Family and Educational Programs

Call it what you like -- cabaret, vaudeville, or story/song-filled fun. Any way you slice it, Jackson Gillman's performances for families, children, and educational groups reach out and touch the audience, making them laugh, making them think, and leaving them delighted. You might find song, dance, mime, and/or sign language incorporated into his interactive and educational performances -- whatever works to bring audiences of all ages along for a rollicking ride into his wildly imaginative worlds of creative adventure. Please note that Jackson is always happy to discuss ideas and tie into the curriculum, the current season, or whatever is being celebrated.

Motivation • Education • Inspiration • Challenge • Fun

With The Stand-Up Chameleon's wide range of characters, myriad of voices, and warm, inimitable style, you can count on a customized performance that will be just right. Here are some of the programs that have delighted school and family audiences across the country.

Riot in the Garden

Fun-filled science theatre, awarded Most Educational at the MOFGA Common Ground Fair.
(K-6, also an adult version)

"Not only was 'Riot in the Garden' educational, it was a delightful mix of comedy, music, and stories that delighted people of all ages."
-Susan Pierce, Special Events Director, Maine Organic Farmers & Gardeners Association



Doodlebugs, spiders, ants and other crawlies are featured in this low-life revue.
(K-6, also an adult version)

"Jackson's skills as a musician and teacher highlight the program from beginning to end! His mixture of humor, sensitivity, and educational content made him a perfect addition here at the Children's Museum."
-Marilyn Solvay, Director of Education and Public Programs, Children's Museum of Maine


Nature in Action, Story and Song

A romp on the wild and crazy side of natural science.
(different versions for any age group, pre-school to adult)

"The presentation is a delight for all ages, but is so especially for children. Jackson's presentation is gentle, accurate in wildlife information, and nicely varied with a mixture of songs and stories with some audience participation."
- Ruth Grierson, Nature author, and columnist for The Bar Harbor Times


On a Wing and a Song

A bird's eye view of the cycle of seasons. Includes nest building, hatching, feeding, learning to fly, migration. Ideal for pre-school to primary grades with interactive poems, stories, finger plays, simple sign language, and lots of participatory movement.
(pre-school - 4th)

"The performance was fantastic and the kids loved it. It was perfect for the age group present which was preschool - 3rd. I loved the fact that almost the entire performance was done without props."
- Nicole Vigeant, Tomales CA Elementary School


Whales, Octopi & Sharks, Oh My!

A musical dive into sea science.
(different versions for any age group, pre-school to adult)

"We always love your sea-life stories/songs."
- Jerilyn Bowers, Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory which hired Jackson perennially over two decades for their Family Science Nights


Songs and Stories for a Small Planet

A celebration of nature with an eye to where we fit in and how we can help sustain our world.
(different versions for school ages to adult)

"It was great. I was truly impressed how you got the whole audience involved, tentative adults as well! Everyone was fully engaged and enjoying themselves."
- Sue Haley, Cape Cod National Seashore


Spring Into Action and Song

Celebrates spring in all of its flowery, song-filled wonder. Everyone becomes worms, flowers, birds, sun, rain and more in this playful romp.
(pre-school - 4th)

"Everyone I spoke to loved your presentation! It was unique and entertaining as well as educational! Great fun and great job getting everyone to participate!"
- Melinda DeFeo, Polly Hill Arboretum

Autumn Wonders

A rich tapestry of the colors, sounds, and smells in a heartwarming, story and song-filled celebration of the season.
(different versions for any age group, pre-school to adult)

"His sense of creative dramatics makes him the best storyteller I've ever had the pleasure to listen to... He creates an air of enthusiasm and energy."
- Deborah Freitas, reviewing for the Council of Outdoor Educators of Ontario


Halloween Silly Willies

Songs and stories to tickle your funny-bone without scaring your pants off. A highly visual, energetic and interactive show with all the typical Halloween ingredients, but all in light-hearted fun.
(preschool - 5th)

"Children and adults received your presentation with enthusiasm and appreciation. The audience members gave me a lot of positive feedback about what a lively and talented performer you are."
- Maggie Hanelt, Truro Public Library

Winter Wonders

Participatory songs and stories about shoveling, snowmen, snow angels, and nature in winter
(preschool - 5th)

(or Holiday Huzzah! if Christmas and/or Chanukah is included)
Heartwarming celebrations of the seasons, holidays and the human spirit. Program performed with sign language.
(K-6, also an adult version)

"Jackson's talent as a mime creates a spell that will keep you and your children laughing and deeply moved at the same time. His use of sign language adds another dimension to the action. We presented the show last year, and it was such a hit we had to repeat it so more people could experience Jackson's amazing talent."
- Arnold Greenberg, impresario of the Left Bank Cafe


Levity in Motion

Mime and stories for the family, airborne exploits and other childhood flights of fancy.

