For Educators

The live theatre experience is at the heart of everything we do in Learning & Education. We strive to make that experience accessible to students of all ages and abilities, whether that means subsidizing student tickets or providing contextualized lesson plans for the classroom.

Teachers and Students tour ATC facilities

Student Matinees | Play Guides | David Ira Goldstein Artist-In-Residence Program | Teacher Preview Night



Student Matinees allow us to share the live theatre experience at low or no cost to young people throughout Arizona. Each Student Matinee performance is followed by a post-show discussion with members of the cast and ATC staff, and informative Play Guides are available for teachers to enhance their students’ understanding of each play. Classroom visits and backstage tours are other possible extras to complete the Student Matinee experience.


This new season offers you a kaleidoscope of reflections and explorations of the American experience, themes of literal and metaphorical family, and views of the world we live in. Through these six plays you’ll find countless ways to connect these stories to American History, cultural awareness, self-exploration, current events and much more. Our Study Guides, provided when you attend a matinee, will explore in more depth how you can connect each experience to your curriculum.


September 25, 2018, 10 AM
Temple of Music & Art, Tucson

October 16, 2018, 10 AM
Herberger Theater Center, Phoenix

High-powered lawyer Pablo and his wife Tania, a doctoral candidate, are working toward the American Dream. They move into a well-to-do, mostly white neighborhood in our nation’s capital. A delicate disagreement over a long-standing fence line soon spirals into an all-out, laugh-out-loud comic border dispute, exploring what is an otherwise hot-button issue through a refreshing comedic lens.

Keywords: Border-Issues, Latinx Themes, Racism, Gardening, Classicism, Privilege, the Environment, Ageism, Neighbors, Current Events 
Recommended for grades 7-12


November 6, 2018, 10 AM
Temple of Music & Art, Tucson

November 27, 2018, 10 AM
Herberger Theater Center, Phoenix

 A loving tribute to the Ohio wife and mother turned longtime Arizona resident who made herself into a national superstar as a bestselling author and syndicated journalist, who was lauded for opening up the secret world of the mother and housewife. Discover the story behind America’s beloved humorist, who championed women’s lives with wit that sprang from the most unexpected place of all – the truth.

Keywords: Motherhood, Women’s Rights Movement, Arizona, Family, Journalism, American History, 1960s-1990s 
Recommended for grades 6-12


December 11, 2018 & December 18, 2018, 10 AM
Temple of Music & Art, Tucson

January 15th & 22nd, 2019, 10 AM
Herberger Theater Center, Phoenix

The irresistible musical tribute to the power of make-believe marches onto the ATC stages – and into your heart – with trumpets blaring! By turns wicked, funny, warm, romantic, and touching, The Music Man is American musical theatre at its best.

Keywords:  Music, Classic Musical Theater, Power of Art, Family, Relationships, Midwest, Early 1900s, American History
Recommended for grades 1-12


February 5, 2019, 10 AM
Temple of Music & Art, Tucson

February 26, 2019. 10 AM
Herberger Theater Center, Phoenix

There’s a new president in the White House. Racial tensions are on the rise. But no, it’s not 2018. It’s 1969 – and the Civil Rights Movement is sending tremors through Pittsburgh’s Hill District. Two Trains Running explores a time of extraordinary change – and the ordinary people who get left behind.

Keywords: Race, Civil Rights Movement, African American Themes, American History, 1960s, Gentrification, Community 
Recommended for grades 9-12


March 26, 2019, 10 AM
Temple of Music & Art, Tucson

April 9, 2019, 10 AM
Herberger Theater Center, Phoenix

Spending her days caring for her ailing mother, Lucha yearns to break her monotonous routine. Here’s a wild idea: an all-girl mariachi band! But it’s the 1970s, and girls can’t be mariachis … or can they? A heartwarming and hilarious new comedy about music’s power to heal and connect, featuring gorgeous live mariachi music that will send your heart soaring.

Keywords: Latinx Themes, Mariachi, Music, Women’s Empowerment, Family, Southwest, Mexican Culture, Mental Illness, 1970s
Recommended for grades 1-12



May 7, 2019, 10 AM
Temple of Music & Art, Tucson

CANCELLED May 21st, 2019 10 AM
Herberger Theater Center, Phoenix

Can a parent love their children too much? Is it possible to not love them enough? These are questions that hover over Things I Know to Be True, a beautiful and painfully perceptive portrait of a family and the frictions that arise when grown-up children try to push beyond the confines of their loving parents’ expectations.

Keywords:  Family, Growing Up, Choices, Relationships, Marriage, Gender and Gender roles, Prejudice, Reconnecting, Drug abuse and Addiction
Recommended for grades 7-12

Curated Packages Tailored to Your Classroom
We want you to be able to take advantage of all that these shows have to offer. That’s why we created four curated packages specifically designed to integrate the themes presented through these plays into your classroom.

