School is about more than just academics…

One of the most important things we do at Bright Star, is help students learn how to develop healthy relationships and comabat bullying. It has been a part of our mission from the very beginning and now we are in our 20th year of presenting shows that help students learn to identify and confront bullying wherever they find it.
A school assembly with Bright Star can be the perfect way to introduce important Social -Emotional Learning topics including bullying, online safety, positive attention, cultural awareness and so much more! If it is part of your mission to help students navigate a complicated world filled with difficult relationships and emotions, then Bright Star wants to bring one of our shows to YOU!
Bright Star has a number of shows and programs that can infuse your Social-Emotional Learning and Bully Prevention programming with the power of theatre! October is national Bully Prevention month. All of Bright Star’s shows have a strong character education component, helping students make sense of the larger world, understand other cultures, and learn to navigate tricky social situations. Check out our Fall Tours below!
Everything has been so wonderful down on Friendly Acres Farm, that is, until a bullying turkey starts picking on the other farm animals and making life harder for everyone. Farmer Jim and his faithful dog must stop this bullying bird to save Friendly Acres.
The woods are scary enough without having to worry about a big bully howling in the shadows! Follow Little Red and meet her friends – the three little pigs, the Gingerbread Man, and more – as they learn to face their fears and stand up to the Big Bully Wolf! Learn to identify, report and resist bullying and develop healthy friendships as we follow Little Red on her journey to grandma’s house. Funny, dramatic, and highly entertaining!
One of the first true classics of American literature, this is an authentic retelling of Washington Irving’s story of Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman! When Ichabod Crane takes a new job as schoolmaster of Sleepy Hollow, he was expecting to have a simple life, but things get complicated very quickly! This tale is just spooky enough to delight any audience as the days get shorter, the air gets colder, and the nights turn long and dark. A perfect introduction to this literary classic.
The Lady of Bullyburg is our longest running bully prevention production because it has been heralded by educators and librarians for its power to change lives through lessons of friendship and kindness. Join Lady Kindness as she saves her town from a visiting bully while learning a variety of empowering tools along the way. A fairy tale that helps young audiences learn that a world built on kindness is not just a fantasy!
In a world where technology and society are changing at the speed of light, our hero, Maximus Mars, stands ready to challenge bullies wherever they may be found – in real life, online, or out of this world! Maximus Mars: An Intergalactic Bully Prevention Adventure stretches the imagination while exploring the challenges that students in middle grades face in the modern world – cyberbullying, electronic media, texting and more. Students need practical strategies for dealing with today’s pressures and Maximus Mars addresses those challenges in a direct and creative way.
No one tells a story quite like the Great Edgar Allan Poe! In A Tell-Tale Tale these spooky and clever stories and poems come to life before your very eyes. With a mastery of language that few can match, Edgar Allan Poe’s stories and poems are as impactful today as they were in the 19th century when they were written. This show blends rich language with expert storytelling to produce a rich language arts experience for middle grades. Stories include “The Tell-Tale Heart,” “The Raven,” “The Bells” and more!
Captain Friendship is our super fun, super impactful, superhero themed bully prevention circus adventure! There’s trouble under the big top as the Bully Bandit has struck fear in the hearts of all the performers. It’s up to one superhero to stand up and make a difference – Captain Friendship! Audiences learn to stand up to the Bully Bandit and find that kindness is the ultimate super-power!
Dr. Frank N. Stein is one of the world’s most famous scientists. Along with his trusty assistant, Igor, Dr. Stein has created some of the world’s most amazing inventions! But those inventions would be nothing without YOUR imagination. It will take Science, Technology, Engineering and Math to make his latest masterpiece come to life! This show helps students learn why STEM subjects are so important to the modern world while opening up an exciting world of STEM discovery. Back by popular demand, see why audiences made this our most popular STEM show ever!
A series of fun and informative vignettes, Friend Request explores the good and bad parts of social media and online culture. Technology can be great, but it also comes with some serious temptations and pitfalls. This quirky show gives your audience practical ways to address issues like cyberbullying, online safety, and understanding how to have positive relationships with friends both online and in real life.

Celebrate Diversity with Bright Star!

Bring awareness to your classroom with one of our newest productions for this season, Dreaming of America! The American story is the story of people who dreamed of a new home, one of migrants and immigrants who faced tremendous difficulty along the way. Share these incredible stories with your students by bringing in a Bright Star Assembly this fall!

Bright Star and Virginia PTA Meet in Richmond

We’re pleased to announce that, for the first time ever, we will be attending the Virginia PTA  Leadership Training and Annual Conference.  In fact, I’ll be packing up my vehicle and preparing for tomorrow’s trip as soon as this blog is complete! The 2016 Conference will be held at the Richmond Marriott Downtown and will take place July 14th through the 16th.

For several years, Bright Star has had a great relationship with Virginia schools, visiting the state dozens of times each year and often returning to the same schools year after year. In fact, yesterday I had an opportunity to talk with one of our PTA sponsors in Northern Virginia who has booked us every year since I started working with Bright Star four years ago. They will be bringing us back this year for one of our Black History Programs.  It is always such a pleasure to have a continuing relationship with PTA members who are seeking great programs for their local schools.

