Help! Miss Nelson is Missing!

Miss NelsonTempe – Childsplay, Arizona’s professional theatre company for young audiences and families, kicks off its 2008-2009 Season at the Tempe Center for the Arts with Miss Nelson is Missing!, a hilarious comedy set in a Texas elementary school in the 1970s.

Directed by Childsplay Artistic Associate Dwayne Hartford (who also directed such Childsplay hits as Junie B. Jones and a Little Monkey Business, Seussical and Petite Rouge), this page-to-stage adaptation opens on Saturday, Sept. 13 and runs through Sunday, Oct. 5. Starring Childsplay favorite Katie McFadzen in the dual roles of Miss Nelson and her doppelganger Miss Viola Swamp, audiences are in for a rare treat!

Harry Allard and James Marshall’s popular children’s book was first published in 1977 and was immediately popular with children, parents and, especially, schoolteachers! Miss Nelson is Back and Miss Nelson Has A Field Day followed in quick succession. Children the world over are familiar with Miss Nelson, a sweet but ineffective young teacher, faced with a classroom of unruly students who have trouble following the rules and being respectful.

But Miss Nelson proves to be extremely resourceful. One day she is absent, and the students in Room 207 are surprised and dismayed to find Miss Viola Swamp in her place. The classroom takes on a very different mood with Ms. Swamp at the helm. Discipline is strict, there are no more stories, no recess, but lots of math and extra homework. The students desperately try to solve the mystery of their missing teacher and enlist the help of Detective McSmogg.

The Target Storybook Preview Performance will be on Saturday, September 7 at 4 p.m. with general admission tickets discounted at $12. Tickets for all other performances are $25 for adults and $20 for students, seniors and children. Tickets are currently on sale. For box office visit

Childsplay wants to find the Valley’s best-loved teachers!
In honor of Childsplay’s upcoming production of Miss Nelson is Missing!, grade school students in the Valley are encouraged to nominate their favorite teacher to win a prize.
Each week in September Childsplay will randomly pick five nominations from all the entries. The winners will receive a four-pack of tickets to see Miss Nelson is Missing! at Tempe Center for the Arts. One grand prizewinner will be selected in October and that teacher will win a field trip for his or her class to any show in Childsplay’s 08-09 season.
Students can enter at the Childsplay theater website: