Emerald City to Live Stream MAGIC TREE HO– USE to 60,000 CPS Students

Emerald City to Live Stream MAGIC TREE HO– USE to 60,000 CPS Students

Pictured: Emerald City Board members David May and Heike Spahn, CPS CEO Forrest Claypool, Emerald City Artistic Associate Jamal Howard and Managing Director Gillian Gorra, Bateman Elementary Music Teacher Samantha Soto and Principal Georgia Davos-Vetas pose with 2nd graders as they receive a free Magic Tree House book. Photo by Megan Hersman.

Emerald City Theatre has announced the revival of a partnership with author Mary Pope Osborne and her Ms. Osborne’s Classroom Adventures Program. This latest partnership, with support from KPMG’s Family for Literacy, will provide an opportunity for over 60,000 Chicago Public Schools 2nd and 3rd-grade students to receive a free viewing of “Magic Tree House: Showtime with Shakespeare” and a free companion Magic Tree House book.

The Emerald City production of “Showtime with Shakespeare” will stream live on February 9th, 2018 from the stage at Apollo Theater (2540 N Lincoln Ave). Mary Pope Osborne and playwright Will Osborne will be in attendance for the event allowing students the opportunity to meet them.

“Emerald City Theatre is honored to work with Mary Pope Osborne and CPS to help inspire reading improvement, provide low-resourced schools access to the arts, and expose them to an inside look at a creative process,” comments Emerald City’s Executive Director Karen Cardarelli.

“Magic Tree House: Showtime with Shakespeare” features Jack & Annie, the protagonists of the 56-book New York Times best-selling series, traveling to Shakespearean England to help save a troubled production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” The play is based on Magic Tree House #25: “Stage Fright on a Summer Night.” The script and lyrics were written by Jenny Laird and Will Osborne with music and additional lyrics by Randy Courts.

“We are thrilled to provide books and inspire readership in over 60,000 Chicago children. In expanding our partnership with Emerald City Theatre, Random House Children’s Books, and KPMG, we’re able to get books directly into the hands of students and teachers in Chicago Public Schools and bring the theater directly into their classrooms with the live stream event. What a wonderful way to motivate young readers to learn more about the creative process,” says Mary Pope Osborne.

This marks the second time that Osborne, KPMG’s Family for Literacy, and Emerald City Theatre have teamed up to bring the Magic Tree House stories into CPS classrooms to foster literacy and arts education. A previous live stream event took place on March 18, 2016 and showcased “Magic Tree House: A Night in New Orleans,” a jazz musical based on Magic Tree House #42: “A Good Night for Ghosts.” That partnership also included a gift of 30,000 books to all CPS second graders.

CPS teachers may register their second and third-grade classrooms to receive books and participate in the live stream event online at EmeraldCityTheatre.com. Also provided will be an original study guide written by ECT Education staff that helps integrate the “Magic Tree House: Showtime with Shakespeare” performance and book into Common Core standards, as well as a behind-the-scenes video that will walk students through the creation of the play. Additional lesson plans for the Stage Fright book, and all other Magic Tree House fiction books and nonfiction Fact Trackers, are available free of charge on Ms. Osborne’s Classroom Adventures Program website.


About author

Abigail Trabue

Abigail has worked as an actor/director in Chicago for over ten years, and along with husband Jason Epperson founded Lotus Theatricals in 2015, and PerformInk Chicago and Kansas City in 2016 (where she serves as Managing Editor of both publications). When not talking shop, Abigail is raising three padawans with Jason, drinking lots of coffee, converting school buses into RV's, and eating all the foods at Disney World. You can find her on Twitter @AbigailTrabue