Student Education Guides
Ke n n e dy Ce nte r Th e at e r f o r Yo u n g Au d i e n c e s o n t o u r
Th e Ph a n t o m Tollbooth
thursday, October 30, 2008
10:30AM – 11:30aM
Sandler Center for the Performing Arts
Wh at’s In s i d e?
2 : What to Expect
3 : Welcome to the Sandler Center
4 : The Phantom Tollbooth
5 : Know Your Artists
6 : Behind the Scenes of Musical Theater
7 : Activities
8 : Projects
9 : REad More
10 : Coming soon to the Sandler Center
Based on the book by Norton Juster : Music by Arnold Black : Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick
Adapted for the Stage by Norton Juster and Sheldon Harnick : Directed by Tim McDonald
What to ExpecT 2
Ge t t i n g On a n d Off t h e Bu s
Most of the 1200+ students, teachers, parents and school administrators will arrive at
Sandler Center for the Performing Arts by bus. Plan to arrive at least thirty minutes before
the show. You will get on and off the bus at the same location, so make sure to remember
where your bus is parked.
Bu s Dr i v e r s
Busses will be directed by Virginia Beach City Police
to park and then unload students. Please arrive on Independence
Blvd heading North and take a right on Bank
Street. Within one block, Virginia Beach City Police will
be there to direct your bus to the appropriate holding lot
and assist students while crossing the streets before and
after the performance. Busses should remain parked in
their designated space during the performance.
Te a c h e r s a n d Ch a p e r o n e s
Festival staff and volunteers will be present to greet and
direct you. Please make sure that your group stays
together and remains orderly and calm. Once inside,
please present your seating voucher to the usher, who
will seat your group. After the performance, leave as a
group and find your bus.
Au d i e n c e Etiquet te
You’re in for a real treat - experiencing a theatrical
performance by a world renowned company! Here
are a few tips for your enjoyment as well as for that
• Lights that are on before and after the performance
are called “house lights.”They will flicker when it’s
time for you to stop talking and get settled in your seat.
• Make sure to turn off your cellular phone before the
lights go down.
• Photographing or taping the show is not allowed.
• Feel free to applaud at the end of each segment of
• Do not talk to anyone during the performances;
do not yell at the performers.
• Stay in your seat. If you need to use the restroom,
wait for a break between the performances.
• Outside food is not allowed in the theater, so plan
to eat before or after the show.
* NO LATE SEATING. If you are not seated in time,
your group will have to wait until the portion is finished.
Welcome to the Sandler Center 3
We l c o m e to Yo u r Sa n d l e r Ce nte r
At the heart of every great city are its arts institutions—the centers of culture where residents
and visitors can share great works of music, dance, and theater, from the classics to
the cutting edge. This November, the great city of Virginia Beach reveals its newest work of
art: the Sandler Center for the Performing Arts. With its soaring glass façade revealing the
magnificent lobby with its grand staircase and glittering chandelier, Sandler Center beckons
patrons to sample the spectacular offerings that will grace the city’s newest stage.
Expansive yet intimate, with not a bad seat in the house, the Sandler Center is the perfect
setting for every kind of performance, from classical recitals and symphony concerts to
modern dance and ballet, theater, and more.
And while audiences of every kind are welcome, the Sandler Center offers a special invitation
to the region’s young people. The Virginia Arts Festival, well known for its WorldClass®
education program, will be presenting, in cooperation with the Sandler Center, specially
priced student matinees which will make performances by world-class artists accessible to
school children—many of whom may be hearing their first performance of live classical music,
or seeing their first Shakespeare play. And the excitement reaches beyond the stage
as well, as the Sandler Center brings these renowned artists into area schools for performances
and master classes. For teachers, the opportunities are immeasurable, offering
exciting new ways to inspire and enhance their classroom teaching as they weave the arts
into their lessons on history, language arts, math and science.
Be among the first to experience the joy and power of the arts in this beautiful new
facility—spark your students’ imaginations with the joy and power of the performing arts.
