16 KID-FRIENDLY PERFORMANCES ARE SCHEDULED ON SATURDAYS, JANUARY-APRIL 2022
Madison, Wis. (Dec. 1, 2021) — Kids in the Rotunda, Madison’s favorite family-friendly Saturday arts performance series, will return to Overture Center next month, starting with a double-headliner: children’s musicians Tom Pease and Stuart Stotts, on Saturday, Jan. 8. Kids in the Rotunda has been canceled since March 2020.
“We are so excited to bring Kids in the Rotunda back. The series creates such a special, safe space for families to bond, make memories and experience new art forms together, all while being silly and having fun,” said Alanna Medearis, Overture’s director of education at engagement. “Music, creative movement and the arts provide an important way for kids of all ages to process big feelings, socialize, find joy and connect with their caregivers. As a mother of two toddlers myself, I am really looking forward to it personally too.”
Featuring toe-tapping rhythms, mind-blowing magic, incredible dancing, engaging cultural arts performances, silly sing-alongs and more, our popular Kids in the Rotunda series for families is sure to engage, educate and entertain your whole family. Enjoy a diverse lineup of local, regional and national performers selected exclusively for children ages nine and younger and their families.
“Kids in the Rotunda is an amazing series, an opportunity for quality entertainment in an intimate setting, a truly wonderful program for the Madison area,” said performer Tom Pease. “It’s a really healthy way for families to spend time together.”
All January performances will be virtual, livestreamed events only. Overture’s Artistic Experiences team will decide one month in advance whether performances will be held virtually or in-person. Visit the Kids in the Rotunda Facebook page or Overture’s Kids in the Rotunda web page for updates.
Free 45-minute performances will be held at 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. All virtual performances and the 1 p.m. performance will be American Sign Language interpreted. Please call 608.258.4447 if you need to be seated within sight of the interpreter for live performances.
KIDS IN THE ROTUNDA LINEUP – Winter/Spring 2022
Saturday, Jan. 8, 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. – Tom Pease and Stuart Stotts – VIRTUAL
Tom Pease and Stuart Stotts are Wisconsin singers, songwriters, storytellers and family performers who delight in participation, humor, movement and filling the Rotunda with the sounds of families singing together. For over 30 years, they have performed in schools, festivals, libraries and anywhere people gather to share songs. They have released several beloved recordings, including “Celebrate,” “Everybody Started Out Small” and, their newest, “Pass It on Down, Volume 1.” Although Stuart and Tom mostly work as solo artists, they are always happy to get the chance to share a stage and get things moving with their audience.
Saturday, Jan. 15, 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. – Yid Vicious – VIRTUAL
Yid Vicious brings klezmer for all ages to the Rotunda Stage. Get ready to dance as we celebrate all of the wonders of the winter season with Yiddish dance beats, special guests and shenanigans galore. With a musical arsenal of fiddle, clarinets, accordion, French horn, tuba, guitar, theremin and drums, Yid Vicious blends old world Yiddish dance tunes with new and unusual sounds.
Saturday, Jan. 22, 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. – David Landau – VIRTUAL
David Landau is a former first grade teacher, an award-winning musician and entertainer, and he is very funny. David’s personal appearances are upbeat musical programs that keep children engaged and constantly thinking. The kids sing some, move some, act some, dance some, shout just a little bit and laugh a bunch. The adults just sit back and enjoy the show.
Saturday, Jan. 29, 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. – The Jerry Ensemble – VIRTUAL
Raise your voice! The Jerry Ensemble, a performance group of high school musical theater students from Southern Wisconsin, will teach some fun vocal warm ups and share their love of musical theater. Little singers will be encouraged to sing along with well-known tunes from famous musicals.
Saturday, Feb. 5, 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. – Black Star Drum Line
Black Star Drum Line is in its 14th year as a youth percussive arts group and was founded by Grammy-nominated drummer, producer and music educator Joey B. Banks. Since 2008, the drum line has gone from being a volunteer youth arts project to one of the most popular youth performing arts groups in Wisconsin. Learn more about Black Star Drum Line at www.blackstardrumline.com or www.facebook.com/blackstardrumline.
