Broaden the horizons of your classroom. Experience the vibrant world of the arts at
the McCallum!

With its Field Trip Series, the McCallum Theatre Institute invites teachers and students to experience high-quality dance, music, and theater. These performances lend themselves to investigation and provide students with an opportunity to befriend the live performing arts and the world of cultural affairs. Consider this series a standing invitation to utilize a performance as a non-print text* for study in order to increase student engagement and enrich learning experiences. How can attending a field trip performance shape students’ ideas and understanding of the world and their place in it? The Learning Links make it simple for teachers and parents to connect performance experiences with the core curriculum in ways that meaningfully support student learning across the curriculum. The Field Trip Series is based on the premise that the arts are important and necessary to the learning process and provide students with unique possibilities for growth and development.

*Non-print text: any medium/text that creates meaning through sound or images or both, such as symbols, words, songs, speeches, pictures, and illustrations not in traditional print form; including those seen on computers, films, and in the environment.

Performances are offered at no cost to you, thanks to generous donors who underwrite the cost of each performance. 

Funding for the Field Trip Series is provided in part by The Coeta and Donald Barker Foundation, The Gannett Foundation, Newman’s Own, Palm Springs Friends of the Philharmonic, and U.S. Trust - Bank of America. Click here for a complete listing of donors.

Registration for the 2014-15 Field Trip Series begins Monday, August 25, 2014. Seats are reserved on a first come first served basis and attendance forms will not be accepted if received prior to August 25th.

Printable Schedule

The National Acrobats of the People’s Republic of China
Tuesday, September 23, 2014, 9:30am & 11:00am
Recommended Grades: K – 12

There's something distinct and quite set apart in the experience of watching someone – be it pianist or prize fighter – operating at the pinnacle of achievement.  You know you are in the presence of something out of the ordinary.  Among the many qualities on parade are control, focus, a thorough knowledge of the art, and the ability to imagine what comes next.  These qualities – and more! – pour forth in the National Acrobats of the People's Republic of China's performance.  Whether the athletes (or are they artists, or both?) dive and flip through giant hoops, lie on their backs juggling and then tossing benches from one pair of feet to another, or stack up fifteen bodies to a bicycle – there is a skill level throughout which modestly yet firmly asserts itself as world-class. Read more

“We cannot stop talking about the show because it was amazing. I loved every detail.
- Michael, Bella Vista Elementary School

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You can view a video trailer of the performance at -

Frogz, Imago Theatre
Tuesday, October 14, 2014, 9:30am & 11:00am
Wednesday, October 15, 2014, 9:30am & 11:00am
Recommended Grades: K – 12

What if rear ends were faces and arms were legs?  What if the laws of gravity were repealed?  Wouldn’t you begin to question everything you saw?  Get ready for FROGZ. In this most popular of Imago Theatre’s productions, a troupe of seven highly skilled athletes fill our eyes with sights we never quite saw before.  Sometimes monkeys, sometimes larvae, and yes sometimes frogs, they recreate animal movement with a dexterity, suppleness, and strength which, in the words of master teacher of mime Etienne Decroux, lies “outside, or rather beyond, all instinct” and which requires terrific discipline.  They also make us laugh.  These are talented comedic performers who believe that laughter – the kind that bubbles up from deep down – can be “reawakening” and “life altering”.  Laughter is the message, and mime, movement and masks are the media. Read more

"…funky, improvised, fun, crazy, cool, loud or soft, high or low, express yourself!"
- James, Homeschool

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The Adventures of Robin Hood, Visible Fictions
Monday, November 3, 2014, 11:30am
Tuesday, November 4, 2014, 9:30am & 11:45am
Recommended Grades: 2 – 12

How do you tell a story so that it holds – genuinely holds – the attention of (and excites) both kids and adults? If anyone should know, it's Visible Fictions – the acting troupe from Glasgow, Scotland, whose theatrical riff on Jason and the Argonauts has held McCallum audiences in thrall for over three seasons! This new play was co-commissioned by Visible Fictions and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and was first presented at the Kennedy Center during the 2013-14 season. Everyone will recall the first time they heard this classic legend based on the exploits of this actual medieval outlaw – or in any case based on the ballads and tales circulating about him. Read more

