2018-19 Education Season Wrap-Up


This season, we were thrilled to welcome a record-breaking 18,667 students and teachers from around Central Virginia and make great memories with artists from all over North America. On average, our Arts Education Program serves over 16,000 students and teachers annually – and in total, more than 195,160 since 2004! We were also pleased to have assisted nearly 4,800 students with financial assistance beyond the subsidized ticket price of $8.50. Read more below for a breakdown of this season’s highlights – and stay tuned for 2019-20 Education Season programming details!

By The Numbers:

  • 18,667 students and teachers attended performances in 2018-19
  • Attendees were from 60 public schools, 25 private schools, and 56 home school groups
  • Nearly 4,800 students were impacted by financial assistance
  • 10 productions and 23 performances in total on The Paramount’s stage, including:

Theatre Heroes’ Call of the Wild: Illustrated Edition; Black Violin; Theaterworks USA’s Dragons Love Tacos & Other Stories!; National Players’ The Crucible; Childsplay’s Tomás and the Library Lady; Enchantment Theatre Company’s The Phantom Tollbooth; Mad River Theater Works’ Freedom Bound; Theater Unspeakable’s The American Revolution; Bay Area Children’s Theatre’s Peg + Cat Live; and Dallas Children’s Theater’s Diary of a Worm, A Spider, and A Fly.

Our Favorite Moments:

Based on the Emmy-winning PBS Kids show, Peg + Cat Live! was chock full of lessons about math, problem solving, and caring for others. Clark Elementary students say THANK YOU!
Theatre Heroes actor/storyteller, Noel Gaulin conducted a post-show workshop titled “Bringing the Words Alive” with 25 Walton Middle School 7th graders who attended the show and were reading the novel.
This exhilarating violin/viola hip-hop duo, along with DJ & drummer, had students singing and dancing, while learning about contemporary and traditional music. The musicians’ personal stories were shared with inspirational messages about breaking stereotypes and pursuing dreams.
An original theatrical work created and produced by Chicago’s award-winning Theater Unspeakable. Students from Agnor Hurt Elementary surprised us with dozens of handwritten thank you letters sharing favorite parts of the performance and thanking us and our sponsor.


Over 235 teachers responded to post-performance surveys, and dozens of students shared their reactions through letters and art work – here’s what they had to say!

“The performance [Call of the Wild] was exceptional, and our students were blown away by the ability of a single actor to play so many roles!” – Walton Middle School, 7th Grade Teacher

“This performance exceeded expectations. We want our students to see themselves as artists and performers. Having Black Violin members talk directly about their experiences in school and their choice to study violin in spite of criticism and stereotypes is exactly the kind of examples that help broaden the student imagination for what is possible.” – Aaron Eichorst, Fine & Performing Arts Coordinator, Charlottesville City Schools

“Our class loved that the performance [Tomás and the Library Lady] was bilingual and how they explained things as they went along. We wrote letters to “our library lady” (our librarian) to share our gratitude for sharing the love of reading with us. We believe in sharing with our children to be accepting of all people, share a love for all people, and create relationships. What a great way this performance did that for our students… all through the love of reading.” – Agnor Hurt Elementary School, K-2 Teacher

“Our kids were enthralled with the performance [Dragons Love Tacos]. They wrote about their experience in the theater and compared the play to the books. Literacy standards were met in abundance and the experience of being in the theater was one of the most valuable parts of our day!” – Woodbrook Elementary School, 1st Grade Teacher

“Actors are masters of inferencing, and they showed our students how many meanings lie behind the words. This was incredibly valuable and helped our students from all levels better access difficult reading material. We would do it again in a heartbeat.” – Monticello High School, 11th Grade Teacher

“We found the choice of The Crucible a strong complement to our curriculum, and we especially enjoyed the discussion of the technical aspects during the “talk-back”. From the informative study-guide, to the timely choice of show, to the wonderfully executed performance by the National Players, this show exceeded our expectations.” – Home school Group