Saturday, Feb. 12, 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. – Magic Morgan and Liliana
Prepare for eye-popping illusions, dazzling balloon sculptures and stunts with live animals―along with seemingly impossible tricks―in an unusual and incredible display of magic when deaf entertainer Magic Morgan and Liliana return to the Rotunda stage. Back by popular demand, two-time recipient of the World Deaf Magician Award Matthew “Magic” Morgan and Liliana truly keep the audience at the heart of the show by inviting kids and parents onstage to be a part of the magic. Come and be amazed as this husband and wife act combines magic, miming and comedy while communicating in the universal language of fun!
Saturday, Feb. 19, 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. – Music with Junebug and Friends
Join our friends from Madison Children’s Museum for a special Kids in the Rotunda edition of Music with Junebug, a longtime favorite program at the museum. Junko Yamauchi Stewart is a multitalented musician and educator and founder of BENI Daiko Taiko Ensemble. Junko is joined by staff from Madison Children’s Museum to share an interactive program of favorite songs and stories.
Saturday, Feb. 26, 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. – Laura Doherty and the Heartbeats
Chicago-based Laura Doherty & The Heartbeats acoustically rocks your kid’s world with breezy folk-pop tunes from her five award-winning albums, which feature her adorable puppet friends: Muddy Puddles, Paulette the Purple Dragonette and Domingo the Flamingo! This upbeat, interactive concert will have kids dancing and clapping along to Laura’s original catchy tunes! “Doherty writes the perfect pop song for kids, light and breezy.” – Chicago Tribune
Saturday, March 5, 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. – Angela Puerta
Angela Puerta is a six-time MAMA award winner and Best of Madison 2019 and 2020 Latin Artist bronze and silver star. She is a Colombian singer-songwriter and guitarist based in Madison, Wis. After landing in Madison in the fall of 2013, Angela Puerta obtained a master’s degree in urban and regional planning from the UW-Madison in 2015. Music is her passion, but she equally embraces her career as an urban planner for the City of Madison, where she is a neighborhood advocate and an active member of the Greater Madison Music City team. This music performance will incorporate Latin beats, Colombian folkloric music and other familiar songs in both English and Spanish. Kids will have fun while dancing and exploring a wide variety of Afro-Latino songs.
Saturday, March 12, 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. – Kalaanjali School of Indian Dance
Since its founding in 2003 by Artistic Director Meenakshi Ganesan, the Madison based Kalaanjali School of Indian Dance has been fulfilling its mission of sharing the art of traditional classical Indian dance throughout the Midwest. The Kalaanjali dancers frequently perform at festivals and outreach programs at primary, secondary and post-secondary schools, receiving widespread acclaim. On this visit to the Rotunda, you will vividly experience breathtaking stories of the East through the graceful body postures, percussive feet, vibrant costumes and dynamic expressions of the Kalaanjali dancers. Dancers of all ages (some as young as five years old) will capture your spirit with the beauty, elegance and magnificence of the Bharatanatyam-style dancing of southern India.
Saturday, March 19 – No Kids in the Rotunda
Saturday, March 26, 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. – Mark Hayward
Mark Hayward has been a variety arts performer since 1990. He is a World Yo-yo Champion, a member of a World Champion Juggling Team and a Spin Top Champion. His mom is proud. Mark has traveled the world with a yo-yo on his finger (well, mostly in his pocket) and has made appearances on The Late Show with David Letterman (twice), The Late Late Show with James Corden, America’s Got Talent and the NBC Nightly News (without committing a crime). Someday Mark hopes to perform for both the President and the Queen (not being a convicted criminal should help with that).