"Thank you, McCallum Theatre for having us. The play was awesome. What I liked most was the (scenery comprised of) boxes. It was cool how you just turned a box and you were in a different place."
- Christian, Appleby Elementary School

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Royal Ballet of Cambodia
Wednesday, November 12, 2014, 9:30am & 11:30am
Recommended Grades: 5 – 12

Renowned for its graceful hand gestures and stunning costumes, the Royal Ballet of Cambodia, foremost exponent of the style also known as Khmer classical dance, has been closely associated with the Khmer court for over one thousand years. Infused with a sacred symbolic role, the dance embodies the traditional values of refinement, respect and spirituality. Its repertory perpetuates the legends associated with the origins of the Khmer people. A live orchestra accompanies the dance, and a female chorus provides a running commentary on the plot, highlighting the emotions mimed by the dancers, who were considered the kings’ messengers to the gods and to the ancestors. Read more

“I never thought a ballet could be so much fun and tell a story…I was surprised that I could watch a ballet and through the dancers’ moves, be able to understand what they wanted to say without any words. I had a feeling of sadness, happiness and love.”
- Amanda, Palm Desert Charter Middle School

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Presented through the generosity of Frank & Mary Ann Xavier

The Tempest, Aquila Theatre
Tuesday, November 18, 2014, 10:00am
Recommended Grades: 7 – 12

The king of Naples, returning from his daughter’s wedding in Tunis, is shipwrecked in a huge storm. The wedding party including his son, Ferdinand, his brother Sebastian, and Antonio, the Duke of Milan, is cast into the raging sea. Looking on from an island are Prospero, the former Duke of Milan, and his fifteen year-old daughter, Miranda. He reveals to her that his brother Antonio, struggling in the waves, had usurped his position twelve years earlier. Have you ever seen a play by Shakespeare? If so, you know the language can make great demands on the viewer's attention. The order of words and the words themselves often threaten to swamp our understanding of what's being said. Happily, Aquila Theatre devotes itself to acting which is powerful and clear. The theater company makes a conscious choice of sparse setting and simplicity of prop and costume, lending this production an engaging, even riveting, potency. Read more

"This experience has helped me to see what acting truly is. I’ve gained knowledge on how to improve my own acting skills. I greatly appreciate that I was given this opportunity."
- Julie, Shadow Hills High School

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Listen to a brief audio clip introducing Aquila Theatre’s production of The Tempest here.

Certified Lunatic and Master of the Impossible, Tomáš Kubínek
Wednesday, January 21, 2015, 11:00am
Thursday, January 22, 2015, 9:30am & 11:00am
Recommended Grades: K – 12

Remember the first time you saw someone do a backward somersault while whistling, drinking a glass of water balanced on his forehead, and plucking the strings of a ukulele? The first time is the one you always remember, isn’t it? Even so, Tomáš Kubínek, born Czech, raised Canadian, manages to make this standard feat fresh and exciting. And to add a touch of sobriety to the proceedings, he whirls above the McCallum Theatre stage, dangling from a bungee cord, looking like Mozart with bat wings! One note on theater etiquette: audiences have been heard to laugh occasionally during Mr. Kubínek's performance. Since he does not seem unduly disturbed by this phenomenon, the usual restrictions against merriment in the theater will be temporarily lifted for this performance. Read more

"It was my favorite because it was cool. It was like magic. I had fun."
- Julianna, Cielo Vista Charter Elementary School

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Brothers on the Battlefield, The Rodney Marsalis Philadelphia Big Brass
Tuesday, February 17, 2015, 9:30am & 11:00am
Recommended Grades: 2 – 12

This concert program was created to recognize the 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War and will include music as well as an historical narrative. The performance spans music from pre-civil war days to the civil rights movement and includes well known melodies ranging from John Phillips Sousa and Francis Johnson to Elvis, The Beatles, and Earth, Wind & Fire. The Rodney Marsalis Philadelphia Big Brass is widely considered one of the world’s leading brass ensembles. A group that always reflects the diverse makeup of men and women in the American culture, RMPBB is a veritable “dream team” of virtuoso brass players. Members of the ensemble have appeared on the world’s most prominent stages individually and as members of this amazing brass ensemble. RMPBB is dedicated to the notion that music is a gift to be enjoyed by everyone. The group is especially dedicated to reaching out to the world’s youth and inspiring them to reach for their dreams. Read more