“The value of coming to The Paramount Theater goes beyond the SOLs we teach.  The students get to see a story come alive in a beautiful theater.  They are captivated during the play, and then as a teacher we get to use this excitement to review and dig deeper into the SOLs.  Our students also were mesmerized by Charlottesville and the downtown mall. What a great experience for our students!” – Churchville Elementary School, 2nd Grade Teacher

“We absolutely love Mad River Theater Works and their performances are a highlight for our students each year. The original music was terrific and provided a strong connection for our students. My students were able to connect and follow the story line more closely because we made real-world connections to the true history that inspired the play before going to see the performance. The educational value of this performance was great for my students.” – Peabody School, 3rd Grade Teacher

“This was one of our favorite plays [Diary of a Worm, a Spider, and a Fly] to go see! We loved how diverse the characters were and the language they used. It really reflected where our kids come from.” – Johnson Elementary School, Kindergarten Teacher

4th & 5th grade students from Agnor Hurt Elementary react to Freedom Bound:

“Thank you for having us come to see the play Freedom Bound at The Paramount. My favorite parts of the play were dramatics. I also loved the singing and lighting. It was very nice that the play was sponsored by: UVA Office of the Vice President & Chief Officer for Diversity & Equity.”

“I liked the part where Amanda helped the person of color to write his name and then he came back to read it. I did not like the Marshall. He did not know the suffering they were going through. Thank you very much for the theater and Freedom Bound.”

“Thank you for having us come to see the play. I had lots of fun. I liked when the actors were singing songs. I can’t wait for the next show. I hope I will be coming to a lot of your shows because your shows are really fun to watch!”

“One of the things I liked was the singing and my second favorite part was the acting. It showed me to be good to people. Thank you and the UVA Office of the Vice President and Chief Officer for Diversity and Equity for sponsoring Freedom Bound.”


Black Violin
Diary of a Worm , a Spider, and a Fly
Photo Courtesy of Andrew Shurtleff
The Crucible
Diary of a Worm , a Spider, and a Fly
Photo Courtesy of Andrew Shurtleff

Carpet Instillation Time Lapse

Check out our makeover! 1,000,000 patrons later, our flooring is shiny and new!

Check out the time lapse video below.

An Exclusive Interview with Trockadero, Robert Carter

Check out our exclusive interview with a member of ballet company, Les Ballets Trockadero, who will be performing LIVE ON STAGE Saturday, April 20 at 8:00PM.

Keep reading to learn more from group member, Robert Carter, about the influences and inspirations that keep him on stage.

Q: What inspired you to start dancing?

A: “I can’t speak for everyone else because we all have such varied histories. My beginning was at the age of seven and a half. My mother wanted for me to try it and see if I liked it. After the first time, I couldn’t wait to come back. Since then my life has always revolved around dancing.”

Q: What influenced you in your mission to mix comedy and dance?

A: “I can’t say my “mission” was to be a comedian dancer, but having comedy be a part of your everyday work is a big plus. I’ve always only ever wanted to be the artist that I am. The fact that I’m able to combine and use facets of my artistry to create a unique product that is different from the norm is something I value greatly and use as my influence.”

Q: What has been your favorite place to travel for a performance and why?

A: “This is not an easy question to answer. Over the course of my tenure with the company I’ve been fortunate to be present for a lot of firsts in the company history as well as some of the more memorable moments that will stand out over the course of time. My favorite place overall has no real destination. All I need is a full, enthusiastic audience and the stage.”

Thank you, Robert, for sharing your insights with us. We can’t wait to see the performance this Saturday!

Meet Les Ballets Trockadero!

Les Ballets Trockadero are performing LIVE on The Paramount’s stage Saturday, April 20 at 8:00PM.

Follow us on Facebook (@cvilleparamount) and Instagram (@theparamounttheater) as we reveal the ballerina and danseur personals of each active Trockadero over the next couple of weeks.