Saturday, April 2, 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. – Drum Power
Drum Power is a youth leadership program that provides young people with an opportunity to learn West African Traditional, Afro-Cuban and Afro-Brazilian drumming techniques and their cultural/historical significance. The program aims to build self-esteem and self-confidence through discovering the rewards of discipline, community and leadership, its pillars. Discipline (defined as “using my energy for good things”), community (“supporting my own learning and the learning of others”) and leadership (“doing the right thing even when I have do it by myself and especially when no one is watching”) are life skills and the explicit focus of the social and emotional skills that underlie all of the music skill development work, problem solving and practice as individual musicians and members of an ensemble/community. Drum Power’s Kids in the Rotunda performance will feature drum and dance from the ancient kingdom of Mali as well as Senegal, Guinea and Brazil, performed by youth performers ages 11-17, directed by Dr. Yorel Lashley and Tom Ross. Get ready to move, groove and learn with Drum Power.
Saturday, April 9, 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. – Blue Willow Chinese Dance
With 4,000 years of recorded history, China has developed a rich and varied tradition of artistic and folk dance. Joy Chen moved to the United States a decade ago after years of studying traditional Chinese dance. She has choreographed a number of these works to make them more accessible to Western audiences and blended them with a multimedia presentation that relates the dances back to the cultures that created them. She presents a lively, artistic program of Chinese dance and history, using traditional dress and music, and photos and images from her travels in China.
Her dance repertoire includes traditional Chinese court dances, including striking fan and rainbow ribbon dances, and sword and staff warrior dances. Small groups can participate with Joy in learning a “harvest” ribbon folk dance. The multimedia presentation during costume changes explores Chinese history, family life and holidays.
Saturday, April 16, 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. – Ken Lonnquist
Ken Lonnquist celebrates Earth Day at Kids in the Rotunda. Join Lonnquist at Overture Center and see why his “Earthy Songs” concerts have inspired Wisconsin audiences for 40 years! Sing along with fun, imaginative and meaningful songs about our natural world. Ken’s positive outlook and witty lyrical content keep audiences laughing and learning at the same time, connecting the idea of a “good time” with being good to each other and the planet.
Saturday, April 23, 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. – Wayne the Wizard
Wayne started performing his shows around age 10 and is still going strong! Wayne will “wow” you and your family with amazing magic, comedy, ventriloquism and plenty of fun! So pack up your magic wand, unmarked card deck and black top hat and head to the Rotunda stage because this show promises to get the whole audience involved in making the magic happen. Check out Wayne the Wizard’s website at www.waynethewizard.com.
Saturday, April 30, 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. – The Lullaby Project
Join local musicians and teaching artists for a very special day of sharing songs created for the little ones in your life. Ranging from funny to sweet, calming to danceable and silly to empowering, the concert will include a range of musical styles and audience interaction featuring lullabies written with a local parent as part of Overture’s Lullaby Project.
The Lullaby Project pairs pregnant women and new mothers and fathers with professional artists to write and sing personal lullabies for their babies, supporting maternal health, aiding child development and strengthening the bond between parent and child. Around the world, the project reaches parents in healthcare settings, homeless shelters, high schools, foster care and correctional facilities. Overture Center is thrilled to offer the Lullaby Project, a national program of Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute, in partnership with Harambee Village and Madison Metropolitan School District’s Capital High Parenting Program.
Kids in the Rotunda is sponsored by the American Girl Fund for Children, MGE Foundation and UnityPoint Health Meriter. Additional funding provided by Kuehn Family Foundation, Ian’s Pizza on State and contributions to Overture Center for the Arts.
NOTE: At this time, everyone who enters Overture Center must wear a mask and must show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of entering along with a photo ID (children without a photo ID must be accompanied by a guardian). For more details, visit overture.org/health.
Building Hours: Monday-Saturday, 11-6; Sunday, 12-6; and extended hours on event days.
OVERTURE CENTER FOR THE ARTS in Madison, Wis., is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts organization that features seven state-of-the-art performance spaces and four galleries where national and international touring artists, nine resident companies and hundreds of local artists engage people in nearly 700,000 educational and artistic experiences each year. With the vision to provide “Extraordinary Experiences for All,” Overture’s mission is to support and elevate our community’s creative culture, economy and quality of life through the arts. overture.org