The MathStart book series has become synonymous with pre-k math learning. With 21 books in each of its 3 levels, largely regarded as the best series of its kind, MathStart has been named one of the Top Ten Nonfiction Series for Young Children by Booklist magazine.
Now, from the pens and pianos of Chicago’s finest collaborators (Scott Ferguson & Michael Mahler), Stuart J. Murphy’s smash learning series can come to life on your stage with a Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) version of THE MAIN STREET KIDS’ CLUB: A MATHSTART MUSICAL. The TYA Collection features musicals for adults to perform for children, usually have cast requirements of 6-12 actors, and have running times under 90 minutes.
With a Libretto written by SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK LIVE! & SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK LIVE TOO!’s Scott Ferguson, THE MAIN STREET KIDS’ CLUB: A MATHSTART MUSICAL is described by Murphy as, “…terrific! The math is spot on. And the club motto makes my heart sing: ‘Math Skills are Life Skills!”
Ferguson’s counterpart on THE MAIN STREET KIDS’ CLUB: A MATHSTART MUSICAL is NorthWestern University alum and Joseph Jefferson Award winner, Michael Mahler – who recently appeared in the new version of WORKING. The two gentlemen have seamlessly woven together six of the MathStart stories to create an educational and heartwarming tale about Toby, the new kid in town, and the Main Street Kids’ Club.
About the Show
Toby desperately wants to be a part of the Main Street Kids’ Club (M.S.K.C.), whose members are the coolest kids in town. Toby isn’t especially confident in his math skills, but he thinks he has found just the ticket to prove his worth…a treasure map!
The members ask Toby about where he is from and tell him that maybe someday he can join them as an official member. The M.S.K.C. begins to notice that their clubhouse could use a serious makeover. However, a makeover requires money. Toby thinks that this is his chance! He tries to join the conversation to tell everyone about his treasure map, but no one will listen to him.
Suddenly an M.S.K.C. member sees the treasure map on the floor where Toby dropped it earlier; and the gang sets out to find the hidden treasure, leaving an ignored and dejected Toby to stand guard at the clubhouse.
After uncovering the hidden treasure – a small metal box – the gang decides to go back to the clubhouse so Toby can watch them open it since he has been standing guard all this time.
Back with Toby at the club, they open the box, revealing treasures of a club similar to their own 60 years ago. After discovering a picture in the treasure chest of the old club and a lemonade stand, they decide to emulate. Duties and supplies are divided among the group, but when Toby tries to offer his help, he is again rejected for not being an official member.
Over the next several days, the M.S.K.C.’s lemonade stand is a big hit. Each day they excitedly chart the cups of lemonade they sold. All of a sudden, their success declines one day. No one knows why until they see Toby on the opposing street corner juggling, surrounded by a crowd of people.
Determined to make them both a success, the members propose that Toby join forces with them. Sure enough, the next day is the biggest success of all! While the official members are all dancing around in excitement, Toby totals the cups sold and profit. Toby is not as bad at math as he thought. The club members are so impressed with Toby’s help and math skills, they invite him to become an official member of the M.S.K.C. and the excitement abounds.
Sure to be a delightful event for children and adults alike, THE MAIN STREET KIDS’ CLUB: A MATHSTART MUSICAL is a perfect addition to any theatre’s season, especially establishments that commit themselves to educational theatre experiences. MTI is thrilled to add it to our catalog and ecstatic to announce its availability for licensing! Happy Mathing!
Lemonade: Excerpts from the MATHSTART MUSICAL
Theatre for Young Audiences
MATHSTART is part of our Theatre for Young Audiences Collection (TYA). The Theatre for Young Audiences Collection features musicals for adults to perform for children. TYA shows usually have cast requirements of 6-12 actors, and have running times under 90 minutes.
Learn More About the Book Series
Math is about far more than numbers. Math is about being able to make comparisons (estimation, percentage, measurement), understand spatial relationships (directions, opposites, symmetry, geometric shapes, mapping) and calculate time (sequencing, timelines, calendars). Many of the MathStart stories involve Science and Social Studies subjects. Earth Day — Hooray! (Place Value), for example, teaches about the Environment, while Dave’s Down-to-Earth Rock Shop (Classifying) is filled with information on Geology. The Grizzly Gazette (Percentages) is a lesson on democracy. Seaweed Soup (Matching Sets) is a tale about sharing and kindness. And Lemonade for Sale (Graphing) and Sluggers’ Car Wash (Making Change) are both stories on entrepreneurship and economics.
Math skills are Life skills. We use them every day in every way.