TIGER Theatre Program Returns to K-8 Schools Throughout New England for 19th Season

Plymouth State University’s (PSU) Emmy award-winning TIGER (Theatre Integrating Guidance, Education and Responsibility) program is back and gearing-up to bring its engaging, entertaining and educational performances to K-8 audiences across New England. While it was sidelined from touring in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, TIGER quickly pivoted to producing a 20-part educational and entertaining YouTube series for educators and families called “TIGER TIME.” This year marks the company’s 19th touring season, as it hits the road in its brand-new van.

TIGER is a professional theatre company designed to help communities proactively address social concerns. The program is a collaboration between the Integrated Arts and the Counselor Education and School Psychology graduate programs at PSU. TIGER’s performances incorporate live actors, movement and music to engage school-age audiences, and are based on the anonymous writings of children. The goal of the program is to transform feelings, thoughts and behavior to help children and adults understand their own power in resolving social issues that exist in schools today.

“We are so excited to be back on the road with TIGER and are so very grateful to our generous donors for sponsoring our new van so we can visit more schools throughout New England,” said Trish Lindberg, Ph.D., Professor of Education and Integrated Arts, Coordinator of Integrated Arts M.Ed. Program and TIGER Artistic Director. “TIGER seeks to help young people deal with bullying and other difficult social behaviors through the power of music, theatre and dance. It is magical to see the children’s faces as they watch TIGER. You can tell we are making a difference.”

This year, TIGER will be on the road starting in October, visiting elementary schools in Merrimack, Manchester, Canterbury, Stoddard, Milford, Pittsburg, Colebrook, Franklin and Epping, New Hampshire, and Harvard, Massachusetts. Additional performances will be added to the tour schedule. If you are interested in booking TIGER, contact Pam Irish, TIGER Tour Manager at 603-535-2647 or tiger-psu@plymouth.edu.

This year’s TIGER cast includes:

  • Cassandra Cutting, actress, singer, dancer, PSU Class of 2021, bachelor of arts in musical theatre from Peterborough, New Hampshire
  • Nam Nguyen, Fulbright Grantee, visual artist, actor, PSU graduate student in integrated arts from Vietnam
  • Matthew Murray, actor from Maryland
  • Olivia Etchings, actress, dancer, singer from Lincoln, New Hampshire
  • Kelly McGowen, actress, educator, Emerson College graduate student in theatre education from Massachusetts

TIGER’s performances are written and directed by Trish Lindberg, choreographed by Gustavo Wons and musically directed by Carolyn Dorff.

Nam Nguyen

Nam Nguyen is a visiting Fulbright Grantee from Vietnam who is participating in an educational and cultural exchange program at PSU. Nguyen is currently pursuing his master’s degree in integrated arts. With limited integrated arts programs to choose from across the country, Nguyen selected PSU because it aligned most closely with his expectations for integrating arts programming into classrooms, and for its tight-knit campus community and proximity to an abundance of outdoor and hiking opportunities.

Nguyen has a degree in architectural design, but prior to coming to the U.S., he spent five years running projects for students to learn about science and research and then opened his own learning center to teach Vietnamese children to draw and to do a variety of arts and crafts projects. This experience prompted his pursuit of a master’s degree in integrated arts, as a means to promote arts education in Vietnamese schools. At PSU, Nguyen decided to join TIGER because it is an integrated arts project that teaches children how to handle different social circumstances and how to work through their emotions.

“I am looking forward to visiting schools throughout New England as one of my goals is to learn more about the educational system in the U.S.,” said Nguyen. “The TIGER program is unique and I would like to bring a program like it to Vietnam, to the local schools, because it’s a great tool for teaching kids how to react to situations around them.”

When TIGER hits the road this fall to bring its programming to children in all corners of the state and beyond, the company will be traveling in style in a new van, thanks to the generous support of Alex Ray of The Common Man, Steve Rand of Plymouth Rotary, Margaret Turner of Waterville Valley, New Hampshire, and Tom and Susan Stepp of Holderness, New Hampshire. The company’s previous van needed to be replaced after 10 years of visiting school children all over New England.   

To learn more about TIGER, visit campus.plymouth.edu/TIGER.