THE PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH - Sandler Center for the Performing Arts

THE PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH - Sandler Center for the Performing Arts

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

of others:

• 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

the show.

• 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

to rhyme

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

and Grammys.

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

in Massachusetts,

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

is generally

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

producer’s money

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

Lighting Designer

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

happening onstage

without the audience even knowing that lighting played

a role.

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

Activities 7

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?


Scientific American

Projects 8

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

form, the



the essential


plot and

themes of

The Phantom


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

plot? Theme?

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

encountered. That’s

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

since then.

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

BooksEnder’s Game

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,

but exciting.

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 (

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

their seats.

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.

Student education GUIDES Team

Megan DiPaolo

Education Director

Kimberly Schuette

Education Assistant

Lisa Hartz

Research and Writing

Lisa Dagley

Page Design and Layout

Photocopying and duplicating for educational purposes only. Student Education Guides. All rights reserved. ©2008

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