Stay tuned for the exclusive interview with Trockadero, Robert Carter.




A St. Patrick’s Celebration

Check out our exclusive interview with Benny McCarty, a member of musical group, Danú, who will be performing LIVE ON STAGE Thursday, March 14 at 7:30PM.

The band got together in 1995 and since then they have toured all over the world. Their Irish sound is something you don’t want to miss. Buy your tickets now!

Keep reading to hear more about what inspires “the unique sound of Danú”.  

Q: What inspired you musically?

A: “We play traditional music of Ireland so our inspirations come from centuries of music and culture of Ireland passed down through the generations of wonderful musicians and singers we have encountered over our lives.”

Q: How was it shooting a live DVD?

A: “Great! We love performing live, it’s what music is all about.”

Q: With a group the size of yours, how is it combing all of your musical interests into one sound?

A: “That’s where the fun is and the unique sound of Danú, a combination of music and styles from all over Ireland.”

Q: What was your favorite place to tour and why?

A: “We love the US, the audience really loves what we do and has supported our music for more than 20 years. We love coming here to perform. It’s always fun!”

Babar is Coming…and Bringing a Petting Zoo!

This Sunday, March 3 at 4:00 PM, The Paramount will present Richmond Symphony’s The Story of Babar: The Little Elephant – With Really Inventive Stuff. The music by Francis Poulenc and narration with Really Inventive Stuff will make you feel like you are in the city of Paris with none other than the little elephant himself.

Before the Richmond Symphony takes the stage, there will be an “instrument petting zoo”.  This will begin in the lobby at 3:00PM and last until 3:50PM – just in time for the performance to start at 4:00PM. The “petting zoo” allows children of all ages to explore and have hands-on experience with a variety of instruments from the string, woodwind, and brass families! Members of the Charlottesville High School Orchestra and Band will demonstrate the instruments, answer questions, and the children will have an opportunity to try them out too!

We hope you will join us for this amazing performance, a unique concert experience you don’t want to miss. Buy your tickets now!


Photo Credits Marilynn Sting

The Choice is Yours!

Voting is now open for The Daily Progress Readers’ Choice Awards! The Readers’ Choice Awards are when you, the reader, get to vote on your favorites around Charlottesville in a number of different categories. Please take a minute to vote for us. Find us in the following six categories; Experience > Place to see music, Movie Theater, Live Theater, AND Live, Learn, Work > Non-Profit Organization, Best Pay, Best Benefits. Thank you in advance for your support!

Paramount Makeover Day #1 – Lobby and Ballroom

The secret is out! The Paramount is getting a makeover! Carpet Plus is removing and replacing all of the carpet in the Theater. Since The Paramount’s reopening in 2004, we have had almost 1,000,000 patrons in the Theater for parties, live events, movies, broadcasts, and so much more! With hundreds of thousands of supportive patrons and community members that walk through the Theater doors each year, the carpets started to show its age! After fifteen years, it is time to replace the carpet! The same patterns and colors that we have enjoyed since 2004 will be installed. Carpet Plus is working their magic, starting in the Lobby and the Ballroom, so that when your here tomorrow for Young Picasso it will be like nothing has changed. Make sure to like us on Facebook and Instagram to follow along with the journey!


An Exclusive Interview with Billy Campbell

Check out our exclusive interview with the star of Disney’s 1991 movie The Rocketeer, Billy Campbell. Billy was born and raised in Charlottesville, Virginia and still returns to the area to visit friends and family. In his words, Billy’s “dream of becoming a professional actor” came true with the lead role of Cliff Secord in The Rocketeer. Join us this Sunday, February 17 at 2:00 PM for Paramount at the Movies Presents: Disney’s The Rocketeer. CLICK HERE to purchase your tickets now.

Continue reading to learn more about Billy Campbell’s experience shooting The Rocketeer.

