Based on Robert Fulghum's best-selling books, Kindergarten takes a funny, insightful, heartwarming look at what is profound in everyday life. This tightly woven adaptation has earned standing ovations from Singapore to Prague— from L.A. to D.C. It's an evening of theatrical storytelling in revue format, with monologues, dialogues, and multiple voice narration, enhanced through the use of live piano underscoring, which provides fluidity, charm, and emotional texture, and seven optional original songs. The delightful stories feature colorful characters such as: a shy little boy who insists on playing the "pig" in his class production of Cinderella and steals the show; a man whose dream of flying carries him high over Los Angeles … in a lawn chair buoyed by surplus weather balloons; a "mother of the bride" who's staged a perfect wedding—until the bowling ball of fate rolls down the aisle; and a modern-day Greek philosopher who finds the meaning of life in a piece of broken mirror from World War II. These stories celebrate our very existence, from the whimsy of childhood to the wisdom of old age. Kindergarten is a sure hit for almost any performing group.
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- Type of Show Musical
- Product Code A78000
- Cast Size 6
- Min. Royalty Rate $110/perf
- Cost $11.95
- Approx. Run Time 135 min
- Target Audience Young Audiences | Middle School | High School | College and Adult | Family (all ages) | Senior Adults | Praise Groups
- Performing Group Middle School | High School | College Theatre | Community Theatre | Professional Theatre | TYA | Senior Theatre | Touring Group | Praise Group
- Genre Comedy | Drama
- ISBN(13) 9780871299130
- "Great show. Worked well virtually. Fun music and touching and heartwarming stories. Lots of opportunities for funny characters and practice with emotion and depth of character."
- Review by Mike McConaughey, Newberg High School, Newberg, Oregon
- "This show was a perfect choice for us during the pandemic. It allowed for social distancing, changes could be made in casting, and alternate scenes were allowed. The students really enjoyed performing it. "
- Review by Lynn Just, Hillsboro High School, Hillsboro, Kan.
- "This show was conducive to working around our (Covid-19) limitations."
- Review by Karen Logue, West T. Hill Community Theatre, Junction City, Ky.
- "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten proved to be the perfect choice for our first faculty show in seventeen years. The vignette format made rehearsals manageable for the teachers, and the message was accessible and encouraging. It was a hit!"
- Review by Billy Dragoo, Stephen F. Austin HS, Austin, Texas
- "Kindergarten was an excellent choice for my students this fall. This is a rebuilding year for us because we lost a number of talented seniors last June. I was able to cast every student who auditioned, including the new / young / inexperienced actors. The vignettes require a variety of characters and difficulty levels, so every student had at least several speaking parts as narrators or actors within the stories. I selected the musical version and this gave our top singers opportunity to enhance the presentation with vocals. "
- Review by Betsie Wotherspoon, Fairfield High School, Fairfield, Iowa
- "Because it is a more difficult and mature play than our students are used to, they had some doubts. But near the end of rehearsals, they saw how good the material was. Our audiences responded well. The students were attentive and many adults commented on how good the acting was and that it was a show requiring the audience to think. One actor was surprised to see some in the audience in tears during some dramatic monologs."
- Review by Roger Finnell, Fenwick High School, Oak Park, IL
- "What a joy to produce! Not only did the students perform it, they grew by working on it as well."
- Review by Mr. J. D. Gonzalez, Kellogsville H. S., Grand Rapids, MI
- "This is a wonderful show for flexible cast and staging. Beautifully rich script full of truth and understanding. It was fun to produce, but better than that, taught life lessons that will stay with our cast and audience forever. People are still talking about it one month later!"
- Review by Rich Luedeke, Blackhawk Christian School, Fort Wayne, Ind.
- "This is my third time directing the pieceÑtwice in a high school, once professionallyÑso I admire the storytelling, style and message of the piece. It is a timeless reflection of the lifelong lessons in being truly human."
- Review by James Gandolfo, Hampton Roads Academy, Newport News, Va.
- "Kindergarten is so charming. The show was such a hit that Poplar Bluff High School will take it to Edinburgh, Scotland, in August to the Fringe Festival. We love the universal appeal. Casting is flexible, which is another joy of the script."
- Review by JoNell Seifert, Poplar Bluff High School, Poplar Bluff, Mo.
- "It was a blast to produce. We were able to cast everyone who auditioned. It was easy and fun to stage."
- Review by Brandi Walker, Wichita Falls High School, Wichita Falls, Texas
- "The audience left in tears, thanking us for a meaningful show. So many true-to-life situationsÑhandled beautifully by high-school students."
- Review by Jane Bostian, Wapello High School, Wapello, Iowa
- "Great adaptation of Fulghum's work! Heartwarming, funny and serious with a great message for the audience. Easy to produce and very flexible casting."
- Review by Matthew Frick, Salt Lake Lutheran High School, Salt Lake City, Utah
- "This show is such a good mixture of materials for audiences of all ages. It has happy moments, sad moments, and some very touching moments. It's such a great show with many moments to feature some of your star actors because monologues are quite challenging."
- Review by Jonathan Collura, Bishop Hartley High School, Columbus, Ohio
- "This is my fifth time doing this lovely show. It's always a winner!"
