Wild Swan Theater is Michigan’s premiere professional theater performing for young people. Every year our talented troupe of actors and musicians travel throughout Michigan and the Midwest, providing engaging and enriching live theater experiences for children and their families in schools, libraries, museums, and theaters. We have an exciting array of offerings, sure to make a memorable event for your organization. When you book Wild Swan Theater, you bring excitement, discovery, and moving experiences into the lives of your community’s families.
Shipwrecked! is a stirring coming of age drama set during a fierce winter storm on Lake Huron in 1893. Twelve year old Aaron Buchanan, sailing with his parents on their small schooner loaded with Christmas trees from Sault Ste. Marie, is tested in ways he never dreamed possible when a ferocious gale suddenly materializes in Thunder Bay’s infamous “Shipwreck Alley.” Inspired by the desperate circumstances, he finds the sailing skills, bravery, and physical strength to help achieve the daring rescue of his family. This original drama, written by long-time Wild Swan playwright Jeff Duncan, is based on historical accounts of the period and provides students with a valuable opportunity to explore the Great Lakes and Michigan’s history, geography, music, and maritime heritage. Enrich your experience with additional curriculum-aligned materials about our inland seas developed in collaboration with the Detroit Historical Society/Dossin Great Lakes Museum, Michigan Historical Center, Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Michigan Geographic Alliance, and Michigan Council for History Education.
Made possible in part with a grant from the Michigan Humanities Council, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
“Kudos to the cast of Shipwrecked! It positively was the best performance for students in a school that I have ever seen!” – Teacher, Grand Blanc Schools
Marketplace Stories – Folktales from the Arab World
This new and original production developed in collaboration with the Arab American National Museum is inspired by folktales from the Arab world. See this vibrant world come to life through timeless stories and music, passed on from country to country and from one generation to the next. (Artwork is a detail from “Sanduk Al-Firji” by Helen Zughaib.)
Rosie the Riveter
An original musical written by playwright Jeff Duncan and composer Brian E. Buckner, Rosie the Riveter tells the remarkable story of the women who came to Michigan from all across the country and all walks of life to fill thousands of factory jobs left empty by men suddenly called to war. With their determination, strength of character, and backbreaking labor, these extraordinary women rallied a nation as they produced B-24 bombers, a plane an hour, day in and day out for the duration of World War II. This is a production that not only brings history alive, but will inspire respect and admiration for the capacity of these Rosies to accomplish more than anyone could have imagined.
Jack and the Beanstalk
This humorous version of Jack’s adventure climbing the magical beanstalk is sure to please our littlest audience members. A very silly (and unscary) giant is just no match for Jack’s wits as he scrambles up and down the beanstalk, rescuing his father from the giant’s clutches and earning back his pet cow, Milky White.
“There was pure joy and excitement spilling out of every child in the audience!” – PTSA Enrichment Coordinator, Williamston Elementary School
The Ugly Duckling
Resident playwright Jeff Duncan puts his spin on Hans Christian Andersen’s tale of a homely little bird born in a barnyard who is looked down on by everyone around him until, much to his delight (and to the surprise of others), he matures into a swan, the most majestic bird of all.
Frog and Toad
Two of Arnold Lobel’s most beloved characters, Frog and Toad, show how good friends help each other through thick and thin, cheering each other through the hard times and celebrating life’s joys. Join Frog and Toad as they greet spring, plant a garden, and share a basket of cookies.
“Everything was excellent! The overall production was one of the best we have seen. We are ready to have you come back next year!” – Assembly Coordinator, H.T. Smith Elementary School
A Honey Pot of Pooh Stories
Dip into our honey pot of stories featuring children’s all time favorite bear, Winnie the Pooh. Little theater goers will love joining Pooh as he hums his way through the Hundred Aker Wood. Whether he’s pretending to be a cloud to trick bees out of their honey, hunting Heffalumps with Piglet, or stuck in the doorway of Rabbit’s house, Winnie the Pooh is just about the best friend a child could have.
“The cleverness of the costuming, the perfect match of the scripts with intended audience, and—above all—the skill and enthusiasm of the performers ALL combine to create performances no child should miss.” – Youth Librarian, Saline District Library
Once Upon a Time
An engaging collection of favorite children’s classics including “Three Billy Goat’s Gruff,” “Reynard the Fox” and “The Three Little Pigs” are sure to delight the very young. In true Wild Swan style, three performers and a musician create all the magic inherent in these timeless stories making this first time theater experience unforgettable.
“It was a ‘PERFECT’ evening here. Our librarian said it was ‘simply the best performance ever’. Thanks to the entire company for sharing your love of children, literature and theater with our community.” – Head of Youth Svcs., Bloomfield Twp. Pub. Library
Owl’s Winter is a delightful collection of wintery stories for young children based on Arnold Lobel’s “Owl at Home.” Audience members join Owl for a series of fun adventures as he encounters strange bumps at the end of his bed when he is lying down and the moon seems to follow him home when he is out for an evening stroll. The audience participation in this production is quite special as the children in the audience create a surprise for Owl.
“The performance by the Wild Swan troupe was one of the finest productions we have had here at the MCISD… ever. The performers were sensitive to our students’ disabilities and accommodated their special needs beautifully.” – Sp. Events Coord., MCISD
The Tale of the Mischievous Bunny
When Peter Rabbit ventures into Farmer McGregor’s garden, despite his mother’s warning, his adventures begin. From the moment Peter loses his little blue coat to Farmer McGregor’s scarecrow until he arrives safe and sound at home, this classic tale is brought charmingly to life.
“The highlight was seeing how the students were swept away by the story—all 200 of them!” – PTO Enrichment Chair, Haisley Elementary
Strega Nona and the Magic Pasta Pot
Strega Nona is a story that will satisfy your appetite for laughter and fun. Strega Nona has a magical pasta pot which only she can control. Come see what silliness ensues when Big Anthony does not listen to her, causing the streets of their small Italian village to fill with pasta. Nationally renowned artist Chris Roberts-Antieau has designed the sets, costumes, and props for this not-to-be-missed production.
“We had parents in attendance this year; they loved the performance as much as the kids. Thanks for another great show!” – Teacher, Sturgis Schools
American Short & Tall Tales
Celebrate our country’s rich folklore through humor, stories, and music. We’ll crisscross the nation, bringing to life the tall tales that helped create our unique “melting pot” heritage: life along the Mississippi with Mike Fink and Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind Crocket, a Louisiana bayou with Compere Lapin and a southwestern village where old Tia Miseria has a trick or two up her sleeve.
“That was one of the best assemblies we have had. That’s covering 17 years!” – 2nd Grade Teacher, Novi Woods Elementary School