Open a Door to the World of Dance, Music and Theater - Make the McCallum Theatre
a Destination for your Students

With the Field Trip Series the Institute offers high quality performances in music, dance, and theatre to the youth of the region. The 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. It is our hope that educators take advantage of the Institute’s Learning Links to connect McCallum performance experiences with the core curriculum in ways that meaningfully support student learning.

Performances are offered at no cost to schools and students thanks to generous underwriting from individual donors, foundations and municipalities.

Funding for the Field Trip Series is provided in part by The H.N. & Frances C. Berger Foundation, City of Palm Desert, City of Rancho Mirage, Newman’s Own, Palm Springs Friends of Philharmonic and Variety The Children’s Charity of the Desert/Tent #66 . Click here for a complete listing of donors.

Registration begins Thursday, August 29th. Seats are reserved on a first come first served basis and attendance forms will not be accepted if received prior to August 29th.

Printable Schedule

Tomás and the Library Lady - Childsplay Theatre
Thursday, September 26, 2013, 11:30am
Friday, September 27, 2013, 9:30am & 11:30am
Recommended Grades: K - 6

Tomás loves stories! Papa Grande tells them to him todas las noches and soon Tomás knows all of them by heart. One day while his family is in Iowa picking crops, Tomás meets the Library Lady and nothing is ever the same again. Based on the true story of the Mexican-American author and educator Tomás Rivera, a child of migrant workers who became the first minority Chancellor in the University of California system, this inspirational story suggests what reading — and self-respect — can make possible.

"What a fabulous production! I love this story because I think it's just a wonderful story of our country and the opportunities people have."
- Former First Lady Laura Bush

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Learning Link

Hungarian Rhapsody - Hungarian State Folk Ensemble
Monday, September 30, 2013, 9:30am & 11am
Recommended Grades: K - 12

Regarded as one of the greatest folkloric dance ensembles in the world, The Hungarian State Folk Ensemble makes the McCallum Theatre its home for a day. Their rich and colorful repertoire includes choreographies based on authentic dances, some of them collected in isolated villages with dance elements dating back hundreds of years. The extraordinary folk music that inspired composers like Liszt and Bartók is put on stage by both the Folk Orchestra and the world-famous Gipsy Orchestra. The Ensemble has certainly achieved its goal of revitalizing the culture of the Hungarian people! As a result, they are regarded as one of the top touring groups in the world! Whether we say it in Hungarian, Csatlakozzon hozzánk a csodálatos tánc elõadás, or we say it in English, Join us for this amazing dance performance, you simply should not miss this show!

"It is marvelous- crackling with dancing that snaps like a whip in a program framed successfully by a sophisticated context."
- Anna Kisselgoff, New York Times

"It's forceful, tasteful, un-glorified presentation of ethnic expression..."
- George Jackson, Washington Post

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Learning Link

Hamlet - The Acting Company
Wednesday, October 9, 2013, 9:30am
Recommended Grades: 6 - 12

Who’s there? Nay, answer me. Stand and unfold yourself. …and so begins the play that dramatizes the revenge Prince Hamlet exacts for his father’s murder, setting him on a dark journey. Overwhelming grief and rage are vividly portrayed by this brilliant acting troop while exploring themes of danger, revenge and moral corruption. Hamlet is one of the most powerful and influential tragedies in English literature. It was one of Shakespeare’s most popular works during his lifetime and it still ranks as one of his most-performed works. Many scholars believe that Hamlet is the best of all of Shakespeare’s plays and everyone is in agreement that it is one of the most well-known and oft-quoted plays ever written! To be or not to be — at the McCallum for The Acting Company’s Hamlet — that is the question.

