Educational Program Brings Quality Performances from Around the World for 20,000 Students Annually in Tampa Bay

St. Petersburg, FLA (November 1st, 2019) – The ‘Class Acts Educational Performance Series’ has been providing quality performances for K-12 students and their teachers for the past twenty seven years. Each show brings performers from all over the world and corresponds directly with Florida’s curriculum initiatives. Bill Edwards Foundation for the Arts took the program over from the City of St Petersburg eight years ago and now serves 20,000 schoolchildren annually. 

Class Acts is a field trip to the Duke Energy Center for the Arts – Mahaffey Theater that teaches classroom subjects through a live theater experience. Participants enjoy learning language arts, history, world culture, science and math, as well as character building, creativity, critical thinking, respect and discipline. “We really put the “A” in STEAM education – making the learning process more well-rounded with the added arts component,” said Amy Miller, President.

These high-energy performances draw students from several counties, including Pinellas, Manatee, Polk, Pasco, Hernando and Hillsborough, serving roughly 20,000 students a year. Each show is $5, open to specific K-12 schools selected, also including home education students, and security within the theater is strictly enforced.

Each program is outlined by an Educator’s Resource Guide filled with pre and post-show activities corresponding to the show designed for further student interaction. Specific shows have a corresponding interactive workshop following the performance. 

 “It is our commitment to provide all teachers and students the means to experience a live theater performance. And to enhance that experience further, we provide strategic written resource guides to use in their classrooms. These guides contain lessons aligned to the Florida Standards making each performance educationally relevant,” says April Minor, Curator of Education.

Several times a year throughout the season, the Foundation hosts guests at a “Lunch and Learn” to observe the program in an effort to promote arts awareness and to garner additional support for scholarships and other program enhancements. “I have had observers to this program call me and offer to sponsor the next event. It’s amazing to see the children’s faces in person to see what an impact we are making.” Amy Miller, President

Bill Edwards Foundation for the Arts has served 145,000 school children to date and continues to raise funds to cover program costs, program enhancements and admission and transportation scholarship – making Class Acts accessible to every child. 

Class Acts ‘19-’20 Schedule

Monster Who Ate my Peas | Wednesday, October 30th, 11:00am

Giving Tree Music Interactive Drum Circles | November 6th – 7th, 10:00am – 1:00pm

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Christmas, feat. Dream Snow | Tuesday, December 10th, 11:00am

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas | Tuesday, December 17th, 11:00am

One and Only Ivan | Tuesday, January 21st, 11:00am

Sweet Chariot | Wednesday, February 5th, 11:00am

Chicken Dance | Wednesday, February 12th, 11:00am

Rapunzel | Wednesday, April 15th, 11:00am

Newton’s Apple | Tuesday, April 21st, 11:00am

Doktor Kaboom! It’s Just Rocket Science | Tuesday, May 5th, 11:00am

For more information on becoming a member of our foundation or sponsorship opportunities please email us at

The Duke Energy Center for the Arts – Mahaffey Theater

The Mahaffey Theater, under the management of Big3 Entertainment, is one of Tampa Bay’s top-rated performing arts venues. Home to the Florida Orchestra, the world class Mahaffey Theater hosts top-quality national and international artists and performances – pop, rock, comedy, theater, dance, classical and interactive engagements and exhibitions. Located in the heart of downtown St. Petersburg, the 2,031-seat cultural jewel boasts spectacular waterfront views and is located only minutes away from white sandy beaches and world-renowned museums. Additionally, the theater supports the highly successful Class Acts program, which enables school children to experience the performing arts through in-theater performances as well as in-school outreach and extension programs.

Bill Edwards Foundation for the Arts supports performing arts programming at the Duke Energy Center for the Arts – Mahaffey Theater. We provide arts education programs for youth, community outreach programs, and performances as well as concerts for the entire community with emphasis on diverse programming for youth, underserved audiences and families. Each year more than 20,000 school children are provided a field trip experience to learn Florida State curriculum through a live theater performance. This Class Acts Educational Performance series is in its 27th season and serves students from six counties. Additionally, the Foundation ensures that funding is in place to continue providing diverse programming in the theater for the general public.

Editors: For details, or to schedule an interview contact Lisa Williams or 727.490.9835.

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Lisa Williams

Author Lisa Williams


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