The Girl Who Swallowed the Cactus

Family Theater

April 28-May 1 for school groups

The desert will come to life in surprising new ways when Sheila meets wild animals who share their story. This one-woman show returns after being workshopped at the Kennedy Center’s New Visions/New Voices festival in 2018. 

Grades 2-12

Apr. 28 - May 1, 2020

Event Information

  • Genre




  • Runtime

    55 minutes

About the Program

The silhouette of a wolf

School’s out for the summer, and Sheila and her friends are left with only the nearby junkyard and their imaginations to keep them busy. But when a truck driven by a coyote wearing cowboy boots rumbles by, they know they’re in for a fantastical adventure! This one-woman show starring TIA SHEARER returns after being workshopped at the Kennedy Center’s New Visions/New Voices festival in 2018. Written by ERIC COBLE, directed by JULIA FLOOD, and presented by St. Louis’s METRO THEATER COMPANY, the entrancing tale explores the relationship between wild animals and the humans that encroach their lands. As Sheila meets the Council of Howls, the String Brigade, and other characters of the wilderness, the desert comes to life in surprising ways.

Standards Connections

Theatre/Responding: Reflect: (TH:Re7.1); Interpret (TH:Re8.1); Evaluate (TH:Re9.1); Theatre/Connecting: Empathize (TH:Cn10.1); Interrelate (TH:Cn11.1); Research (TH:Cn11.2); CCSS Listening: Comprehension (SL.2); Reading: Key Ideas and Details: (R.1), (R.2), (R.3); Craft and Structure (R.4), (R.5), (.R.6).


Get the Cuesheet Performance Guide

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Digital Learning Resources

Collection Theater

Take a peek behind the red curtain and discover the artistry and history behind the world of theater. Explore the playwriting process first-hand, learn about the cultural impact of performance, and read and perform some of the most influential works of the 20th century.

  • Theater

Collection Animals & Nature

Is there poetry in the ocean? How can the wind inspire dance? How can the arts represent the change of seasons? Discover patterns and cycles in nature with these resources that address cell composition and reproduction, animal habitats, the metamorphasis of a caterpillar to a butterfly, and an artistic representation of our relationship with the planet.

  • Animals & Nature

Collection Myths, Legends, & Folktales

Greek and Egyptian mythology, the story of the Lion King, and the legend of King Arthus are just some of the ways these resources explore the different cultural interpretations of heroes. Then learn the stories of Cinderella, as well as American legends Paul Bunyan, John Henry and Pecos Bill.

  • Myths, Legends, & Folktales

Collection Women in the Arts

From providing historical inspiration to preserving cultural traditions to pushing the boundaries of creativity, explore the contributions women have made (and continue to make) to the arts.

  • Women in the Arts

Register Your School Group

For school groups of 10 or more only (public performances for non-school groups may be available). Each student, teacher, and chaperone attending must have a ticket. Our performances are intended to provide educational opportunities to students within the metro area. We are partially funded through the Department of Education which enables us to offer our tickets at a reduced price. We provide family series events on the weekends which provide a better opportunity if your ratio of adults to students exceeds 1:4. If you need clarification please call the School Registration Office at (202) 416-8835.

Kennedy Center Education

Major support for educational programs at the Kennedy Center is provided by David M. Rubenstein through the Rubenstein Arts Access Program.

Generous support is also provided by the U.S. Department of Education.

The content of these programs may have been developed under a grant from the U.S. Department of Education but does not necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of Education. You should not assume endorsement by the federal government.

Gifts and grants to educational programs at the Kennedy Center are provided by A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation; Sandra K. & Clement C. Alpert; Annenberg Foundation; Bank of America; Bender Foundation, Inc.; The Honorable Stuart Bernstein and Wilma E. Bernstein.

Michael F. and Noémi K. Neidorff and The Centene Charitable Foundation; CMA Foundation; DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities; Dr. Gerald and Paula McNichols Foundation; Estée Lauder; Exelon; Ford Foundation; The Gessner Family Foundation; GRoW @ Annenberg and Gregory Annenberg Weingarten and Family; Harman Family Foundation; The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust; Herb Alpert Foundation; The Isadore and Bertha Gudelsky Family Foundation, Inc.; iTheatrics; The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation; Jim and Heather Johnson; The Karel Komárek Family Foundation; the Kimsey Endowment; The Kiplinger Foundation; The King-White Family Foundation and Dr. J. Douglas White; Natalie and Herb Kohler and Kohler Co.; Laird Norton Family Foundation; Macy's; The Markow Totevy Foundation; Dr. Gary Mather and Ms. Christina Co Mather; Linda and Tobia Mercuro; Little Kids Rock; The Meredith Foundation; The Millennium Stage Endowment Fund; The Morningstar Foundation; 

The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation; Myra and Leura Younker Endowment Fund; NAMM Foundation; National Endowment for the Arts; Newman's Own Foundation; Nordstrom; Oath Foundation; Park Foundation, Inc.; Paul M. Angell Family Foundation; The Irene Pollin Audience Development and Community Engagement Initiatives; Prince Charitable Trusts; Rosemary Kennedy Education Fund; Dr. Deborah Rose and Dr. Jan A. J. Stolwijk; Rosenthal Family Foundation; Mr. and Mrs. Albert H. Small; The Stella Boyle Smith Trust; Target; The Embassy of the United Arab Emirates; The Volgenau Foundation; Volkswagen Group of America; Dennis & Phyllis Washington; Wells Fargo; William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust; and generous contributors to the Abe Fortas Memorial Fund and by a major gift to the fund from the late Carolyn E. Agger, widow of Abe Fortas. Additional support is provided by the National Committee for the Performing Arts.