"The Acting Company endures as the major touring classical theater in the United States."
- New York Times

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Learning Link

Diary of a Worm, a Spider, and a Fly - Omaha Theater Company
Monday, October 28, 2013, 9:30am & 11:00am
Recommended Grades: Pre-K - 3

Let us set out on an autumn adventure to discover the secret whimsical world of insects! Who knew it was so tough to be a bug? Join a swarm of young crawlers on a musical journey to discover who they are and what makes them special. Meet worrying Worm, smart and sassy Spider, and fearless and fun Fly as they grow up and find their place in the world. Along the way, you’ll learn interesting facts about the creepy critters all around us, enjoying lots of laughs at their unusual — and sometimes rather icky — antics. So join us at the theatre to cheer on the quirky crawlers as they face problems and milestones common to us all. This hysterical musical comedy is brought to the McCallum stage by Omaha’s The Rose Performing Arts for Children and Families resident theater company. Spiders, worms, and flies, oh my!

“The show was fantastic. I was very proud to have such a high quality production part of my season. Omaha Theater Company is outstanding.”
- Linda Zaragoza, Chesapeake College

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Learning Link

The Butterfly Lovers - Shanghai Ballet
Wednesday, October 30, 2013, 11am
Recommended Grades: 7 - 12

It is spring! Flowers are blooming, birds are singing and the mountain rivers overflow as the snow melts. This imaginative description begins Act I of the first full length ballet to be presented on the McCallum stage as part of the Field Trip Series. Traveling all the way from China, the Shanghai Ballet is one of 5 ballet companies in the entire country and they have spent their 34 year existence touring the nation and the world performing in over 100 major cities. Their extensive repertoire consists of classical, modern, and folk-styled ballets, such as the one that you will experience in this performance. We’re sure that everyone will feel the intense emotions of unrequited love at the end of the story when “Suddenly, as if heaven was abiding by their wishes, Liang and Zhu are reunited and become a pair of butterflies.” The epilogue sums up their true love; “We could not marry in life. We live together in another world. Spring returns to the good earth. It is a beautiful and colorful world.”

"The costumes were dazzling... Starting off in a low-key manner, the Shanghai Ballet ... built to a crescendo of rapid-fire over-the-head lifts and tours en l'air”
- Dottie Ashley, The Post and Courier

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Learning Link

The Soul of Flamenco - Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana
Monday, November 4, 2013, 9:30am & 11:00am
Recommended Grades: 2 - 12

Flamenco Vivo believes that the universal spirit of flamenco, a multicultural art form, has the power to build bridges between cultures and inspire audiences from diverse backgrounds. They exhibit that commitment when they return to the McCallum Theatre stage for the first time since 2008! Carlota Santana and Roberto Lorca (1938-1987) founded this dance company with a mission to bring flamenco to mainstream audiences. As a result of their fiery one-of-a-kind performances, the dance company has achieved success promoting flamenco as a living art form while presenting arts education programs that catalyze connections among people of different cultures and nurturing the next generation of Spanish dance artists and flamenco fans! ¡Viva el flamenco! Flamenco Vivo!

“These dancers broke open like flames dancing along the stage...”
- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“Artistic Director Carlota Santana has been hailed as the keeper of the flame of this time-honored dance form, and (their) sizzling program demonstrated why.”
- Kansas City Star

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Learning Link

Balé Folclórico da Bahia
Wednesday, November 20, 2013, 9:30am & 11am
Recommended Grades: K - 12

The McCallum Theatre Institute is thrilled to welcome Balé Folclórico da Bahia, live from the city of Salvador in Bahia, Brazil to the McCallum stage. The only professional folk dance company in Brazil, Balé Folclórico da Bahia has achieved considerable success in its short 25-year history. The dance company has earned a prestigious reputation throughout Brazil and the world with their sold out performances! Their appearance here will be no exception! A large colorful troop of 38 dancers, musicians, and singers perform a repertory based on "Bahian" folkloric dances of African origin; including slave dances, capoeira (a form of martial arts), and samba; as well as the unique dances that celebrate Brazil’s world-renowned Carnival. In the national language of Brazil — Junte-se a nós para a emoção! Ao vivo no palco do Teatro McCallum!

