Cal Performances :: Music, Dance, Theater :: University of California Berkeley

K-12 Programs

Cal Performances believes that the arts are essential to education. We provide a vital link to artistic excellence through our K-12 programs for thousands of children per year. SchoolTime features the same artist on the main season in one hour daytime performances and customized study guides. Preview the list of 2013/14 SchoolTime performances, and find out more about Cal Performances K-12 programs: Cal Performances in the Classroom, TEMPO (Teens Empowered by Music and Performance Opportunities), and AileyCamp.


Over the past 25 years, many thousands of Bay Area schoolchildren have experienced the performing arts at weekday performances in Zellerbach Hall featuring the same outstanding performing artists featured on our main season. Teachers can integrate the arts into their core curriculum through pre-and post-performance engagement opportunities and customized study guides, making SchoolTime an essential component of a child's creative and educational experience.

All SchoolTime performances take place from 11 am to 12 noon in Zellerbach Hall on the University of California, Berkeley campus.



2013/14 SchoolTime Performances

The Intergalactic Nemesis / Book One: Target Earth
Wed, Nov 13, 11am
A science fiction comic book comes to life onstage as a vintage-style radio play/spectacle in this "live-action graphic novel" about three heroes fighting a force of alien sludge monsters set to invade Earth. Packed with pop culture references to cult favorites like Raiders of the Lost Ark and Star Wars, the production features live actors, hand-drawn comic-book artwork projected two stories high, fun retro Foley sound effects, and a live keyboard score. "Totally nuts and a ton of fun!" —Austenist
Classroom visits
Imago Theatre / Frogz!
Mon, Nov 25, 11am
Penguins in musical chairs, a cat trapped in a giant paper bag, huge frogs doing calisthenics, larger-than-life alligators taunting the audience—Frogz! is Imago Theatre's signature work of illusion, puppetry, and acrobatics. The inventive staging, clever Fellini-esque plots, breakneck physicality, and goofy creatures will captivate children and adults alike. Packed with delights, Frogz! is a "[r]are theatrical event...lively...inventive...remarkably acrobatic...mysterious...deeply satisfying...sensational...thrilling...hysterical...truly goofy, that's entertainment." —Boston Globe
Peking Acrobats
Mon, Jan 27, 11am & 1:30pm
Tue, Jan 28, 11am

The Peking Acrobats astound audiences with their extraordinary feats of balance, flexibility, and precision drawn from ancient Chinese folk traditions. Trained rigorously in China's special acrobatic schools, the performers are experts at breathtaking and gravity-defying acts such as wire-walking, trick-cycling, tumbling, juggling, and gymnastics. The acrobats are accompanied by live musicians playing traditional Chinese instruments, while exciting special theatrical effects add to the spellbinding performance.
Cal Performances in the Classroom teacher workshop on Sat, Jan 11.
Sweet Honey In The Rock
Thu, Feb 13, 11am
For the exquisite vocalists of the a cappella group Sweet Honey In The Rock, music is a humanitarian calling. The internationally embraced choir of African-American women singers and an American sign language interpreter celebrates the transcendent harmonies and driving rhythms of the African Diaspora—blues, spirituals, gospel, hip-hop, reggae, jazz—and puts these sounds at the service of a message of social justice, tolerance, and equality.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Thu, Apr 3, & Fri, Apr 4, 11am
A cornerstone of every Cal Performances season, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater simultaneously looks to the past and the future—reigniting powerful Ailey classics and inspiring a new generation with repertoire by exciting contemporary choreographers. For more than 50 years the company has ranked among America's most beloved cultural treasures, and the artistic legacy of the company's founder lives on in the brilliant ensemble of dancers who perform Revelations and other iconic works with the company's unmistakable spirit of strength, grace, and optimism.
Cal Performances in the Classroom teacher workshop on Sat, Mar 8.
Marcus Shelby Jazz Orchestra
The Legacy of Duke Ellington:
50 Years of Swing!

Tues, May 6, 11am
Bassist and bandleader Marcus Shelby, his jazz orchestra, and special guests headline this concert celebrating the legacy of America's jazz master Duke Ellington with music that spans 50 years of his career. From 1924 until his passing in 1974, Ellington was one of the world's most prolific, inventive composers. Early in his career he composed for the Cotton Club, Broadway theater productions, and dances at the Savoy Ballroom, and later he wrote tone poems, suites, film scores, ballets, sacred music, and much more.
Cal Performances in the Classroom teacher workshop on Sat, Mar 29.
For more information contact

Cal Performances in the Classroom

Cal Performances in the Classroom is a three-part arts integration program developed in 2001 by Cal Performances with the Berkeley Unified School District as a team of the National Partnerships program of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Dynamic professional development workshops for teachers, interactive classroom sessions with teaching artists, and a culminating field trip to a SchoolTime performance engage students by infusing their learning with the performing arts.

Teacher workshops take place at Longfellow Middle School, 1500 Derby Street in Berkeley, and cost $40. Classroom visits are $70 and are scheduled following workshop participation.