“In the years before I left Charlottesville for Chicago, I had a ‘job’ at the cinema which used to be next to Kmart on Hydraulic Road (right behind what is now Whole Foods) painting posters for upcoming movies on their big picture windows. I was in love with films, obsessed. I frequented the place enough that I’d become friendly with management and so I struck a deal: all the movies I wanted in exchange for my tempera-painted ‘masterpieces’ on their windows (I recall the one for Disney’s Black Hole being a particular mess).

Filming The Rocketeer was, as you may imagine, the stuff dreams are made of for…[someone] who never dared dream a move to Hollywood would amount to much. But there I was, the lead in my first film, which itself was a love letter to the great, old dreamy days of cinema —matinee idols dashing across the silver screen— doing most of my own stunt work […].

I can’t really say which of the scenes was my favorite to shoot. The whole film was a kind of honeyed bliss for me. Every scene was a first of its kind; every actor perfectly cast and a joy (or at least fascinating) to work with. So much happiness, so many fun scenes. One in particular, though, no less fun and more frightening: Joe wanted to know, before we started filming, if I’d go up in a plane to do the opening air-show sequence. It may add to your enjoyment of the film to know that, at the time, I was deathly afraid of flying. But, of course I agreed, if not eagerly.

Craig Hosking was our aerial stunt coordinator, one of the world’s best stunt pilots, and one of several working on the film. He and I flew in an open cockpit biplane, a two-seater, with everything rear of the forward cockpit tricked out to resemble the Geebee, Craig in the front with a mounted, rear-facing camera, piloting and shooting me at the same time. I was in the rear cockpit, unable, over the roar of the engine, to hear him on the one-way sewn into my helmet, and praying I’d remember when to operate the necessary controls (choke, tail-wheel lock, etc.), let alone do any acting. A couple days of this, some light (for him, though for me horrifying) aerobatics, and a few low level passes over the runway, about 5 feet off the ground at a couple hundred mph, and I haven’t been afraid of anything since. I even took up hang gliding.

I have so many memories: working with Alan Arkin and his wickedly dry sense of humor, and a gem of a human being as anyone who’s ever worked with him will attest; falling off the Zeppelin for real; practical jokes getting out of hand (never try to out-prank the stunt crew, you’ll end a long night of shooting with your vehicle wrapped in chain, padlocked, 40 miles from home); hanging out on set with Dave Stevens, who created and drew the brilliant original comic (thrilling for a kid who wanted, and still wants to draw comics); late nights at the hotel bar in Santa Maria, listening to stunt pilots laconically relate tales of vintage Mustangs folding up on them in mid-air, the kind of stories that go best with cold beer, which only washes loose more stories. I can report with some authority that when Peevy is about to fasten the Geebee’s canopy over his protégés head, tells him to ‘Be careful up there’, and receives the jaunty reply ‘Let’s make some history!’   …that Cliff, in that moment, is well and truly hungover as blazes.

Alan and I have been friends since, I’ve adored him from that day. We see each other on occasion, as often as work and life on different continents will allow. I was once, years after the film, being grilled by a customs agent at an airport in Arizona, when a distinctive voice called out from far enough away to be heard by seemingly everyone in the airport ‘Don’t believe a word he says, the kid’s a compulsive liar.’ Of course it was Alan.

We both spoke with Dave Stevens in his final days, we still miss him. Dave drew himself into his creation, he was the original Cliff, so it made sense that we bore more than a passing resemblance. We might have been brothers, and I know from him that he was deeply happy with the film. He was a talented artist and a kind, kind soul.

I’ve seen the movie a handful of times in the nearly 30 years since its release. It’s the kind of film that bears rewatching; a great one for your kids […]. For kids of all ages, really. It has a sort of sweet spirit that moves me every time I see it.

If you’re seeing it again…you likely feel the same way. If you’re seeing it for the first time, well then I hope you fall in love too.”