“Something happened in Brazil that was like nothing else, a particularly happy meeting of the Latin sensibility’s long melodic impulse and the propulsive energy of African music. These dancers move to the heartbeat of a nation. The exuberant pulse of samba spilled over across the footlights and got the audience up and dancing in the aisles...”
- San Francisco Chronicle

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Learning Link

Hangin' with the Giants - JazzReach
Wednesday, January 8, 2014, 9:30am & 11:00am
Recommended Grades: K - 4

An old friend to the McCallum Theatre’s Field Trip Series, JazzReach returns for another round of its ebullient advocacy of the unique American art form — jazz! Don’t miss this opportunity to be hangin’ with the giants in a fun, high-energy program designed to promote the inclusiveness and accessibility of jazz while highlighting the legacies and music of some of the art form’s central contributors. Staged as a late night talk show, Hangin’ with the Giants features animated likenesses of jazz greats Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis and Thelonius Monk as show guests and offers numerous opportunities for students to interact and participate.

“The program allows students to see and hear many talents. The performances inspire imaginations and stir hearts to seek greater possibilities.”
- Michelle Ralph, Parent, River Springs Charter School

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Learning Link

Ellington! - JazzReach
Thursday, January 9, 2014, 9:30am
Recommended Grades: 3 - 12

JazzReach founder H. Benjamin Schuman will draw students into “Dukes” unique world with a lively commentary laced throughout the “Ellington!” program. The critically acclaimed resident ensemble, Metta Quintet - consisting of alto and tenor saxophones, piano, bass, and drums — will have every toe in the theatre tapping along with the music. “Jazz has the ability to enrich and elevate [students] in ways that a lot of pop music doesn’t,” Schuman suggests. These jazz emissaries are on a mission not just to entertain but to inform! Some of the many hits you’re likely to hear are It Don’t Mean a Thing, Mood Indigo, and Sophisticated Lady, so sit back and enjoy the elegant harmonies and swinging rhythms of one of the great composers of American music — Edward Kennedy Ellington.

“In my class of 25 fifth graders, only two had ever heard jazz performed live. The Jazzreach program at the McCallum provides a rich musical experience that my students would otherwise never have access to.”
- Kent Chambless, 5th Grade Teacher, Friendly Hills Elementary School

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Learning Link

Big Drum/Small World - JazzReach
Thursday, January 9, 2014, 11am
Recommended Grades: 3 - 12

Originally premiered at the McCallum Theatre in October 2009, this immersive, globally themed multi-media program continues to be a mainstay of the JazzReach repertoire! It features performances of all-original commissions by prominent, internationally recognized jazz composers hailing from countries as diverse as, West Africa, Israel, Cuba, Puerto Rico, India, and the United States. The program also features fun, short video interludes that offer biographical background on each of the project’s composers and commentary on the various ways that both the American jazz tradition and their individual cultural heritages have informed and inspired their respective artistic visions and musical sensibilities. Fasten your seatbelts everyone for this whirlwind musical trip around The World of JAZZ!

“The quality and effectiveness of the presentations by the Metta Jazz Quintet were excellent. I would recommend them to anyone.”
- Paul Carman, Associate Director of Jazz Studies, Idyllwild Arts Academy

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Learning Link

I Am Jack - Monkey Baa Theatre Company
Wednesday, January 22, 2014, 11:30am
Thursday, January 23, 2014, 9:30am & 11:30am
Recommended Grades: 2 - 8

Jack is being bullied at school and it is not long before the emotional pressure begins to build inside him. What starts as an off-the-cuff joke during a handball competition soon turns into a set of circumstances whereby Jack is no longer safe in the school yard. Traveling halfway around the world, this amazing Australian theatre company brings to our stage the true story of the author Suzanne Gervay’s son, who at the age of 11 experienced being bullied. This is not your typical anti-bullying show however because Jack is a normal, popular, fun kid! The play explores how peer pressure can grow rapidly and intensively and quickly take over. This excellent one-man tour-de-force explores the often overlooked insidious taunting and teasing that bullies are so adept at inflicting on their victims. Jack takes us on a touching and sometimes comical journey as he grows from victim to victor.

