It’s about 10 a.m. on a Friday morning, and 2,206 Dallas Independent School District third-graders are filling the Winspear Opera House to capacity.
Each year the district takes thousands of students on a holiday field trip — and it is a big job. Traffic, children and performers are complexly choreographed to make it work.
For most of the 8- and 9-year-olds at the opera house, it’s their first visit. Their eyes pop wide as jaws drop — and they’re only in the lobby.
The students file in to watch the children’s classic, “Peter and the Wolf,” performed by the Texas Ballet Theater. There’s a cat, a duck, a wolf and Peter — and the students love it.
The performance is short, but staff behind the scenes has spent hours that day preparing for it.
Anastasia Pharr is a Senior House Manager for the AT&T Performing Arts Center. She’s worked every student matinee, without fail, for 10 years. During a morning briefing before the performance, she thanked everyone for their hard work.
“It’s been a bit of a long week,” Pharr said. “Thanks to everyone who’s been here all week. I know it’s challenging.”