Curtains Up For Kids




Over 10,000 students visit the Basie every year as part of its Curtains Up for Kids school performances program — and for many, it’s their only opportunity to experience live performing arts. From classical music with modern twists, to the diversity of Asian and African artistry or historical plays like I Have a Dream, the Basie inspires students to dream forward through culture and artistic expression.


*Seeing live theater offers a range of academic, social, and emotional benefits to children. This includes:

  • A greater ability to accept people with different opinions from their own and understand the diversity of ways others experience the world
  • An increased hope for their own future, with the ability to imagine attending college and envisioning success
  • A greater recognition that the arts can have a place in their lives in the present and future
  • Improved engagement and behavior in school environments, which can impact success
  • Increased success on standardized tests; higher writing scores; and a stronger command of narrative devices

*Read more about the impact of viewing performing arts on students.

The Basie knows that COVID-19 has made it difficult for schools to attending live performances. For the 2020-2021 school year all Curtains Up for Kids performances will be offered for you to attend in person  at the Basie Center or via virtual package.

Given the uncertainty of next school year, all reservations and requests will remain flexible so that you and your students can experience the arts in the safest way possible. If you select either a virtual package or in-person attendance now, you can change that option up to three weeks prior to the performance.

Interested in attending a school performance in person OR virtually? Click here for a reservation form.


  • Performance via video recording or live streaming *Recordings and steaming performances are only available for a limited time surrounding the performance dates as per the artist.
  • Virtual Pre and Post show Workshops *Max of 30 students per workshop
  • Teacher study guide and educational materials


  • $15 – Individual / Homeschool (performance only)
  • $85 – School Groups of 10 or more students
  • *Select performances offer live virtual talk backs with artists that can be added for an additional $30


  • Live performance at Count Basie Center for the Arts
  • Optional Pre and Post show workshops
  • Teacher study guide and materials


  • $12 Individual Sales
  • $10 – Education Groups of 10 or more students

Financial assistance is available. Please fill out our reservation form for more information.

The Basie is very grateful to the Mary Owen Borden Foundation, Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders, and Horizon Foundation for New Jersey for their support of Curtains Up for Kids.

For tickets or more information, call 732-224-8778 x 124 or email

Applicants will receive an email confirmation within one week of your reservation. In the event you do not receive a confirmation, email Seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Due to popularity, we cannot hold seats without receipt of a reservation form. Download the guide and faq. (PDF)


David Gonzalez – Aesop Bops!

February 4, 2021 • 10:30AM
50 minutes
Recommended for grades: K-3

Fast-paced, funny, and packed with audience participation, Aesop Bops! features a potpourri of Aesop’s classic stories including The Lion and the Mouse, The Fisherman and His Wife, and The Turtle’s Shell. This feast of funky, physical storytelling leaves young audiences feeling like they had just performed the show too! Aesop Bops! rocks, and rolls out the red carpet – inviting kids to join in the fun.


Social/Emotional Learning
Global Literacy/Awareness
Roots and Heritage


March 30, 2021 • 10:30AM
50 minutes
Recommended for grades: PK-4

Yoga with a dancing bear? A giant roller coaster of kids? Welcome to Yogapalooza. Beloved family music artist and pioneering kids’ yoga educator, Bari Koral leads this highly interactive concert that blends imaginative songs, yoga poses, dance breaks and play. Ideal for open spaces but with modifications for traditional theater seating, this is the most fun you can have doing yoga guaranteed. No prior experience necessary!


Physical Fitness
Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Connections

Mayhem Poets

April 21, 2021 • 10:30AM
50 minutes
Recommended for grades: 5-12

These theatre-trained, comedically-gifted, lyrical virtuosos seamlessly blend raw elements of hip hop, theatre, improv, and stand-up comedy to tell gut-wrenching truths that leave audiences forever changed. “Let’s go see a poetry show,” is a sentence rarely proclaimed and usually responded to with cringes and excuses. The Mayhem Poets are on a mission to change that.



Calpulli Mexican Dance Company: Puebla: The Story of Cinco de Mayo

May 5, 2021 • 10:30AM
50 minutes
Recommended for grades: 1-12

Explore the native and traditional cultures of the Mexican state of Puebla, where on May 5, 1862 a small Mexican army scored a seemingly impossible victory over the French. Through dance and live music, this new production celebrates the story of the historical significance of May 5th, shares the culture of Mexican immigrants from the state of Puebla—lesser known even among Mexicans in the U.S.—and presents the historical characters that influenced the Battle of Puebla.


Global Literacy/Awareness
Roots and Heritage


In-School Arts Classes


Our Outreach program began as a collaboration with the Red Bank Borough School District in 2005. Today, we serve over 550 students annually with in-school, after-school, and summer performing arts classes in the Primary and Middle schools in Red Bank and the Joseph R. Bolger Middle School in Keansburg.

Our goal as educators is to instill a passion, appreciation and love of the arts. Besides enhancing one’s perspective and interpersonal skills such as communication, cooperation and creative problem solving,arts education is truly a magical elixir that raises one’s self–esteem,self-efficacy and confidence.


Need Help? Have Questions?
Contact the Education Department
Phone: 732-224-8778 x124
99 Monmouth Street,Red Bank, NJ 07701