“A stimulating and valuable piece of theatre…given the importance of the subject and the care with which it has been handled…”
- Newcastle Herald

“Tim McGarry is engaging and lovable as 11-year-old Jack. His deftly timing, physicality and range of elastic, comical voices deliver a big-hearted performance that, with credit due also to the writers and director, captures the vulnerability and pathos without resorting to sentimentality.”
- Lowdown Magazine

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Learning Link

The Flying Karamazov Brothers
Monday, March 10, 2014, 9:30am & 11am
Recommended Grades: 2 - 12

Ladies and Gentlemen! Boys and Girls! Direct your attention to center stage and get ready for a wild ride! It has been too many years since the Karamazov Brothers have flown and juggled their way across the McCallum stage and now they’re back! Established in 1973, this high energy juggling comedy troop is still going strong. All of the brothers live with the belief that ultimately our lives are based on the inevitability of gravity. Each toss is a flirtation with potential failure and each time we catch, we deny that failure, if only for a little while. Art begins with a choice, an impulse that either falls or flies. But it is the possibility of screwing up that is the dark matter of creativity and generates the tension that keeps us at the edge of our seats. Your attention please — the zaniness is about to begin!

“Whether they’re tossing around tenpins or balls, they do it with such power, skill and grace that it takes on its own rhythmic elegance and beauty!”
- Daily News

“A treat for anyone with a funny bone!”
- Time Out Kids


Learning Link

Tuesday, May 13, 2014, 9:30am & 11:30am
Recommended Grades: Pre-K - 12

One of our most popular performers returns to the McCallum for the final performance of the 2013-14 Field Trip Series. This charming silent comedy follows the quirky antics of Snowflake, a childlike street character who lives on a vacant lot strewn with rubbish. Snowflake’s world is one of homelessness and abandonment but through his eyes we see the potential for beauty through transformation. Bittersweet and touching, with a fine line between the sublime and the ridiculous, this silent comedy eloquently speaks to human nature in a deeply moving way. Using the magic of illusion, Gale LaJoye floats in mid-air, breathes life into toys, creates imaginative music and dances The Nutcracker on skis. A comic descendent of Red Skeleton, Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin, LaJoye has mastered the technical tricks of the trade and skillfully combines the physical excess of slapstick with the sensitivity of mime. Hailed by critics and audiences alike as “a must-see,” LaJoye has performed Snowflake thousands of times throughout Asia, South America, Australia, Mexico, Canada and the United States.

“Gale LaJoye speaks volumes without uttering a single word. You don’t know Snowflake — you get to know him. La Joye gradually builds his identity and draws the audience in with wordless storytelling.”
- Anchorage Daily News

“Chaplin is alive and he dances on skis. His reincarnation is as the American clown Gale LaJoye…”
- The Herald, Glasgow, Scotland

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Learning Link

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’d like to attend. Coordinate your group’s attendance with other educators at your school site. Completed forms can be scanned & e-mailed, 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. It is also advised that you secure transportation prior to submitting the attendance form. Teachers/schools are responsible for arranging and paying for transportation to and from the Theatre.

Upon receipt of your Attendance Form(s), we will e-mail a confirmation to the Group’s contact person regarding the status of your request. If you do not receive a confirmation within 30 days of submitting your Attendance Form(s), please contact Michael Flannigan. Please DO NOT assume that forms have been received.

Please confirm your attendance and total number of people attending at least 7 days prior to each performance.

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 theatre etiquette with students prior to performances.

The Field Trip Series is subject to change at any time. Updates will be posted.
  The files above are in PDF format. If you do not have Acrobat Reader installed, you can get it here.
Michael Flannigan
Phone: (760) 346-6505, Ext. 143
Fax: (760) 776-6197

McCallum Theatre Institute
73000 Fred Waring Drive
Palm Desert, CA 92260

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