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The David Gonzalez Collection

January 4 - 22, 2021


(on-demand video series)

Critically acclaimed and award-winning artist David Gonzalez combines live music with compelling drama and multimedia. His productions include fairy tales, epic myths and fables, and community voices.

This virtual collection features some of David’s best stories, including:

Best for grades K-3

Fast-paced, funny, and packed with audience participation, Aesop Bops! features a potpourri of Aesop's classic stories including The Lion and the Mouse, The Fisherman and His Wife, and The Turtle's Shell. This feast of funky, physical storytelling leaves young audiences feeling like they had just performed the show too! Aesop Bops! rocks, and rolls out the red carpet - inviting kids to join in the fun. 

Best for grades K-3

Cuentos paints a vivid picture of the people and rich cultures of the Spanish-speaking world with colorful tales from the Caribbean, South America, and the Bronx! From the silly antics of the Puerto Rican anti-hero "Juan Bobo" to the mysterious dealings and powers of the Orishas in a suite of Afro-Cuban stories, these tales are filled with memorable characters, fantastic plots and positive messages for children.

Spanish language words are sprinkled throughout the stories and songs in such a way that young audiences can repeat and retain their sound and meaning. Solid entertainment and a great introduction to the marvelous world of Latinx literature and culture.

Best for grades 1-5

A new production featuring two stories about empowering the voices of young people. In the first story, The Boy Who Could Sing Pictures, adapted from Seymour Leichman’s book, we meet Luca, son of Bustelo-the-jester, who discovers that when he sings for people, spectacular pictures appear in the sky that reflect the truth of the world and people around him.  The adventure follows Luca through a summer-long tour of surprises and wonders, and reaches a climax with the command for a royal performance and a fateful encounter with the evil ministers who fear that Luca's songs may reveal too much...  Luca learns to trust his talents as he saves the day and the kingdom too! 

In the second story, Nina Nails It, based on a Persian tale, a savvy girl teaches a wizard where his true heart resides. 

Best for Grades K-5

When a King sends his three sons to find their brides, two return with fair ladies. The last returns with... A FROG?! The Frog Bride is a hip adaptation of a classic Russian tale. Two outstanding musicians weave one of Prokofiev's classics with an original jazz-funk score, as David performs every role against a backdrop of stunning video projection and moving images by painter Wassily Kandinsky. Filled with comic sparkle, The Frog Bride is a "ribbiting" coming-of-age story.

Best for Grades 3-5

A rhymed-verse storytelling spin on the classic fairy tale with music including Bach’s Goldberg Variations, and image projections that create a magical multimedia world in which our beautiful (and funky) princess is awakened by true love's kiss...or not. This production, pulsing with majestic language and high art, is scaled to perfection for young audiences and creates a spell of imaginative wonder.


Note: due to licensing restrictions, this virtual field trip is open to schools and home educators who would typically be able to attend a school matinee at a Des Moines Performing Arts venue. If you are an Iowa teacher or home educator beyond this geographic radius, please contact education@dmpa.org to explore what is possible.



Social-Emotional Learning

Self-Awareness: Integrating personal and social identities; Identifying personal, cultural, and linguistic assets; Having a growth mindset; Developing interests and a sense of purpose

Social Awareness: Taking others’ perspectives; Recognizing strengths in others; Identifying diverse social norms, including unjust ones; Understanding the influences of organizations/systems on behavior

Responsible Decision-Making: Reflecting on one’s role to promote personal, family and community well-being


Reading Standards for Literature: Key Ideas and Details, Craft and Structure

Speaking and Listening: Comprehension of text read aloud or presented orally

Social Studies

Behavioral Science: Recognize the Interaction Between the Individual and Various Groups; Examine Factors that Led to Continuity and Change on Human Development and Behavior


Performing: Theatre artists make strong choices to effectively convey meaning.

Responding: Theatre artists apply criteria to investigate, explore, and assess drama and theatre work.


Responding: Response to music is informed by analyzing context (social, cultural and historical) and how creators and performers manipulate the elements of music; Through their use of elements and structures of music, creators and performers provide clues to their expressive intent


The David Gonzalez Collection is made up of a series of videos, each featuring a story from David’s large repertoire.

For shorter viewings ranging from 5-15 minutes each, we recommend:

  • Aesop’s Bops!
    Stories include “The Lion and the Mouse”, “The Fisherman and His Wife”, and “The Turtle's Shell”
  • Cuentos: Tales from the Latinx World
    Stories include “Chango and the Drum”, “Juan Bobo and the Pig”, and “Tio Jose and the Singing Trees”

For longer, full-length viewings ranging from 35-50 minutes we recommend:

  • The Boy Who Forgot to Sing Pictures
  • The Frog Bride
  • Sleeping Beauty   

How many times can I view it?  Once you gain access, as many times as you wish!

When can my students view it?  January 4-22, 2021

Do you have any supplemental material to accompany the show? Yes – we will send you additional materials to set context and help your students reflect on the virtual field trip experience.

Event Details


Streaming January 4-22, 2021
Grades K-5

Des Moines Performing Arts is proud to offer this education opportunity at no cost to participants.

School Groups: Register Here!

Home Educators: Register Here!

Mission Moment

You Make The Difference

It's 21st century skills that they need to have the rest of their lives. It's not just something that when they leave fourth grade, they are done with it.

-Andrea, teacher, Studebaker Elementary, Des Moines

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