MSU Riley Center’s 2014/2015 educational season underway this month

The MSU Riley Center’s 2014/2015 Educational Season, which mixes fun with learning for area schoolchildren, is now underway. The season features theatrical experiences tailored for youngsters from kindergarten through high school.

Touring theater troupes from across the country will take to the MSU Riley Center stage -- including Mississippi State University’s own Theatre MSU.

“The MSU Riley Center believes that access to the arts is essential for all children and works to provide every child in our area with exceptional and ongoing arts experiences,” said Charlotte Tabereaux, education director at the MSU Riley Center in downtown Meridian.

“We choose our season of live performances for their ability to enrich the classroom curriculum. This year’s programming offers something for all students, K-12,” she said.

Hour-long school performances of each show will take place at 9:30 a.m. and noon (except for The Great Gatsby, which will have only a noon school performance). School shows are reserved for students, teachers, administrators and chaperones. Attendance is arranged in advance through the MSU Riley Center. Three of the productions will also have evening performances at the MSU Riley Center that are open to the public.

The schedule includes:

-- Oct. 28: We the People, presented by Theatreworks USA, for grades 4-8. School performances: 9:30 a.m., noon. No public performance. A musical look at the U.S. Constitution brings civics lessons to life.

-- Nov. 17: The Neverending Story, presented by Theatre MSU, for grades K-5. School performances: 9:30 a.m., noon. No public performance. In David S. Craig’s theatrical adaptation of Michael Ende’s beloved children’s novel, only one boy can save a land from being devoured by the Nothing.

-- Dec. 2: The Wright Stuff: First in Flight, presented by Theatre IV, for grades 3-8. School performances: 9:30 a.m. and noon. No public performance. Two young bicycle mechanics, Orville and Wilbur Wright, change the world as they figure out how to fly.

-- Feb. 13, 2015: The Berenstain Bears LIVE!, presented by the Brad Simon Organization, for grades pre-K-3. Student performances: 9:30 a.m., noon. Public performance: 7 p.m. The loveable bears from the children’s book series by Stan and Jan Berenstain sing and dance in a musical for the whole family.

-- March 3, 2015: The Great Gatsby, presented by Montana Repertory Theatre, for grades 6-12. School performance: noon. Public performance: 7:30 p.m. Simon Levy has adapted for the stage F. Scott Fitzgerald’s poignant story of love, longing, and loss amid the excesses of the 1920s Jazz Age.

-- May 19, 2015: Rapunzel! Rapunzel! A Very Hairy Fairy Tale, presented by Casa Mañana, for grades K-3. School performances: 9:30 a.m., noon. No public performance. This hilarious twist on the familiar fairy features a handsome knight and his hairdressing sidekick searching the kingdom for a perfect head of hair.

For additional information about the educational season, please contact Tabereaux at 601-696-2204 or

The MSU Riley Center Box Office, at 2200 Fifth Street in historic downtown Meridian, is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and one hour before show time on the day of a show. The box office may also be reached at 601-696-2200.

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