"Today our class went to the McCallum for a music show. The music made my body shake. I was so proud and enjoyed it!"
- Dulse, Sunny Sands Elementary School

"No one plays absolutely beautifully all the time...unless you're my cousin, Rodney Marsalis."
- Wynton Marsalis

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The Pianist of Willesden Lane, Mona Golabek
Thursday, February 26, 2015, 10:00am
Recommended Grades: 6 – 12

Set in Vienna in 1938 and in London during the Blitzkrieg, The Pianist of Willesden Lane tells the true story of Lisa Jura, a young Jewish musician whose dreams are interrupted by the Nazi regime. In this poignant show, virtuoso Mona Golabek performs some of the world’s most beautiful piano music as she shares her mother’s riveting story of survival. Based on the book The Children of Willesden Lane by Mona Golabek and Lee Cohen, the performance is infused with hope and invokes the life-affirming power of music. Read more

"Thank you for letting our school visit! The play was awesome! Thanks for paying for us, so that we could see this wonderful play. One day I am going to take my kids to the McCallum Theatre!"
- Rodriguez, Vista del Monte Elementary School

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Adventure Songs, The Okee Dokee Brothers
Thursday, April 23, 2015, 9:30am & 11:00am
Recommended Grades: K – 12

Adventure Songs is a musical performance of The Okee Dokee Brothers rooted in their childhood imaginations. Justin Lansing and Joe Mailander have been exploring the outdoors together since they were kids. Their extended canoe trip down the Mississippi River inspired their Grammy Award winning recording Can You Canoe? And their trek along the Appalachian Trail is the subject of their release, Through the Woods. With songs written by campfire and harmonies born on the water, the natural world is at the heart of their Americana folk music. This show makes room for kids to dance, for parents to share stories, and for everyone to gain respect for nature, each other, and the world we live in. Read more

"I didn’t like the performance, I loved it! The performers were great. [They] were very talented. They were amazing. I would like to thank you for letting our classes go because we all loved the performance!"
- Guadalupe, Agua Caliente Elementary School

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To reserve seats for a performance, you must use the Attendance Form. Please print this form and use a separate form for each performance that you would like to attend. Completed forms can be scanned & emailed, faxed or mailed to Michael Flannigan (contact information listed below under the heading Booking Information).

Seating is arranged on a first-come, first-served basis. We recommend that you make your reservations early as we cannot guarantee availability and the majority of the performances fill to capacity quickly. It is also advised that you secure transportation as soon as possible because individual groups are responsible for coordinating and paying for their own transportation to and from the theater.

Shortly after receipt of your Attendance Form(s), we will email a confirmation, to the person listed on the form as the ‘contact’, regarding the status of the request. The group contact will either receive a confirmation email that we can accommodate your request or notification that your group has been placed on the wait-list. If you do not receive an email notifying you of the status of your request, please contact Michael Flannigan.

[Be sure to add to your safe senders list, so that these important field trip notifications are not filtered into your spam/junk folder.]

Tickets are not issued for FTS performances. Upon arrival at the McCallum Theatre, your group will be seated in a pre-determined section by the McCallum Theatre usher staff.

We strongly suggest a review of proper theater etiquette with students prior to the performance, so that everyone may have an enjoyable experience.

The Field Trip Series is subject to change at any time and any changes will be promptly posted on this website.

  The files above are in PDF format. If you do not have Acrobat Reader installed, you can get it here.
Michael Flannigan
Education Program Coordinator
Field Trip Series and Touring
Phone: (760) 346-6505, Ext. 143
Fax: (760) 776-6197

[Be sure to add this email address to your safe senders list, so that these important field trip notifications are not filtered into your spam/junk folder.]

McCallum Theatre Institute
2014-15 Field Trip Series
73000 Fred Waring Drive
Palm Desert, CA 92260

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