Reserve performances and master classes now! Call (757) 282-2817
The Phantom Tollbooth 4
May b e yo u’v e a l r e a dy r e a d Th e Ph a n t o m Tollbooth l i k e s o m a n y k i d s
a n d a d u lt s a r o u n d t h e w o r l d . If n o t, h e r e a r e s o m e b a s i c s:
Nothing seems to interest young Milo--not his toys,
not his friends, and especially not school. But when
a mysterious tollbooth suddenly appears in his room,
he drives through to discover a world of fantasy and
inspiration. With the help of a time-keeping watchdog
named Tock, Milo gets unstuck from the Doldrums and
embarks on a quest to rescue the princesses of Rhyme
and Reason. Along the way, he reunites the dueling
kingdoms of words and numbers and realizes that life
is more exciting than his wildest dreams. Brother Kings
rule over the cities of Dictionopolis and Digitopolis. With
Tock’s help, Milo brings harmony to the Land of Wisdom.
He learns many things about words and numbers
along his journey. Perhaps the most important lesson
he takes with him is that everything we learn has a
purpose and whatever we do affects everything and
everyone. When he returns home, he realizes there is
never a reason to be bored in a world full of so many
things to discover.
Ma i n Ch a r a c t e r s
Milo: a boy too bored to have fun
Tock: a dog with an unusual alarm clock
Demons: evil spirits
Whether Man: the character who welcomes people
to the Land of Expectations
Lethargarians: creatures who live in the Doldrums
Princess of Sweet Rhyme: a princess who likes
Princess of Pure Reason: a wise princess
Azaz: king of Dictionopolis, a land where words rule
Mathemagician: king of Digitopolis
Word Vendors: people who sell words in Dictionopolis
Miners: Workers in the Numbers Mine in Digitopolis
Know Your Artists 5
No r m a n Ju s t e r was born in Brooklyn, New York,
in 1929. After serving three years in the Navy, he began
working as an architect in New York. He worked on many
projects, including the Eric Carle Museum of Picture
Book Art and buildings for the Colonial Williamsburg
Foundation. He has taught architecture and design to
college students. He began writing while in the Navy, and
his first book, The Phantom Tollbooth, was published in
1961. Other books he has written include: The Dot and
the Line, Otter Nonsense and The Hello, Goodbye Window.
His new book, Sourpuss and Sweetie Pie published
in the spring of 2008. The Phantom Tollbooth has won
awards, been made into a film, and continues to be read
by children and adults the world over. Mr. Juster worked
with Arnold Black and Sheldon Harnick adapting the
book into the children’s opera you will see.
Sh e l d o n Ha r n i c k (Lyrics) was born in 1924 in
Chicago. He began studying violin while in elementary
school. After three years in the Army, he studied music in
college. There he developed skills as a writer of comedy
sketches and funny songs. Eventually, he decided to
try his luck writing songs for theater in New York City. In
1964, Mr. Harnick and his partner Jerry Bock, working
with director-choreographer Jerome Robbins and book
writer Joseph Stein, created what would become known
as a musical masterpiece, Fiddler on the Roof. He has
been honored with many awards including Tonys, Pulitzer
Ar n o l d Bl ac k ( Music) was born in 1923 in Philadelphia.
Despite having cerebral palsy, which restricted
his movement, he decided to study the violin. After
graduating from the prestigious Juilliard School in
New York City, he played in the symphony and
composed his own
scores. He has written
music for symphonies,
and movies. Mr. Black
founded and directed
the Mohawk Trail Concerts
where he worked for
thirty years. He died in
Overcoming Obstacles: A Project
Arnold Black overcame the barrier of cerebral palsy to fulfill his dream of playing
the violin. Cerebral palsy is a disorder usually caused by brain damage occurring at
or before birth. It creates limitations of movement. The result can be poor coordination.
It sometimes also means problems talking and learning difficulties. Just about
everyone has something to overcome in pursuit of a goal. Sometimes it’s just fear
of failure standing in our way. Do you know someone who overcame an obstacle to
achieve his or her dreams? Interview that person, taking notes. Then compose a
short biography of your subject. What was the barrier and how was it conquered?
Behind the Scenes of Musical Theater 6
What is actually happening on stage is only one part of the production. Here are some of
the jobs that operate behind the scenes. Enjoy the show, and remember that even if you’re
not a singer, actor or dancer, there could still be a place for you in the world of theater.
The Writer is where it all begins. The writer has an
idea for a performance and writes many drafts, getting
closer and closer to putting on the page what, so far,
only exists in the imagination. But the writer has a story
to tell, so he keeps working until he gets it just right.
Then the writer
finds a Producer.
This role varies
widely. The producer
the ultimate authority,
the person who
says yes or no to
things and who has
a controlling interest
in the production.
