2016-17 Education Season Wrap-Up

Photo Courtesy of Jack Looney

As spring comes to a close, so does the 2016-17 Arts Education season – and what a season it was!

This season, we were thrilled to welcome 16,000 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 15,000 students and teachers annually – and in total, more than 158,000 since 2004! We were also pleased to have assisted approximately 6,000 students with financial assistance beyond the subsidized ticket price of $7.50. Read more below for a breakdown of this season’s highlights – and stay tuned for 2017-18 Education Season programming details!



By The Numbers:

  • 16,000 students and teachers attended performances in 2016-17
  • Attendees were from 56 public schools, 27 private schools, and 25 home school groups
  • 6,000 students were impacted by financial assistance
  • 9 productions and 18 performances in total on The Paramount’s stage, including:
    • Black Angels Over Tuskegee | Dallas Children’s Theater’s Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters | National Players’ The Grapes of Wrath | Richmond Symphony The Snowman; What’s Going on Here Beakman? | Mad River Theater Works Everybody’s Hero: The Jackie Robinson Story| Momix: Opus Cactus | Childsplay’s Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat| Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia’s Brown Bear, Brown Bear & Other Treasured Stories.

Our Favorite Moments:

Stone Robinson Bright Stars’ gorgeous thank you letter to The Paramount for the April Brown Bear, Brown Bear performance – a real ray of sunshine!
The reverse side of the note from Stone Robinson which features the butterfly that students saw on stage!
The standing ovation that the Off-Broadway Black Angels Over Tuskegee received from students and the post-show selfie the cast took with the audience!
A very special surprise by Education Committee member Lisa Cogswell, who dressed for the occasion at the The Cat in the Hat performance on March 27!

Over 200 teachers and students submitted post-performance feedback – here’s what they had to say!

“The moments the lights were dimmed, the students were transported to the imaginary world of Dr. Seuss and were captivated by the performance. The students were delighted by the energetic cast that brought to life such a well-loved story. For days after our visit to the theater, the children continued to talk about the ‘silly Cat’ and how much trouble he caused on that wet, wet day! They especially enjoyed recognizing the character’s lines and chiming in with the actors throughout the play.” – Cale Elementary, 1st Grade Teacher

“The children had a wonderful time [at Brown Bear, Brown Bear & Other Treasured Stories] and, as always, recreated the performances in the classroom for days after the performance! It would not have been possible for the Bright Stars to attend without financial assistance from The Paramount….The commitment that The Paramount has to children is an inspiration. We are extremely fortunate to have you in our community. Thank you!” –  Stone Robinson Bright Stars Coordinator

Agnor Hurt 5th graders react to Everybody’s Hero – The Jackie Robinson Story:

“I enjoyed the show because it was like Jackie Robinson was really there. I also liked it because of the way that Jackie handled the crowd booing and saying disrespectful things to him.”

“Jackie Robinson was the best play I have seen. The actors did a beautiful job and the words had so much feeling in their faces when they were acting.”

“My favorite part was when the two people in the back sitting on the chairs were touching their guitars because it was really nice hearing the sound and their songs were wonderful!”

“I definitely adored the play and I thought it was fancy too!”

“I liked that it was so realistic and it showed his whole life including his struggles and opportunities. I wouldn’t change any of it because I loved it!”

“I liked the music because it was great for the situation they were in during that time period. I liked that the actors were so realistic when they spoke to each other.”

“My favorite part was when it started and everyone got quiet. I didn’t really like when they made Jackie feel less than others. The music was wonderful, and I loved the way the chorus did the harmony.”

“I loved the actors. They were very creative. I loved the music. It made everyone clap, and some songs were very catchy. It was an awesome way to teach us more about Jackie Robinson.”


Momix: Opus Cactus.
Photo Courtesy of Rob Garland Photographers
Black Angels Over Tuskegee.
Photo Courtesy of Eze Amos
Black Angels Over Tuskegee.
Photo Courtesy of Eze Amos
Everybody’s Hero: The Jackie Robinson Story.
Photo Courtesy of Jack Looney
Everybody’s Hero – The Jackie Robinson Story.
Photo Courtesy of Jack Looney
Black Angels Over Tuskegee.
Photo Courtesy of Eze Amos