"Jackson is truly a very unique who is as adept and engaging with a group of children as he is with adults. Further, he can turn a broom into more things and dreams than you can, well...shake a broomstick at!"
- Ed Rice, reviewing for Maine Public Broadcast Network


A Family Cabaret

a family-friendly version of "A Dad¹s Eye View"(described on adult / professional page).
This comedy/music revue is ideal for an intergenerational audience. A fun look at daily rituals, wake-up to bedtime, from all perspectives.
(all ages!)

"You were amazing! The children were engaged and captivated. Additionally, on Monday morning, they were still talking about it!"
- Marilyn Rabinovitz, Preschool Director of Shaloh House

Moon Crazy

Put on your imagination caps and blast off with Jackson on his lunar adventures. Captivating songs and stories, including Frank Asch's Happy Birthday Moon, to take you far away and pilot you happily home.

"You held the attention of 150+ children and adults for an hour - without any hi-tech stuff! Loved the way you wove the stories & songs together with movements & laughter."
- Beth Wiseman, Loudoun County VA Library Program Specialist


The Magic of Rudyard Kipling: Just So

The classic Just So Stories are brought to life through Jackson's intimate theatrical style and a score of lively characterizations.
(grades 3-6, also an adult version)

"Jackson's enthusiasm and delight infuses these stories from beginning to end. He is very entertaining while remaining true to the stories as Kipling wrote them -- further testimony to the timeless quality of these tales."
- Cynthia Ortiz, reviewing for the national School Library Journal


The Dancing Man

Lively, interactive songs and stories to move and groove with, featuring the title story by Ruth Lercher Bornstein performed with sign language.
(grades 2-6)

"Jackson IS the Dancing Man."
- author Ruth Lercher Bornstein


"The use of sign language is integral to the show's presentation...a lovely aspect of the performance that lends to the sense of dance."
- Laurie Schrieber, reviewing for the Bar Harbor Times

Harlequin and the Gift of Many Colors

Stories of friendship performed with sign language.

"Jackson is a versatile and personable artist with enlightening messages told in unique and upbeat ways. All of the children and their parents were enthralled by the quiet elegance of his stories. I was truly amazed with the fluidity of his communication - spoken, signed and portrayed through his movement."
- Carol Stevens, National Registry of Interpreters with the Deaf

"Excellent presentation! Kept everyone's attention with his wonderful stories. His use of sign language is a highlight!"
- Chris Rosinski, sign interpreter for Charlestown NH schools

The Man Who Planted Hope

An inspiring account of reforestation in Provence, adapted from the story by Jean Giono.
(grades 4-12 and adult)

"Your poignant piece would be an ideal addition to any Earth Day celebration or classroom discussion of the fragile nature of the environment."
- Andrea Shotkin, Director of Communications, North American Association of Environmental Education


Tall tales and songs from Maine's woods and waters.
(grades 1-6, also an adult version)

"Here is powerful description and adventure, whimsy an inch thick, and a foggy aura of mystery and ancient sea lore. Together they make for an engrossing experience."
- John Stansfield, reviewing for the National Storytelling Journal


Dinosaur Daze

A prehistoric comedy of stories and songs that will have you stomping, soaring & singing-along. And what would a Tyrannosaurus Rex want for its birthday...? (Integrated themes: anti-bullying, social acceptance and friendship.)

"Performance was very well received by the whole range of Kindergartners to sixth graders. Dinosaur voices very well done. Good pacing - kids really got into the participation but quieted down nicely at end as you presented message of caring."
- New Durham NH Elementary School

Hard Knocks!

An intense one-man drama dealing with substance abuse within a family, mixing humor with the realities of life. Targeted for adults, but also appropriate for middle school ages and up. Designed to be easily incorporated into awareness programs.
(grades 7-12, college and adult)
(See Substance Abuse page for more information about this program.)

The Perfect High

A selection of shorter comic sketches dealing with self-esteem, peer pressure, experimentation, and promoting healthy lifestyle choices. Mime, music, and participation, along with Jackson's altered egos, take you for a lighter-side look at the prevention of addiction.
(grades 7-12, college and adult)
(See Substance Abuse page for more information about this program.)

For comments about educational and family audience programs, take a look at What People Are Saying About Jackson Gillman.