Sideways Stories From Wayside School at the Arden Theater Company

Posted on: December 19th, 2013 by

This post was sponsored by the Arden Theater Company. We appreciate their support of
Jersey Family Fun that allows us to share with families information about things to do
with families in Philadelphia and Philadelphia events we think your family may enjoy.


We can only wish our school was this much fun!

Sideways Stories from Wayside School at the Arden Theater Company

Is your school a little too…normal? Welcome to Wayside. Before you enter Wayside School, you should know it’s a thirty-story building with one classroom on each floor. Mrs. Jewls is nice and teaches class on the thirtieth story, but watch out for Mrs. Gorf, who turns kids into apples if they give a wrong answer. And then there’s Miss Zarves, who teaches the class on the nineteenth story – except there is no nineteenth story so there is no Miss Zarves. The zany characters of Wayside School take you on a bizarre classroom journey that promises to thrill and excite the entire family.

Sideways Stories

Making Chalkboard Name Tags during the Preshow | Photo Credit Jersey Family Fun


The Arden Theater Company presented Sideways Stories From Wayside School in Philadelphia last week and we were honored to be their guests on opening night to enjoy the show. From the moment we entered the Arden Theater lobby doors it was back to school for us. We received our class schedule of activities to do before the play started. I must recommend attending an opening night performance at the Arden Theater if you can.There are always so many special activities and refreshments to enjoy. At each of our classes we were given a sticker to show that we arrived and participated in class.

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Class Schedule | Photo Credit Jersey Family Fun

Opening night festivities for the Sideways Stories From Wayside School at the Arden Theater included

  • A full day of class at Wayside School
    • Homeroom – Where we picked up our tickets.
    • Social Studies – We made cards for needy families and pinned where we were in Philadelphia on a map.
    • Gym Class – Silly Stretches
    • Health Class – Painting with Apples
    • Recess – Face Painting
    • Math – Solving equations with Apples
  • Getting our photo taken for the Wayside School Yearbook
  • Delicious Lunch – Ziti, Chicken Fingers, Hot Dogs, Salad
  • Mid Day Snack of Popcorn and Juice
  • Extra Credit at the Hamilton Family Arts Center (Arden’s Newest Building)
    • Gravity Demos
    • Chalkboard Floor
    • Beer and Wine tasting for moms & dad
  • After School Snack (after the play)
    • Delicious ice cream from Franklin Ice Cream
    • Caramel Apples


Sideways Stories

Getting out our silly side with silly stretches during gym class | Photo Credit Jersey Family Fun


What happens on the 30th floor at the Wayside School?

The lobby lights flickered and it was time to find our seats after all, we didn’t want to be late for the final class of the day DRAMA! With everyone arriving to class on time the play was about to begin. My little guy was so excited because he had just recently read the Sideways Stories books by Louis Sachar that the play was being based off of. He even dressed the part to look like his favorite character Myron. We were eager to see if Mrs. Gorf would turn us into apples or if Myron would want to play with our pig tails? Is Bebe really the fastest draw at Wayside School and would Mrs. Jewls be as amazingly fun and delightful as she was in the books.


Sideways Stories from Wayside School will be running until February 15th at the Arden Theater and is an absolute must see for any fan of the Wayside School series. The cast and crew brought these books to life. I was amazed at how spot on every single element was. Each member of the cast is a pleasure to watch. They truly become the character. You can feel their fear of their teacher Mrs. Gorf and you anxiously hope she doesn’t turn any of them into an apple. You laugh and smile with them as they experience all the crazy antics that can happen day to day at the Wayside School. When Mrs. Jewls arrives in town kids from 5 to 50 fall in love with her and you hope she sticks around as the teacher for the students on the 30th floor.


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Alex Keiper as Bebe and Steve Pacek as Mrs. Gorf in Arden Theatre Company’s production of Sideways Stories from Wayside School. | Photo by Mark Garvin.


Some of our favorite moments from Sideways Stories From Wayside School

I asked my son and niece what their favorite moments of the play was. Their responses remind me of the play in the way they are just fun and make you smile.

  • I loved when Myron wanted to keep pulling Leslie’s hair. I cracked up because it reminds me of when I’m in class and the girls are next to me. I want to pull on their pigtails so bad! Now I will see slinkys or snakes or something wiggly like spaghetti and not want to pull on them.
  • I want to be in band when I’m in a higher grade, I think everyday should start with music. I think I will invent my own instrument and call it a gargenheimer? The jury is still out on what exactly a gargenheimer is.
  • I wish we had dance class in our school. If our gym or art teacher taught us to dance in class it would be totally awesome.
  • Two words, Mrs Zarves!
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L-R: Emilie Krause as Leslie, Taysha Canales as Rondi, Robert Hager as Myron, and Rachel Camp as Mrs. Jewls in Arden Theatre Company’s production of Sideways Stories from Wayside School. | Photo by Mark Garvin.

Why we loved  Sideways Stories From Wayside School

  • It’s a feel good kind of play. A smile was on our face the entire time.
  • Sideways Stories From Wayside School brings you back as a parent and reminds you of all the silly things you went through in elementary school.
  • It’s a show the whole family can enjoy together, the content is child friendly but keeps the parents entertained as well.
  • The setting ~ Your world is turned completely sideways! You instantly see how the books are brought to life just by looking around the theater.
  • The cast ~ Kids can relate to every student at Wayside school. I loved how there is no bullying at wayside school and how the kids help one another through any dilemmas that may pop up.


Sideways Stories

L-R: Anthony Martinez-Briggs as Dameon, Alex Keiper as Bebe, Robert Hager as Myron, Emilie Krause as Leslie, Rachel Camp as Mrs. Jewls, and Dave Johnson as Louis in Arden Theatre Company’s production of Sideways Stories from Wayside School. | Photo by Mark Garvin.


Be sure to stick around after the show!

One of the really cool things the Arden Theater does each night is a post show Q&A with the cast. The audience is invited to ask questions and someone from the cast or crew will answer it. We learned about different aspects of how they move things on the set, how the actors are able to switch scenes so quickly and about how the sound crew creates some of the silly sounds you hear at Wayside School during our session.

As you exit the theater all children receive a commemorative Sideways Stories From Wayside School poster to take home from the show.

The highlight for my kids was that the cast also comes out to the lobby for a meet and greet and to take photos. My son about fell over when he was able to meet Myron.

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Meeting Myron (Robert Hager) after the show | Photo Credit Jersey Family Fun

To see our Sideways Stories From Wayside School Photos visit our Facebook Gallery.


Sideways Stories From Wayside School can be seen until February 15, 2014 at the Arden Theater Company in Philadelphia, PA.

Arden Theater Company
40 N. Second St
Philadelphia, PA 19106

The show runs for 2 hours and includes one 15 minute intermission.


How can I get tickets for Sideways Stories From Wayside School?

  • Tickets prices are as follows
    • $36.00 for Adults
    • $31.00 for Students/Seniors
    • $22.00 for Teens
    • $18.00 for Children
  • Tickets be be purchased online at the Arden Theater Website


If you are interested in having your theater performances added to our calendar or hosting a giveaway of tickets please contact Crystal AT Jerseyfamilyfun DOT com.


In full disclosure this post was sponsored by the Arden Theater Company. They provided Jersey Family Fun with tickets to attend the show and to host a giveaway. All opinions are our own and honest.


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