2019-20 Education Season Wrap-Up

This season, The Paramount was thrilled to welcome 13,414 students and teachers from around Central Virginia and make great memories with artists from all over the US, as well as the UK and Japan. We were also pleased to have assisted nearly 3,500 students with financial assistance beyond the subsidized ticket price of $8.50. Although our season was sadly cut short due to the COVID-19 public health crisis, we celebrate that since 2004, the Arts Education Program has now served more than 208,580 students and teachers!

It is our pleasure to share with you highlights and favorite memories from this past season, and please stay tuned for 2020-21 Education Season programming details!

By The Numbers:

  • 13,414 students and teachers attended performances in 2019-20
  • Attendees were from 46 public schools (spanning 11 school divisions), 18 private schools, and 37 home school groups
  • Nearly 3,500 students were impacted by financial assistance
  • 9 productions and 18 performances in total on The Paramount’s stage, including: 
    • National Geographic Live! Coral Kingdoms and Empires of Ice
    • Enchantment Theatre Company’s Peter Rabbit™ Tales
    • Secret Agent 23 Skidoo
    • Childsplay’s Maddi’s Fridge
    • National Players’ The Diary of Anne Frank
    • Kennedy Center Theater for Young Audiences on Tour’s Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! (The Musical)
    • Tall Stories, London’s Wilde Creatures
    • Yamato, The Drummers of Japan
    • Mad River Theater Works’ Walk On: The Story of Rosa Parks

Our Favorite Moments:

Reviews & Comments:

Over 140 teachers responded to post-performance surveys, and dozens of students shared their reactions through letters and artwork – here’s what they had to say!

“I felt like we took a field trip to NYC to a Broadway show! [Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus (The Musical!)] was great and we loved it! Visits to The Paramount are one of the highlights of our school year.” – Greer Elementary School, 1st Grade Teacher

“It is important for young students to be exposed to the arts at a young age. The play [Peter Rabbit™ Tales] was a nice mix of fun and suspense that kept the students engaged and related to many of the students’ prior knowledge.” – Stone-Robinson Elementary School, 2nd Grade Teacher

“The performance [Walk On: The Story of Rosa Parks] was excellent and very professional. The acting, the music, the singing…everything was great.” – Craigsville Elementary School, 3rd-5th Grade Teacher

“I could see my kids excited to see people who looked like them up on stage. When I asked them what their favorite part of the show was, they said, “The bus driver!” She has a beautiful voice and terrific stage presence! We ended up getting ALL the Mo Willems Pigeon books in the library. They’re still the most popular books in the class a week later!” – Venable Elementary School, Pre-K Teacher

“The magic of live theatre is that it brings text to life and engages the mind in ways that just reading the story does not. Seeing this performance [The Diary of Anne Frank] taps into the human experience and opens the door to empathy and understanding. This particular production did not shy away from topics that many middle school and high school students experience, which made it all the more relevant to their lives.” – Aaron Eichorst, Fine & Performing Arts Coordinator, Charlottesville City Schools

“We really enjoyed [National Geographic Live! Coral Kingdoms and Empires of Ice]. My students loved it! They learned a lot about underwater ecosystems and the process of filming and photographing wildlife.” – Homeschool Group

“It was like traveling to Japan without ever leaving our hometown! I thought it was wonderful how much was conveyed by the music and performance [Yamato, The Drummers of Japan]. Music is a language all its own.” – Meriwether Lewis Elementary School, 2nd Grade Teacher

“For some of the youngest students, this was their first experience with live theater and understanding what a theatrical performance is! We loved seeing the diversity in the performers too!” – Agnor Hurt Elementary School, K-2nd Grade Teacher

“[Wilde Creatures] had a wildly creative yet strange set. I laughed and almost exploded with tears. The music was jolly and catchy. The play was full of dramatic and funny scenes. I would recommend this show for kids and parents.” –Homeschool Student

“While the content connection is valuable, I think the best lesson comes from having an experience in a beautiful theater, seeing a live play, and understanding theater manners and expectations. I bring my students every year on this field trip because I think it is essential that they all have experience seeing live theater while in elementary school.” – Cale Elementary School, 3rd Grade Teacher

“It was amazing [Maddi’s Fridge]! The show provided connections for my students to personal experiences as well as educational support of literacy. The students cheered and cried during the performance, and this helped to facilitate conversation around the topic of friendship. My students love to visit The Paramount!” – Cale Elementary School, 2nd Grade Teacher

“It was phenomenal [Yamato, The Drummers of Japan]! Our students benefit so much from seeing diverse groups and learning about the different ways that stories are told and valued. It led to an extremely productive conversation about the ways we tell stories and celebrate people.” – Woodbrook Elementary School, 2nd-3rd Grade Teacher

“For many of my students, this was the first play they ever had the privilege to attend. That was incredibly meaningful to enriching their classroom experience.” – Charlottesville High School, English Teacher, Grades 9 & 10

“WOW! One of the best shows we’ve seen [Wilde Creatures]. Talent! Connection! Set! Music!!! We fell in love with the story and the characters! Just great theater on all levels!!!” – Homeschool Group

“My students said [Secret Agent 23 Skidoo] was their very favorite show they had ever seen! The energy, audience engagement, music and positive message were extremely valuable and FUN! This is such a gift both to my program and my students. Thank you!” – Parkside “Leap Beyond” Post High Program at Charlottesville High School

“Dear Paramount Workers, Thank you for having us see Peter Rabbit™ Tales. My favorite part was everything!” – Jackson-Via Elementary School, 1st Grade Student


Photos by Aaron Eichorst, Taylor Matousek, and Rob Garland Photographers