Stage Stars Details

Stage Stars

Once you’ve performed thousands of live animal stage shows, you know what works… and what doesn’t. It is Zooniversity’s goal to have every audience member leave our Stage Stars show with pleasant memories that will long be remembered—and to make the management of the event be as simple as possible for you. Please take the time to carefully read through this section to insure a fun and safe time for all.

How does Stage Stars work?

Stage Stars is our traditional stage-style program for audiences of up to 300 and guests of all ages. These entertaining, yet educational, stage shows are the perfect introduction to zoology for schools, day care, scouts, churches, libraries, camps and corporate and community events. (Stage Stars is NOT available for parties.) Our presenter will bring out one exotic animal at a time and teach the audience all about it. We adjust the curriculum for the age and abilities of the audience, but we usually cover where the animals come from, what they eat, interesting behaviors, how they defend themselves, etc. We are also always happy to customize the curriculum to supplement your specific theme or lesson plans. Let us know in advance if there is something special you would like us to emphasize or avoid or if you have religious beliefs that you would like us to honor. All of our programs end with an out-loud audience quiz—to reinforce the information delivered and to provide the participants with a sense of accomplishment.

What are Zooniversity’s audience safety rules?

As you know, animal programs generate big audience turn-outs and great publicity, but they also generate some unique challenges regarding audience management. We understand a child’s natural curiosity and love of animals, but that must be balanced with the needs of the animals and the safety of the audience. Because our animals are exotic and not domesticated, it is critical that the audience follow some simple rules:

  1. they must remain seated,
  2. they must avoid loud or sudden noises, and
  3. they must follow the presenter’s instructions at all times.

Adults who are present must also follow these simple rules to ensure safety for all. Teachers, librarians and adult leaders are required to stay and assist with audience management and will be expected to handle audience disruptions, so our zookeepers can concentrate on the presentation and safe animal handling. We reserve the right to not show the animals if the audience is disruptive or fails to follow the safety rules.

Can the audience touch the animals?

Our standard Stage Stars program is a “no touch” program — the audience may not touch the animals (just too many sets of hands). However, if pre-arranged, we can do a “selected touch” program where pre-selected participants (ages 6 years and up) are asked to come on stage and meet the animals. Great for pictures! Some groups use this as a reward for students with special achievements. Participants are required to use an FDA-approved hand sanitizer that we provide after they touch the animals. In addition, we always recommend that the participants wash their hands with soap and water following the program.

Our Secular Teaching Approach

We teach secular curricula. We believe that our role is to teach zoological science and that the family’s role is to instill personal belief systems. Our personal beliefs will NEVER be evident to our students, but, as a “science” company, we DO teach currently-accepted scientific principles. Topics such as animal adaptations, natural selection, the impact of human intrusion, and climatic changes on wildlife are taught in our programs. If your family’s personal beliefs do not align with this approach to teaching zoology and conservation, then this is probably not the wildlife education company for you. Our mission is to instill a love of wildlife and nature by sharing the latest scientific information…we’ll leave the rest to you.

What kind of set-up do you need?

We conduct the program indoors—no mess involved. We no longer conduct outdoor presentations. The presentation room must be a contained space with four walls and a door; an open atrium or lobby is not a safe, controllable environment. Please select a climate-controlled, ground floor location (we cannot climb stairs safely with crates, but elevators are acceptable). Avoid rooms with large mirrors, helium balloons or hanging decorations, as they frighten some animals. Audience members can sit in rows, either on the floor or in chairs. We require a 6-ft. minimum clearance between our presenter and your first row—marking the floor with tape is a great way to let the audience know where that is. Please allow a center aisle, so we can display the animals for easier viewing. It is helpful if a 6 or 8-ft. table is provided for our use. For obvious reasons, food and drink may not be in the presentation area.

Will you need a microphone or speaker system?

We will bring a portable speaker system with us or, if you prefer, we are happy to use your built-in speaker system (a wireless clip-on or head-set microphone is required for ease of movement).

Can children younger than 3 years old participate?

Stage Stars programs are designed for audiences 3 years and older. Children younger than 3 years are not to be included in children-only events. If this is a family-style event, children under the age of 5 years are welcome to sit quietly with an adult in the rear of the audience nearest the exit doors. It is critical that strollers, infants, and children younger than 3 years NOT be seated near the front of the audience. Should an infant or toddler become noisy or need to toddle around, it will be expected that they will be removed from the presentation area, so they do not disrupt the program or jeopardize the safety of the rest of the audience. We appreciate your assistance in helping noisy or wiggly youngsters to quickly exit the area.

What about special needs audience members?

Your special needs audience members are welcome to attend, provided that they too can follow the safety rules, can stay seated, and can avoid making sudden movements or sounds. We suggest that you seat special needs guests toward the outer edges or rear of the audience, in case they need leave the presentation area. We request that you privately inform the presenter of their seating location, so we can politely assist them if needed.

Can we take pictures?

You are welcome to take still photographs during the show and flash photography is fine. Unfortunately, due to some unauthorized postings on the internet, we are no longer able to allow video or film recordings of our presentations. Our presentations are “our product,” so we hope you understand that we need to be able to protect our product from unauthorized use or distribution.

When will you arrive and will you need any help?

We will arrive 30-minutes before start time to set-up for the program. We would greatly appreciate a reserved parking space close to the unloading area and near the presentation space. We prefer that the audience not enter the presentation area until 5 minutes before show time and then enter as quietly as possible. If the audience must gather earlier in the presentation area, we will need a staff member to keep the audience at a safe distance from our crates while we unload and to assist us in keeping the waiting audience as quiet as possible.

How does the time scheduling work?

Be sure to book us at the time you want us to START the first program. When booking back-to-back programs, we recommend you allow up to 15 minutes between programs to allow for rotation of the audience. We request that you hold prizes or awards until after we’ve packed and left the presentation area. Please understand that we must stay on schedule, as we have other client commitments.

What is your payment process?

Deposits are not required from recognized businesses and organizations. Unless otherwise prearranged, payment in full is due upon arrival on the day of the event, prior to set-up, payable by cash, business check or money order. Personal checks will not be accepted from business clients. Payment by credit card is available with an additional a 3.5% convenience fee. Gratuities for the presenter are not required, but are gratefully accepted if you feel your presenter did an outstanding job or exceeded your expectations.