- Review by Jerald Cohagan, College Church of the Nazarene, Bourbonnais, Ill.
- "Kindergarten is a great show for a variable number of students. It can be expanded to use additional actors and can be done with minimal set. It's relevant to everyone, young and old and from all walks of life."
- Review by Christopher Urban, Peru CSD, Peru, N.Y.
- "An exciting and faithful adaptation of Fulghum's stories that our audiences loved. With so many scenes we expanded the cast to nearly 30 and found this allowed many students to share in the experience. The themes are relevant for cast and audience and the truth that rings in each scene made this one of our most memorable productions."
- Review by Lyle Johnson, Albert E. Peacock Collegiate, Moose Jaw, SK
- "Wonderful, uplifting stories about the profound moments found in everyday life."
- Review by Rev. David Pendleton, Christ Community Church, Olathe, KS
- "Directing Kindergarten was both a challenge and a delight. My students will never forget this play because the fast pacing and numerous scenes gave them an opportunity to develop skills that they never knew they had!"
- Review by Carol J. Pease, Anderson County High School, Lawrenceburg, KY
- "This was a delight to perform! Flexible casting allowed us to have a large cast and our audiences were entertained and uplifted (as were we!)."
- Review by Cindy Reed, Warren Central High School, Indianapolis, IN
- "A very adaptable piece, with wide appeal. We had 11 cast members -- eight of whom sang. We were very well received by local audiences and we enjoyed our rehearsals and performances."
- Review by Kathleen Balducci, Port Angeles Community Players, Port Angeles, WA
- "We were very happy with this production. It gave us plenty of vignettes and room for 65 characters over two different high school casts. And each bit had a great little lesson."
- Review by Kent Bonte, Valley Community Schools, Elgin, IA
Hints, Tips, and Tricks
- "I would encourage people to include the music! It's really moving."
- Tip by Billy Dragoo, Stephen F. Austin HS, Austin, Texas
- "I used most of the high school vignettes offered in Appendix D. There is dramatic structure within the Act I and Act II suggested order, so there is rising action and a climax at the end of each Act. I also purchased the full musical accompaniment and sound effects for $100 from the vendor suggested by my customer service representative, Flat 5 Press and Recording (flat5.com). This added so much to the performance! It includes transitional music, underscore music, and all sound effects needed in addition to skillful accompaniment. for all songs. I kept the costumes and set simple, using easily-moved tables, chairs and blocks. We built some oversized kindergarten class items for the first four scenes (a box of crayons, a fingerpaint jar, and ABC blocks). The stage managers and I located a number of images to project, which gave the audience background information and visuals during transitions and the scenes. One example in our photos is an actual tree from the Solomon Islands."
- Tip by Betsie Wotherspoon, Fairfield High School, Fairfield, Iowa
- "Our lobby display featured pictures of our cast when they were in kindergarten."
- Tip by Kate Lindsay, Salina High School South, Salina Kansas
- "I had to read it twice before grasping how much creativity was allowed."
- Tip by Bonnie Perry, Schoolhouse Players, Bartow, Ga.
- "Do use sound effects and music. It helps a lot for the audience to get the special messages."
- Tip by Arlene Millerman, Shortgrass Playhouse, Hobart, Okla.
- "I cast 15 in this show, which allowed each actor to hone their parts. I built a 15' X 8' wedge to use as our trap door for both "Howard" and "Stuff." We used it for actors' entrances and exits as well!"
- Tip by Jo Husslein, Hartford Players, Inc., Hartford, Wis.
- "Keep set and costumes absolutely simple. The content of the show will sell itself. Focus on the acting and storytelling skills of the performers."
- Tip by Melinda Heger, North Decatur Junior/Senior High School, Greensburg, Ind.
- "We built a playground-type set ... with a sliding board and a swing."
- Tip by Jon Blackstock, Wildcat Players!, Tiger, Ga.
- "We went to a kindergarten class to study their physical traits and played with them to reignite our connections with that phase of life. We posted pictures of the cast when they were in kindergarten instead of head shots in the lobby."
- Tip by Cynthia Ogden, High School for Performing and Visual Arts, Houston, Texas
Media Reviews"Heartwarming, charming, funny and touching. The stories are about all of us." -National Public Radio
"A refreshingly intimate combination of theatre and storytelling. Gentle … funny … joyous. Sparks of recognition ignited the audience." -The Chicago Sun-Times
"A lighthearted, beautifully styled dramatization of Fulghum's writings." -Syracuse Herald Journal
|Master Arts Theatre||Grand Rapids||Michigan||6/1/2023||6/17/2023|
|Holy Trinity by the Lake Episcopal Church||Heath||Texas||5/7/2023||5/13/2023|
|Neodesha Arts Association||Neodesha||Kansas||3/1/2023||3/31/2023|
|Brentwood College School||Mill Bay||British Columbia||5/10/2023||5/12/2023|
|Epilogue Players Inc||Indianapolis||Indiana||9/14/2023||9/24/2023|
|Waiting for assignment at Fringe Festival||Winnipeg||Manitoba||7/19/2023||7/30/2023|
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