It is usually the
that is being spent
getting things ready.
The producer hires
someone who has
experience in the
theater, someone who will take a hands-on approach to
the production, and this is the Director. The Director
reads the script, imagines the action on stage, and asks
herself, “How should the final production look?” The
director chooses all the performers.
But there are lots of other important people you don’t
see. The Choreographer designs the performers’
movements, plans the dance moves and works with the
dancers, through many rehearsals, until they are prepared
to perform the show.
Behind the dancers is, of course, music, which requires
a Musical Director. This person determines the appropriate
music and brings together the necessary musicians.
He works with the musicians, again through many
rehearsals, until everyone is ready for the performance.
In order for all this to
look its best, and often
to add drama to the
show, the performance
may require a
who determines how
the stage should be
lit -- when the lights
should be bright and
when they can dim for
effect, who to focus on,
and how to control the
mood. The goal of the
lighting director is to
control the audience’s
response to what’s
without the audience even knowing that lighting played
The ideal Costume Designer is someone who understands
the power of costumes. Clothes can tell us a lot
about a character, create interest for the audience, bring
color and excitement to the production and help tell the
Which one of these jobs is the most appealing to you? Watch the performance and look for evidence of work that
went on behind the scenes. How did the lighting and costumes add to the performance? Want to know more?
Read more about it:
Theater Magic by Cheryl Walsh Bellville
On Stage: Theater Games and Activities for Kids by Lisa Bany-Winters
Break a Leg!: The Kid’s Guide to Acting and Stagecraft by Lise Friedman & Mary Dowdle
Wo r d p l ay
The doldrums is another word for boredom. It even sounds like boredom. In
writing, it’s best to look for interesting and precise language to make your work
engaging and clear. Using a thesaurus, look up alternative words for the following.
Then write sentences using your more colorful and inspiring choices:
nice fun funny
sad good bad
It’s All in Ho w Yo u Lo o k at Th i n g s
One of the important lessons of The Phantom Tollbooth is that so much depends
on perspective, or your personal point of view. A bucket of water is a vast ocean
to an ant, Norman Juster writes.
Place an object in the center of a table and have several people draw a
picture of it from different seats around the table. The combination of
images creates a complete picture. No one view is more accurate than
Write a few paragraphs describing an experience you shared with at least
one other person. Now retell the same story from another participant’s
point of view. How did this exercise make you think about perspective?
The Science of
Milo suffers from terrible
boredom before he’s rescued
by the phantom tollbooth.
Almost everyone gets bored
once in a while. When we
do the same things over and
over in the same way, we get
bored. Our levels of boredom
depend on our perspectives.
A rainy day might be boring
for a person who likes to be
active outside, while others
might see it as an opportunity
to stay inside with a good
book. Scientists says boredom
is complicated. The ability
to pay attention and the
emotions you are experiencing
are contributing factors.
It’s not so simple as simply
having nothing to do. For
children, staying mentally
active and avoiding inactive
entertainment like television
in favor of sports and games
helps to stave off the doldrums.
Of course, boredom
also has its benefits. It can
provide an opportunity for
thought and reflection. The
next time you start to feel
boredom creeping in, consider
Milo and his adventure.
What will you do?
Th e Cr a f t o f Ad a p tat i o n
Norton Juster and Sheldon Hartnick
took a work of fiction and translated
it into another
they created a
whole new work of art. Find a work
of literature that interests you and
adapt it to another form. Turn a short
play into a poem, a poem into a short
story, a short story into a play. What
sorts of decisions do you have to
make as you compose your work?
What differences do you see in the
way writers create characters in
each of your two forms? How about
Yo u r Jo u r n e y
Milo finds himself in
a wondrous world of
places and people unlike
anything he’s ever
kind of like your very
first day at school. Try
to remember what
that day was like.
Were you scared?
Excited? Did the other kids seem
like friends or strangers? What was
your teacher like? Write a description
of everything you can remember
from that day. Then add a paragraph
covering some of the things you’ve
learned since then. Did some of
those kids become friends? Did you
discover you liked reading? Art?
History? Let your reader know
something of how far you’ve come
Ap p r e c i at i n g t h e Th i n g s
o f Ev e r y d ay Life
Milo’s boredom comes from his
inability to appreciate the world
around him. His room is full of toys
he doesn’t care about anymore.