A 3-Part Enrichment Program

Part 1: Professional Development Workshops for Teachers
Expert teaching artists focus on integrating the performing arts into core classroom curriculum in a three-hour workshop for teachers. Participants learn creative strategies and take part in exercises they can use to engage students with the art forms, topics, and cultures of SchoolTime performances. The session includes a workbook with connections to classroom learning and performing arts standards, supplemental audio and visual materials, and a certificate of completion and/or BUSD credit (upon request).

Part 2: In-School Sessions with Teaching Artists
Teaching Artists, alongside classroom teachers, work closely with students to instill an active understanding of their art form. Students gain direct performing arts experience and insight into world cultures and history through classroom sessions in which they participate in dance, music, theater, and circus activities. (In-school sessions are subject to artist availability and are available only to teachers who complete the workshop.)

Part 3: SchoolTime Performance
Students attend a SchoolTime performance at Zellerbach Hall. Workshop resources, artist coaching and study guides are designed to deliver a heightened experience in the theater, inspire post-performance discussions, and encourage meaningful connections to classroom curriculum.



2013/14 Workshops for Teachers

Acrobatic Artistry
Sat, Jan 11, 10 am–1 pm
Subject Areas: Chinese History, social studies, Physical education

Chinese acrobats build their incredible feats on four basic skills, beginning with the handstand. Wayne Huey of Red Panda Acrobats interweaves balancing, juggling, and other acrobatic skills with the culture and history of Chinese acrobatics, the life and training of young acrobats, and the necessity of mastering discipline, concentration, and cooperation—skills that can be generalized to students everywhere.
SchoolTime Performances: Mon & Tues, Jan 27 & 28, Peking Acrobats

The Music of Revelations
Sat, Mar 8, 10 am–1 pm
Subject Areas: Dance, Music, History, Language Arts

David McCauley, Director of Berkeley/Oakland AileyCamp at Cal Performances, and conductor/musician Melanie DeMore combine their expertise to reveal how the interplay of dynamic gesture and evocative African-American spirituals capture profound feelings of the human spirit. The workshop shares choreography, history, and song for a deep understanding of the work's power and significance of Alvin Ailey's masterpiece, Revelations.
SchoolTime Performances: Thu & Fri, Apr 3 & 4, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

The American Art of Jazz
Sat, Mar 29, 10 am–1 pm
Subject Areas: Music, History, Social Studies, Language Arts

Bandleader, composer, and teaching artist Marcus shelby delves into the world of jazz, its fundamental principles and practices, and its significance in our country. Through hands-on activities, including an optional jam session (teachers are invited to bring their instruments!), participants will explore the American art of jazz with a particular focus on the music and legacy of composer and bandleader Duke Ellington.
SchoolTime Performances: Tue, May 6, Marcus Shelby Jazz Orchestra, The Legacy of Duke Ellington: 50 Years of Swing

Classroom visits in conjunction with
Intergalactic Nemesis/Book One: Target Earth
Oct & Nov, 2013
Grades 3 and up, $80

Students will explore strange new worlds in hands-on sessions that fuse found-sound Foley effects and theater using a portion of the script of Intergalactic Nemesis / Book One: Target Earth. Led by Rica Anderson, Cal Performances; Education Programs Manager and teaching artist. $80 for a 90-minute session.

And join us Nov 13 for Reaching for the Stars: Composing an Arts Rich Education, Cal Performances' Second Annual Arts Learning Forum.

For more information, contact the K-12 Education Programs Administrator at


TEMPO (Teens Empowered by Music and Performance Opportunities) is a program that provides music instruction for youth in alternative school environments. Led by Teaching Artist Melanie DeMore and Partnering with the Alameda County Office of Education and CALSafe, a program that provides essential life skills for parenting teens, TEMPO's musical foundation opens possibilities the students may not otherwise encounter. Each ten session unit includes tickets to a SchoolTime concert.

Study Guides

Customized Study Guides designed for pre- and post-performance learning prepare students for their SchoolTime field trip with engaging activities and points for classroom discussions. Study guides:

  • Encourage critical thinking and help students prepare for and reflect on their experience at the theater.
  • Provide cultural, historical and artistic context for each performance.
  • Deliver comprehensive information about the artists and the art form.
  • Connect to core curricular areas such as social studies, literature and history.
  • Offer exercises designed to support California Content Standards for Visual and Performing Arts, Reading, and Language Arts, Social Studies and World Cultures.
  • Are available one month prior to the performance via mail, PDF, and on the Cal Performances web site.
Study Guides for the 2013/14 Season will be available prior to the performances.

2013/14 Season

  • Intergalactic Nemesis
  • Imago Theatre FROGZ
  • Peking Acrobats
  • Sweet Honey in the Rock
  • Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

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    Berkeley/Oakland AileyCamp at Cal Performances is a nationally acclaimed summer program, inspired by Alvin Ailey and administered and fully funded by Cal Performances, now in its second decade on the UC Berkeley campus. Designed to develop self-esteem, discipline and critical thinking through dance instruction complemented by personal development and creative communication classes, this tuition free program for youth ages 11-14 has changed the lives of hundreds of young people. Contact AileyCamp Director David McCauley at 510.642.4630 or for more information.
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    Ticket Office: 510.642.9988

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