Each package comes with a free workshop for your class where we will explore the intersections between the shows in a creative and meaningful way.

The Power of Music
Explore the power of music in American Mariachi and The Music Man, two plays about different communities who find that starting a band can lead to hope, love, friendship and sense of purpose in a changing world. Through the lens of these two plays our workshop will ask the questions, what makes music so powerful? Why tell stories through song? And what does it say about society and people if two different communities can have such a similar experience?

Her Story: Women in History and Today
These three plays: Erma Bombeck: At Wit’s End, American Mariachi and Native Gardens, are full of girl power. Erma Bombeck was a pioneer journalist who wrote truthfully and honestly about motherhood and life as a woman. The young women in American Mariachi rebel against societal norms by starting an all-female mariachi band, and the main character in Native Gardens is a young passionate and spunky PhD Candidate who won’t take no for an answer.

Race, Culture and Identity
Native Gardens, American Mariachi and Two Trains Running explore issues of racial tension, prejudice, class, identity and privilege. Each play looks at a different time and place whether in American history or today political landscape. As the stories unfold, your students will be able to talk about how culture shapes who they are while also engaging with stories that explore characters who are asking themselves the same questions.

The American Family 
What does the American family look like? What did the American Dream look like in the past? What does it look like today? While all of our plays this season talk about family, these three stories told side by side, help us to visualize the kaleidoscope that is, was and can be the American family. In Things I Know to Be True, American Mariachi, and Erma Bombeck: At Wit’s End we get to witness three different family’s grapple with illness, mortality, relationships and ultimately what it means to love one another. 

Registration Form: Tucson / Temple of Music and Art

To schedule a student matinee field trip in Tucson, please email the completed registration form to Jasmine Roth, Education Associate, jroth@arizonatheatre.org

Registration Form: Phoenix / Herberger Theater Center 

To schedule a student matinee field trip in Phoenix, please email the completed registration form to cabaroa@arizonatheatre.org


These guides are created for each of our plays and are available as a free resource on our website. Play Guides cover topics relating to the play, contextual information about the period in which the play is set, and the process the play went through to reach production. For plays featured in our Student Matinee Series, Play Guides will include theatre and language arts-related lesson plans as well as discussion questions for the classroom.

Current Season:

Questions about our Play Guides?

Contact Us


Using theatre as a catalyst to inspire creativity, our Learning & Education staff and expert teaching artists travel to classrooms all over Arizona to help students unleash their own inner storyteller. The David Ira Goldstein Artist-in-Residence programming is available as a workshop, one week residency, or an immersive ongoing program tailored for your classroom.

Rate: $50/Hour – Out of Town Fees May Apply. Please contact the Learning & Education Team for more details.

Tucson: 520-884-8210 ext. 7513
Phoenix: 602-757-6289

Let ATC immerse your students in the world and language of Shakespeare by approaching his works as actors do! MyShakespeare invites students to get away from their desks to actively explore the modern themes and discover personal connections in Shakespeare’s classic plays.

Storytelling is at the heart of live theatre, but speaking in front of group can be daunting. By embracing the joy and playfulness of storytelling through improvisation and collaborative theatre activities, ATC’s MyStory program unlocks the energy and potential of each participant as they work with our teaching artists to create original performances inspired by their own unique stories.

Developed in partnership with the Tucson Museum of Art and Phoenix Art Museum, PictureTHIS combines visual art and literacy with theatrical storytelling. Student participants create original pieces of performance inspired by works of art curated by museum and ATC staff.

Bring out your inner performing artist by exploring stories and tales from around the globe. This interactive program uses puppetry, music, and imagery to navigate theatre-play while building confidence and teamwork. Imagination comes to life as students begin to weave their own tales!

Want to expose your students to a new aspect of theater or deepen their understanding of a particular discipline? We are happy to offer masterclasses in a range of topics both in theater performance and production.


Teacher Preview Night is an amazing opportunity for educators to preview a production before their school group attends the Student Matinee performance. Teacher Preview Nights are scheduled on the first preview for each show, in each city.

Educators who have already booked Student Matinee tickets will be given first priority. Each invitation must be RSVP’d by filling out the associated online form. Remaining tickets will be limited and are on a first come, first serve basis. When tickets have run out, educators can request to be added to a wait list.

Educators must meet the following requirements to receive the Teacher Preview Night invitation:
Currently teaching for an Arizona public, private, charter or homeschool group

On our email list for all education programming
Zero previous “no shows” for the last 2 Teacher Preview Nights

Email us if you would like to be added to the list!