Virginia Rep, one of the largest professional theaters in Virginia, brings its national tour of The Adventures of Pinocchio to Highlands County on Monday, Oct. 30, for two performances–at 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., at the Alan Jay Wildstein Center for the Performing Arts, South Florida State College, Highlands Campus, Avon Park. The performance is recommended for children in grades kindergarten through fourth.  Tickets are $4 each and complimentary tickets for chaperones are available with every 10 tickets purchased.     

Based on the novel by Carlo Collodi, one of the most loved children’s tales around the world, the musical follows the mischievous wooden puppet as he learns valuable lessons that lead him back home to Geppeto. This fun show for young people teaches lessons about honesty and self-esteem. A free study guide helps teachers and parents incorporate the show into classroom curriculum.

Huck and Tom and the Mighty Mississippi tells the story of America’s greatest young adventurers in this foot-stomping musical based on the novels by Mark Twain. Recommended for students in grades three to five, the production is scheduled for March 28 with performances at 9:30 am and 11:30 am. 

Huck and Tom and the Mighty Mississippi introduces the audience to the characters, setting, humor, and humanity of Mark Twain’s most famous novels, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Selected scenes from the novels form the basis of the musical play and introduces students to some of the most legendary adventures and characters in all of American literature.  Huck, Tom, Jim, Becky Thatcher, Aunt Polly, and all the residents and rapscallions of Hannibal, Mo. explore the majestic river that defined their lives, tested their souls, and carried their spirit into the heart of America.  Curriculum subjects covered are language arts, history, art, multiculturalism, and music.     

Based on the award-winning book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, The Gruffalo, scheduled for May 8 at 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., is a classic fantasy story captures the imagination of young children as it takes them on a journey with mouse as he strolls through the wood and meets the beast himself, the Gruffalo. Performed by Tall Stories, a professional theatrical production company based in London, this performance has toured throughout Great Britain and the United States.  Filled with songs and laughs, The Gruffalo is recommended for children ages 4 and up. 

“We encourage homeschoolers to attend any of our presentations,” said Cindy Garren, SFSC director, Cultural Programs. “Reservations are highly encouraged because some shows do sell out.” For more information or to make a reservation, contact Mitzi Farmer at 863-784-7284.

The Alan Jay Wildstein Center for the Performing Arts is a 1,460-seat venue at SFSC’s Highlands Campus in Avon Park. Since 1998, SFSC has presented professional touring theatricals for school groups.  SFSC also provides complimentary tickets to students for all Jazz Series performances. Free student tickets are available at the SFSC Box Office the night of the show.