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Our mission is to provide quality theatrical experiences that inspire, enrich, entertain and educate young people and families in the Chippewa Valley.

Children's theatre"Theatre has seemingly been dismissed as irrelevant to the upbringing of our bright, young twenty-first-century high-tech children. I believe, on the contrary, that the reverse is true. Live theatre is more, much, much more important than it has ever been." --Alan Ayckbourn, British Playwright

2011-2012 Theatre Tour

The Spring 2012 theatre for young audiences tour is of The Arkansaw Bear. This play, by Aurand Harris, won the "best play" award from the American Alliance for Theatre and Education ( in 1980, and is best suited for grades 3-6. We will tour the show to schools on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, April 3 - May 10, and we would love to come to your school!  The performance costs a flat fee of $250; we can do two shows in a row in the same location for $300. We bring lighting and sound equipment, and perform using "arena" staging ("theatre-in-the-round"), and so it works best in a gym or big open space where we can seat the kids around us in a circle. We can easily fit 250-300 kids in a circle. The play runs about 50 minutes, with a 10-minute question/answer at the end with the audience.  

The Arkansaw Bear is a serious play for young audiences with a message of hope and joy. It tells the story of young Tish, who is saddened and bewildered at her grandfather's approaching death. She runs to her "special tree" for solace and there, in a world of fantasy provided by her wish on a star, she meets the world's greatest dancing bar. He is old, like her grandfather, and is running away-from death. In trying to help him, he begins to understand the meaning of both life and death, which helps her cope with her own sadness. The play blends realism and fantasy, pathos and humor. It is delightfully theatrical, with music, magic, and dance, and has been enthusiastically applauded by children's and family audiences for over 30 years. The Arkansaw Bear is an important work by America's foremost playwright for young audiences, sparkling with entertainment while also dramatizing, with poignancy, a universal truth. 

Please contact Jennifer Chapman at or 715-836-5614 for more information or to book a tour.

Contact Information:
Dr. Jennifer Chapman
180 Haas Fine Arts Center
Music & Theatre Arts Department
University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
Eau Claire, WI 54702-4004

Phone: 715/836-5614