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Book, Music & Lyrics by Joan Cushing

Based upon the book MISS NELSON HAS A FIELD DAY by Harry Allard and James Marshall

Text copyright © 1985 by Harry Allard. Performed by arrangement with Houghton Mifflin Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

By special arrangements with Houghton Mifflin Company and Gurman Agency LLC.

Produced by Dallas Children’s Theater

From Dallas, Texas

About the Company
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This digital engagement includes 2 week unlimited access to a password-protected prerecorded video link hosted on Vimeo.


Return to Horace B. Smedley School where the Smedley Tornadoes have never won a football game. In fact, they have never even scored a single point! With such a poor record and a team that is out of control, kind-hearted Miss Nelson comes to the rescue when she enlists the help of her alter ego, the ill-tempered Miss Viola Swamp, to coach the team and whip them into shape.


Considered by all to be “the meanest substitute teacher in the whole world,” Coach Swamp applies her trademark discipline to the players’ training, demanding tough exercises and no back talk. In the end, the team changes their attitude, pulls together, sharpens their skills, and manages to win the biggest game of the year.


A fun-filled musical from the award winning playwright/composer who brought you DIARY OF A WORM, A SPIDER & A FLY. Dallas Children's Theater is on the Texas Commission on the Arts Touring Roster, so funding may be available for Texas and Mid-America presenters for  virtual engagements. Learn more here

Best for Grades: K-5th
Performance length 65 minutes.

2020-2021 National Tour Trailer 

Curriculum Connections

Curriculum Connections

  • Language Arts: reading, writing, comprehension, and vocabulary

  • Math: measurement utilizing traditional and nontraditional measurement devices.

  • Emotional and Social Learning: teamwork, collaborating to create projects, working together to play games, and encouraging peers in class; discipline; dedication; resilience; self-confidence; creativity, expressing unique perspective in various activities

  • Performing & Visual Arts: theater, music, production design, and how the arts are used to adapt a play from a book


Remote Outreach and Workshops Available

Creative Dramatic Workshop

Using themes and situations from the play, two DCT artist/teachers can guide students through lively theater games and exercises designed to ignite the imagination and open new avenues of self expression.

  • Duration: 1 hour

  • Limited to: 30 participants/one classroom

  • For: 1st thru 3rd grades & 4th thru 5th grades.


(Post performance) Using this production as a backdrop, DCT company members will lead a discussion and take questions regarding certain aspects of a theatrical performance including how plays are adapted from books and taken from the page to the stage.

  • Duration: 1 hr.

  • Limited to: 30 participants/one classroom

  • For: All Grades

Digital Tech Specs

Digital Tech Specs

This performance is available as a prerecorded link hosted on password protected Vimeo site managed by HAA. Each site will be made specific to the presenting venue with the following possible models.

A Standard Educational Engagement includes:

  • 2 weeks of Unlimited Educational Access for Schools (within 60 miles of Venue). 

  • A custom password protected link with full pre-recorded high quality video, hosted on Vimeo

  • Ability to add your venue’s logo and custom welcome greeting

  • Ability to add a presenter-recorded Curtain Speech video

  • A sample study guide (pdf)

  • Additional activities such as live online workshops, masterclasses, etc... available for separate fee with scheduling TBD mutually


A Public Family Engagement includes:

  • 1 weekend of Access for Public Audiences (within 60 miles of Venue)

  • A custom password protected link with full pre-recorded high quality video, hosted on Vimeo

  • Ability to add your venue’s logo to Vimeo Page

  • Customized Greeting from Company on Vimeo Page

  • Ability to add a presenter-recorded Curtain Speech video to Vimeo Page

  • A sample study guide (pdf)

  • Additional activities such as live online workshops, masterclasses, etc... available for separate fee with scheduling TBD mutually

Please talk to us if you are looking to serve both school and family audiences with this digital presentation and we can combine models for the appropriate access.

Critical Acclaim

Critical Acclaim for the Book, Music, and Lyrics

“Bright and lively, with catchy songs and nifty slow motion effects, Miss Nelson serves up the concepts of losing, scoring, and winning...Cushing’s book is clear and the plot easy to follow, even for those not particularly schooled in football." 

—Potomac Stages

"A sequel to the joyous Miss Nelson Is Missing, it expands the picture book with a spatula-wielding cafeteria lady who is given a voice and a song, and Viola Swamp, determined to make the Smedley Tornadoes a force of nature once again. In the process, the players learn about teamwork, respect, for themselves and others, and the importance of not giving up.”

—The Washington Times

“Miss Nelson Has a Field Day' is a lively, engaging, interactive show, full of humor and with the expected moral for children - work hard, and you'll succeed." 

—The Morning Call, Allentown, PA

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Company Background


Past Tours: Diary of a Worm, a Spider, and a FlyHow I Became a PirateMufaro’s Beautiful Daughters;The BFG (Big Friendly Giant); The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley; The True Story of the Three Little Pigs; A Midnight Cry ~ The Underground Railroad to Freedom ; And Then They Came For Me: Remembering the World Of Anne Frank

Now in its 35th season, Dallas Children’s Theater is the largest professional family theater in the Southwest, and has been named one of the top five theaters for youth and families in the United States by AMERICAN THEATER and TIME magazines. Designated as an American Masterpieces Touring Artist by the NEA, the theater’s acclaimed touring company travels coast to coast with professional large-scale productions designed to stir the heart, stretch the mind and promote education. Each touring production is selected and designed with a youth and family audience in mind from titles and materials that reflect the cultural diversity of our world community. They encompass a combination of new plays, familiar stories, literary works, biographies, mythology, folk tales, music, dance, and puppetry. With such a vast and impressionable audience to serve, DCT's productions usually target a different age range every other touring season. Study guides accompany each production and a variety of curriculum based workshops and residencies are also made available to teachers and students.

Dallas Children's Theater began a local touring program in 1985 with a Native American piece entitled Legend of the Bluebonnet. In 1989, the touring roster expanded to statewide and regional venues. In 1996, DCT launched its first national tour. September 2006 marked DCT's introduction to the world stage, as the theater was honored with an invitation to perform at the 2006 Shanghai International Children's Culture and Arts Expo in Shanghai, China.

DCT believes that theater provides a unique learning opportunity, which allows children exposure to ideas and imagery that reflect their own experiences and challenge their own understanding of the world in which they live. To this end, Dallas Children's Theater aims to engage and inspire children, to produce theater that reaches beyond the stage.


For more information, please visit the company’s website.

Gallery of Past Productions

Past Productions
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