I hope to meet many more wonderful PTA members at this week’s conference and find more great schools that we can visit year after year!  If you will be attending the Virginia PTA Conference this week, please stop by and see me at Booth 49.  I’ll be there with lots of great information about all of our 2016-2017 shows which include Anti-bullying Adventures, Science Shows, Black History Programs, Literary Classics, Holiday Celebrations and more (even a show that I am incredibly excited about which covers the founding of the U.S. and how elections work–with a game show format)!

Richmond, Virginia here I come!

Erin Schmidt, Director of Development

Time to Find the Perfect School Assembly

This is an exciting time of year at Bright Star.  We’re gearing up for our 2016-2017 season of professional, touring productions and this year we have 50 amazing plays to plan for, including 7 brand new shows: Alice in WonderlandBullysaurus RexOne Noble NightUSA to Z Holiday Songs: Music Around the WorldBuilding Stories and Gus Goes Green: A STEM Adventure! That’s a lot of costumes, props and sets!  We cannot wait to finish up our T-Rex Costume, our Cheshire cat and our Patriotic Prizes for USA to Z, which is a game-show-themed program about our government and elections (just in time for the big election in 2016)!

With the school year wrapping up, administrators and teachers have a chance to plan their assemblies for the following year. This means that we have a chance to reconnect with some of our favorite sponsors from all across the country–and beyond. Just today, we’ve had the joyful opportunity of speaking with school sponsors in North and South Carolina, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Tennessee and even Germany! There have been many smiles and great conversations about which of our 45-minute plays will best suit their school’s needs. Some of the sponsors we’ve spoken to today have been choosing Bright Star shows every year for several years and we’ve received so much positive feedback about the quality of our performances and how their students excitedly await another visit from Bright Star actors. Some have even been taking advantage of our special rate for bringing in 4 different assemblies throughout the year for $2500 ($625 per assembly). It is truly a joy to help schools find the perfect program for every occasion; whether it’s an anti-bullying show to kick off the school year, a holiday celebration, a Black History program, a literary classic or a STEM show.

We look forward to hearing from even more of our loyal sponsors and, of course, from schools who are bringing in their first Bright Star play. It’s going to be another great year of bringing professional theatre to young audiences everywhere!

Erin Schmidt, Director of Development

Touring Our National Parks with an Original Script

Since February of this year, Bright Star has been lucky enough to tour the Midwest Region’s National Parks with an original play specially designed to celebrate the National Park Service Centennial and the Black Experience in America’s Heartland. With Lift Every Voice: The Black Experience in the Heartland, you will watch the pages of history come to life with interactive scenes staring many Black Americans who helped make a difference.  You will meet famous leaders, groundbreakers, and heroes all while learning about the many great National Parks! “My favorite part about writing this play was all the rich American history that lay within the Midwest that I got to uncover with my research. The National Park Service was definitely our greatest resource. I got the pleasure of learning about amazing Americans like Col. Charles Young and Bass Reeves for the first time, but I also got to brush up on my knowledge of people like George Washington Carver and the Little Rock Nine. It’s so important to realize where we are now as Americans thanks to these brave groundbreakers!” says lead writer David Ostergaard.

We have performed at parks from Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site in Arkansas to Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota, from the Homestead National Monument in Nebraska to Brown V. Board of Education National Historic Site in Kansas.

This week is a very exciting week because Bright Star is performing for the Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument in Ohio and later we will be traveling to River Raisin National Battlefield Park and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Michigan and Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore in Indiana. With the Centennial quickly approaching on August 25, 2016, Bright Star will be visiting the Midwest’s National Parks 24 times, sharing these amazing stories and important history with thousands of audience members!

Watch our Lift Every Voice video clip!

Elect USA to Z for Your Next School Assembly

Our newest original 45-minute production was created just in time for the 2016 election year. USA to Z is best suited for grades 3rd through 8th. The production covers a variety of lessons within American government and civics, including the three branches of the government, The Constitution and The Declaration of Independence. Later, the production delves into caucuses, delegates, the electoral college, swing votes and more! The play navigates the sometimes challenging system using clever scene-work, light-hearted comedy, and a very exciting game show element which encourages audiences to recall the details of what they have learned. Guiding this fantastic journey through the American political process are two patriotic hosts, Lady Liberty and Uncle Sam. David Ostergaard, the Founder of Bright Star, says he hopes the humor of the show will help audiences stay engaged, “We wanted to make this show as fun and interactive as possible.  We hope audiences will leave feeling good about their role as a citizen of the United States.” So what do ya say? Wanna play USA to Z?

Booking your Summer Reading theme?

If you’re a library looking to book a show that goes right along with the summer reading theme, look no further! The Greatest: Sports Heroes A to Z is ready to visit you in your library. This energizing show celebrates some of the greatest sports heroes of all time and is guaranteed to leave your summer groups cheering for more. The best part? It has dates open to visit you this summer from May to August!