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Ford Center announces School Series for upcoming season

The new school year is set to resume at the University of Mississippi on Aug. 26, which also means a new season of concerts, shows and musicals will commence at the Gertrude C. Ford Center in the coming weeks.

The Ford Center offers a little bit of everything, something they strive for when making their season schedule. One of those is the annual ‘School Series’, which they began in 2017. This year’s series features three performances that span from November to March.

“Part of the Ford Center’s mission is educational,” Kate Meacham, marketing director for the Ford Center, said. “Obviously we’re on the campus, and a certain amount of the function is education geared toward college students. We also have a feel that our commitment is also to the community, so bringing in a school series was always discussed.”

On Nov. 4, the Virginia Repertory Theatre will put on two performances of “Have You Filled a Bucket Today,” which is a musical centered around the concept of a “bucket,” to show students how to express kindness, appreciation and love to be “bucket-fillers.” The musical is based on author Carol McCloud’s award-winning children’s book by the same title. There will be a performance at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. The show is geared toward students in kindergarten through fifth grade.

In December, two performances of “A Christmas Carol” will be put on, also by the Virginia Repertory Theatre. The shows will take place on Dec. 13 at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. and are for all ages.

The final show in this season’s series is a production of ‘”The Magic School Bus: Lost in the Solar System.” Based on the popular children’s book and television show series, the show follows Ms. Frizzle’s class as they get lost on their way to the planetarium and end up in outer space. The two performances will take place on March 2 at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. The production is geared toward students in second to sixth grade.

The three shows are not open to the general public and are exclusive to interested teachers who would like to bring their classes.

“The challenge with the school series is to promote it in a way that gets teachers and schools interested, but doesn’t confuse the general public,” Meacham said. “We can’t sell tickets to the general public. Our contracts make it that we can’t sell tickets to the general public (for the school series).”

Tickets cost $5 per student, and teachers get into each performance free.

Any schools or teachers interested in purchasing tickets or getting more information regarding the series can contact Meacham at kmeacham@olemiss.edu, 662-915-6502 or visit fordcenter.org/schoolseries.