Morning Matinee

Morning Matinees are open to schools, youth organizations, adult learning groups, educational outings by clubs, and more. We welcome learners of all ages to our matinees and offer group discounts as well as free related resources including post-show Q&As and study guides.

For schools, these matinees help teachers meet requirements of the state's Arts Curriculum Frameworks by introducing children to live performance and serving as a springboard to the kind of critical thinking about the arts that the frameworks want every child to learn.

Interested in bringing a group? Email the public relations director or call 545-6808.


Created and directed by Ping Chong and Talvin Wilks
Produced in association with Ping Chong + Company
Rand Theater

4/14/16 Half-Price Preview at 7:30
4/16/16, 4/20/16, 4/21/16, 4/22/16 at 7:30
4/23/16 at 2:00 & at 7:30
Morning Matinee 4/15/16 at 10 (open to schools, youth organizations, adult learning groups, educational outings, etc. Study guides and post-show Q&A are free for Morning Matinee patrons.)


What would visitors from another world think if they looked at the race history of America? In Collidescope, an alien species attempts to make sense of a subject fraught with inherent misperceptions, ironies and contradictions. Collidescope, a devised piece originally created by the world-renowned Ping Chong + Company, will be re-envisioned to inject unique events from Amherst’s history into the bigger picture of race, racism, and citizenship in America, moving back and forth in time from the 1700’s to present day, to connect the dots between America’s troubled racial history and its on-going consequences.

This piece is the culmination of the Art, Legacy, and Community project, a two-year investigation into local African-American history, and uses theater as a powerful means to interrogate where we have come from and where we are going as a society. Art, Legacy & Community is supported by the UMass Department of Theater, the WEB DuBois Dept. of Afro American Studies, the Commonwealth Honors College, the President’s Creative Economy Fund, a Public Service Endowment Grant, Arts at Amherst and MOSAIC (Five College Multicultural Theater Committee).

These plays offer students students an opportunity to see live theater, which is included in the Arts Curriculum Frameworks. Collidescope offers students an opportunity to engage in discussions about local history as well as our national on-going conversation about race.

Interested in bringing a group? Email the public relations director or call 545-6808.

Post-Performance Question and Answer Session

The shows students see will spark questions, comments, and observations. To give them a chance to talk things over, we offer a 20- to 30-minute Q&A with the director, members of the cast, and other members of the production.

Immediately following each matinee.

Helps teachers encourage critical thinking and analysis about the performance students have just seen, and often gives students with an interest in higher education in the arts the chance to ask college students about their experience.

Study Guides

Our study guides are paired with our student matinees and offer a helpful overview of the production students are about to see. Guides generally include a plot synopsis and biographical information on the playwright. Other information is tailored to the needs of the production and may include historical context, an interview with the director, an overview of a theatrical genre or performance style, or important issues touched on in the play. We strongly recommend that students read the guide before seeing the show, especially if they are not reading the play in class. Study guides are posted as PDF for download about 4 weeks before the Schools Matinee performance.

Past study guides are archived in the sidebar.

Helps teachers address elements of the English and Arts Curriculum Frameworks including those related to reading comprehension, dramatic and classic literature, critical thinking, critical response, and more.


Generally — but not exclusively — timed to prepare students for an upcoming matinee, we offer students a chance to delve deeper into the world of theater. In workshops tailored to the group's needs and experience level, we talk about theater, review theater etiquette, and ask students to participate in exercises that will help them better understand the matinee production they'll be seeing. Exercises include acting games, discussions, journaling and more, as appropriate to the production, and are led by graduate and undergraduate students in the department who are involved in the production.

If a workshop is not focussed around an upcoming matinee, we speak more generally about the world of theater, teach them introductory acting techniques, and get students thinking about the many elements that go into putting on a show.

Helps teachers introduce students to the world of theater, both onstage and behind the scenes, and gives students the tools to analyze what they will see onstage in our matinees or any other productions they may see in the future.

Backstage Tour

How do we do it? Audience members often wonder about the costumes, sets, lights, and the other elements that may have gone into putting a production together. We give away our secrets on our guided backstage tour, where students get a chance to walk on stage, view the scene and costume shops, learn about the equipment we use to make the play run smoothly, and see the sets and props up close. Tours are led by production stage managers.

Immediately following each matinee, must be requested in advance.

Introduces students to technical elements of the theater.

To request any of these services or resources, or for more information, email the public relations director or call 545-6808.


This page is maintained by Department of Theater.
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