Once in the Lands Beyond, he finds
a number of people who have also
taken the things in their lives for
granted. Sometimes we are too close
to our lives to notice what is best
about them. Spend some time
thinking about the best aspects of
your own life. What did Milo learn
about what’s most important? Write
an essay titled: Why I Want to Be Me.
A Fe w St e p s Fu r t h e r
Norman Juster created a unique world and set of characters to give readers an entertaining way to explore his
themes of the importance of thinking, perspective and appreciation for the world around us. Here are some activities
for you to take your experience with the performance a bit further.
Create your own short fantasy story in which you drive through the Phantom Tollbooth into a make believe land.
What made The Phantom Tollbooth a fantasy story? Remember to include the elements of plot: problem, key
events, suspense, and a solution. Use descriptive words and illustrate your story.
Imagine that you want to let the people of another world know about this one. Create a road map that shows
the best things about our world as if they lie beyond a phantom tollbooth.
The Whether Man, the Princess of Sweet Reason, Tock and others have names that tell you something about
them. What does your name tell about you? How was your first name chosen? Does your last name tell people
about where your family came from? Ask questions and learn more about it. Then write a brief report. Now
consider creating a name that would tell us even more about who you are, what you like and how you think.
Explain how you came up with that fantasy name.
Read More About It 9
Th e Be s t Fa n ta s y Bo o k s f o r Ki d s
Readers 12 and over
by Orson Card
One of the greatest science fiction novels ever.
by Ursula Le Guin
Well-wrought fantasy explores pacifism and violence.
Readers age 8 to 12
The Golden Compass
(His Dark Materials, Book 1)
by Philip Pullman
Violent fantasy, with elements of mystery and Dickensian
The Pit Dragons
by Jane Yolen
Jakkin, a bondservant on a distant world, steals a dragon
egg to train the hatchling to fight in the Dragon Pits.
Three books, starting with Dragon’s Blood.
by Christopher Paolini
A teen wrote this engrossing fantasy story.
by K. A. Applegate
Young teens are given the power to turn themselves into
animals in order to fight invading aliens. Rather violent,
The Dark is Rising series
by Susan Cooper
This classic fantasy is enthralling.
The Enchanted Forest Chronicles
by Patricia C. Wrede
Cimorene is one princess who knows what she wants--
and it doesn’t include sitting around doing embroidery--
so she goes to live with a group of dragons!
The Harry Potter series
by J.K. Rowling
Proves that kids really can love great books.
A Wrinkle in Time
by Madeleine L’Engle
Madeleine L’Engle’s classic story still inspires.
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
(The Chronicles of Narnia sequence, Book 1)
by C. S. Lewis
Classic fantasy story for kids.
The Indian in the Cupboard series
by Lynne Reid Banks
A fast-paced, exciting adventure series about a boy who
discovers a cabinet that can bring plastic toys to life. Five
books, starting with The Indian in the Cupboard, plus
many other books in this subgenre.
The Oz books
by L. Frank Baum, Ruth Plumly Thomson, and others
Many of these are back in print now, and they have lost
none of their excitement and appeal.
The Prydain Chronicles
by Lloyd Alexander
With its roots firmly in Celtic myth, the series concerns
the adventures of a lowly Assistant Pig-Keeper who takes
part in quests against evil and enchantment. Five books,
beginning with The Book of Three.
List compiled by Commonsense Media (www.commonsensemedia.org)
a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization
whose aim is “to provide parents with trustworthy
information to help manage their kids’ media lives.”
Coming soon to the Sandler Center 10
Th e Mag i c Tr e e Ho u s e
Tuesday, January 13, 2009 @ 10:30am
Much more than just another ‘kids’ show. Magic
Tree House: The Musical is a full scale, Broadway
style musical that students of all ages will enjoy.
Working closely with Mary Pope Osborne to
preserve the imagination-stimulating power of
the Magic Tree House books, the creators of
Magic Tree House: The Musical have developed
an enchanting blend of song, story, and stagecraft
that will keep your students on the edge of
Tr i n i t y Ir i s h Da n c e
Friday, March 13,2009 @10:30am
Considered an “American Treasure” by critics
and enthusiasts worldwide,this company of 18-25
year olds has received great critical and popular
acclaim from audiences throughout the world.
Each show shares the samepassion, flair and
precision that have made many Trinity dances
world champions of Irish Dance.
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