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School Matinees

Outside the Mondavi Center with a group of kids and school buses lined up during the daytime

2023-24 Season School Matinees

From Native American dance to circus performance, there’s something new to learn for students of all ages. There will be five in-person school matinees, running between October 2023 and April 2024.

How To Buy Tickets

We’ve made a change to simplify and streamline the purchasing process and no longer accept mailed forms. Please fill out the new online request form and you will be contacted to arrange payment.

Tickets are $11 for students, $15 for adults (1 adult for each 10 students required)


If the performance you wish to request is sold out, please join our waitlist:

Wait List Form

Purchasing questions? Contact Group Sales Coordinator at 530.754.4658 or email us


Five circus performers ride a bicycle around a stage

Cirque Mechanics:
Zephyr – A Whirlwind of Circus

Sold Out

Monday, October 16, 2023 • 11:00am

Location: Jackson Hall
Recommended Grades: K-12
Length: 60 minutes

An emotive and exhilarating tale about the choices humans have made regarding our planet and its resources. In Zephyr – A Whirlwind of Circus by Cirque Mechanics, audiences witness the unrelenting tug of war between man and nature, in the name of progress.

Humans have been harnessing the power of the wind for thousands of years which inspired the creative team at Cirque Mechanics to create Zephyr, a theatrical circus show that harnesses human power, instead of wind, to generate an energetic acrobatic experience.

Artist Website

Study Guide


Frankenstein looks up at two electrical wires while a lightning bolt shoots behind

Frankenstein: Manual Cinema

Monday, October 30, 2023 • 11:00am

Location: Jackson Hall
Recommended Grades: 7-12
Length: 65 minutes

Love, loss, and creation merge in unexpected ways as Manual Cinema presents its thrilling version of the classic Gothic tale Frankenstein. By imaginatively combines shadow puppetry, cinematic techniques, sound effects, and live music in haunting shows, Manual Cinema stitches together the classic tale of Frankenstein with the biography of the original novel’s author, Mary Shelley, to create an unexpected story about the beauty and horror of creation. The real-life and fictional narratives of Shelley, Victor Frankenstein, and Frankenstein’s monster expose how family, community, and education shape personhood – or destroy it by their absence.

Artist Website

Study Guide

Light streaks form the shape of a dinosaur

Dino-Light: Lightwire Theater

Limited Availability

Monday, January 29, 2024 • 11:00am

Location: Jackson Hall
Recommended Grades: 2-8
Length: 60 minutes

An original story that captivates audiences young and old, Dino-Light features a scientist that brings a friendly dinosaur to life. When the dinosaur wanders away from home, he discovers a wonderful world of creatures that light up the darkness and help him find the true meaning of love. This glow-in-the-dark adventure (a recipient of the Jim Henson Foundation Grant) is visually stunning, and praised for its blend of puppetry, technology and dance.

Artist Website

Study Guide

Image of words take wing author wearing red

Words Take Wing

Limited Availability

Tuesday, February 27, 2024 • 11:00am

Location: Jackson Hall
Recommended Grades: 3-8
Length: 60 minutes

An interactive presentation by author Thanhhà Lại, a Newbery Honor Book winner for her first book ‘Inside Out and Back Again’ (2011). The book provided a compelling glimpse into what people confronted during the devastation of war and how they were able to not only survive but also ultimately adjust and thrive in a new country. Lai’s writing style, self-described as prose poems, allows the reader to witness poignant moments while gaining understanding about a rich, vital, and historical culture. Her highly anticipated sequel to ‘Inside Out and Back Again’, ‘When Clouds Touch Us’ (2023) joins her incredible collection of novels and her picture book, ‘Hundred Years of Happiness’ (2022).

Artist Website

Words Take Wing Website

Study Guide

American Indian Dance dancer

Sewam American Indian Dance

Sold Out

Wednesday, April 24, 2024 • 11:00am

Location: Jackson Hall
Recommended Grades: K-8
Length: 60 minutes

Sewam Dance shares the art, culture & beauty of American Indian people hoping to enrich audiences’ understanding of American Indian cultural traditions. Their performances share cultural histories, dances & songs so viewers can come to understand their meanings and participate in building awareness and connections across diverse communities. This program is shared with the intention of creating a first step in building awareness and connections to the rich, beautiful & diverse lifeways of indigenous peoples around the world.

Artist Website

Study Guide

Outside the Mondavi Center with a group of people and school buses lined up during the daytime

California Arts Standards

The California Arts Standards provide guidance toward a common goal: for all California students to fully participate in a rich and well-rounded arts education. The standards are based on the artistic processes of creating; performing/producing/presenting; responding; and connecting. Our school matinees correspond to responding and connecting:

  • Responding—Anchor Standard 7: Perceive and Analyze Artistic Work; Standard 8: Interpret Intent and Meaning in Artistic Work; Anchor Standard 9: Apply Criteria to Evaluate Artistic Work

  • Connecting—Anchor Standard 10: Synthesize and Relate Knowledge and Personal Experiences to Make Art; Anchor Standard 11: Relate Artistic Ideas and Works with Societal, Cultural, and Historical Context to Deepen Understanding

Common Core Standards

Common Core broadens the definition of a “text,” viewing performance as a form of text, so students are experiencing and interacting with a text when they attend a performance. Seeing live performance provides rich opportunities to write reflections, narratives, arguments etc.


What Students Can Expect

A theatre is a charged space, full of energy and anticipation. When the house lights (the lights that illuminate the audience seating) go down, the excitement level goes up!

By watching attentively, the audience shows respect for the performers. Audience members may feel like laughing if the action on stage is funny, crying if the action is sad, or sighing if something is seen or heard that is beautiful. Sometimes the audience will clap during a performance, as after a featured solo.

Applause is the best way for audience members to share their enthusiasm and to show their appreciation for the performers. Applaud at the end of a performance!

Please note that food and drinks are not permitted in the theatre during a performance.

Contact Us

Ruth Rosenberg
Director of Arts Education and Artist Engagement

School Matinee Ticket questions:

Madi Miguel
Group Sales Coordinator

Other School Matinee questions:

Jennifer Mast
Business Services and Arts Education Coordinator

Thank you to our Arts Education Sponsors

John and Eunice Davidson Fund Logo

California Arts Council Logo

School of Education Logo

Les and Mary Stephens Dewall

MC Friends K-12 Arts Education Fund