. 60 Minutes
Family Ties | Language Arts | Music | Behavior Awareness | Self-Esteem | Character Development
This brand new, fun-filled musical from Virginia Repertory Theatre is based on the concepts in Carol McCloud’s award-winning children’s books, Have You Filled a Bucket Today?, Growing Up with a Bucket Full of Happiness, and Ann Marie G. Halstead’s book Bucket Filling Fairy. The books and play use the concept of a “bucket” to show students how to express kindness, appreciation and love to be “bucket-fillers.” The play focuses on the benefits of positive, thoughtful behavior. Have you Filled a Bucket Today? The Musical relays the joys of friendship and compassion for both the receiver and the giver. Help teach students to be bucket-fillers rather than bucket-dippers with this musical performance designed to promote healthy relationships, self-esteem, and bring character education to front-and-center stage at your school.
The Little Engine That Could Earns Her Whistle
DECEMBER 4, 2019 | ArtsPower | Grades Pre K-3
Literature-Based | Musical | Values-Based
Little Blue Engine dreams of someday leaving the train yard to pull the big cars on the main line track. But can she convince Big Silver that she is worthy of being a main line engine? ArtsPower’s dynamic, song-filled adventure portrays Watty Piper’s timeless tale about hard work, determination, and loyalty.
Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad
JANUARY 29, 2020 | Virginia Rep on Tour | Grades 3-8
Approx. 60 Minutes
History | Language Arts | Biography | Multi-Cultural | Music | Family Ties | Self-Esteem | Women’s Studies
This stirring drama with music is a classic tribute to the great American who freed herself and hundreds of others from the bonds of slavery. Her courage helped to change the world. Share her adventurous life with your students in this accurate and deeply moving musical history lesson.
Richmond Ballet’s Swan Lake Lecture Demonstration
MARCH 17, 2020 | Richmond Ballet | Grades K-5
Approx. 45 Minutes (including a Q&A segment)
Dance | Literature | Music | Character Development
Richmond Ballet, the State Ballet of Virginia, will present an adaptation of Swan Lake. Children will be enchanted by the story of Odette, the beautiful maiden who is transformed into a swan by a sorcerer, and Odile, her evil counterpart. Incorporating humor and audience engagement, the Jester narrates this story of magic, mystery, and the power of true love.
Sons of Mystro
MARCH 18, 2020 | Sons of Mystro | Grades 4+
Music | Multi-Cultural
Born in South Florida to a Jamaican father and Barbadian mother, Malcolm, 23, and his 20-year old brother Umoja learned to play violin through South Florida’s public school system and attended Dillard High School for the Performing Arts. Together, these brothers are Sons of Mystro. They use their violins to interpret reggae classics, American pop songs and their own creation. They are winners of the Emerging Artist under 21yrs Old award at IRAWMA (International Reggae and World Music Awards). Their music is a mixture of several genres (Pop, Reggae, Hip-Hop), which are brought to life by playing the melodies of popular songs on the violins with a DJ and a drummer to enhance the live musical experience.
Erth’s Prehistoric Aquarium Adventure
MARCH 31, 2020 |Erth Visual & Physical and Red Tail Entertainment | Grades K-5
Life science | Natural history and Paleontology | Problem solving | Asking questions | Making observations | predictions, and connections | Forming hypotheses / developing possible explanations | Investigating and exploring the natural world | Drawing conclusions | Sharing findings with other
Erth’s Prehistoric Aquarium Adventure is an immersive experience that invites you to jump in and explore unknown ocean depths where prehistoric marine reptiles lived eons ago – and maybe live still today! Erth shows are at the forefront of family entertainment, using actors, technology, puppets, science and imagination to create an amazing visual experience that connects young audiences to the real science of paleontology. “Aquarium” takes its audience on a journey to the bottom of a prehistoric ocean and back again, experiencing ancient and incredible creatures along the way.