The Gretchen A. Zyndorf School Days Series Returns for the 2022-23 School Year

The Valentine Celebrates 10 Years of Educational Theater

The Valentine Theater has announced the 2022-23 Gretchen A. Zyndorf School Days Educational Theatre Series lineup! 

It is a milestone year for the program and the Valentine, as it has been 10 years since the program’s inception by the late Gretchen A. Zyndorf. This year’s lineup includes:

    • Junie B.’s Essential Survival Guide to School  
  • The Emperor’s New Clothes
  • This is Not a Pipe Dream
  • The Wright Stuff
  • ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas
  • The Ugly Duckling
  • Warriors Don’t Cry 

According to The Valentine’s website, shows are performed by “professional touring companies in educational theatre productions” and are “geared to schoolchildren for field trips during the school week.” The production descriptions also include recommended age groups for each show, which range from Pre-K up through high school, and even provide links to study guides to enhance the educational experience. Showtimes are at 10am and 12:15pm and are usually around one hour in length.

Who was Gretchen A. Zyndorf?

The School Days Educational Theater program was created and developed by the late Gretchen A. Zyndorf, who passed away on December 7, 2019, after a lengthy battle with cancer. Ms. Zyndorf was a powerhouse in our community. She not only served on the board for the Valentine Theater, but she also supported Toledo’s other iconic arts institutions: the Toledo Symphony, the Toledo Opera, and the Toledo Museum of Art. 

Her generosity and support were not exclusive to the arts community; she frequently volunteered at and gave generously to the Toledo Humane Society, Humane Ohio, the Toledo Hospital, the Sight Center of Toledo, and enjoyed providing home cooked meals for the Cherry Street Mission. 

Ms. Zyndorf even wrote, directed, and produced her very own children’s musical, Captain of the Crossing Guards, which was performed at the Valentine Theater in August of 2018.

To learn more about Ms. Zyndorf and her profound impact in our community, click here

The Valentine offers virtual outreach, too!

The theater also offers a virtual Story Time via their website, free of charge, and is accessible to everyone with an internet connection. The appropriate age group is listed under each video, ranging from Pre-K to fifth grade. 

Story Time was born out of the pandemic in 2020, “as a way to help us stay connected and learn more about the people in our community,” says Virtual School Days Coordinator, Kelby Sodeman. “The program was such a hit that we have kept it going – filming and producing about 3 to 4 new episodes each year.” 

Each episode of Story Time is read by local leaders in our community, including:

  • Toledo Met’s Michael Lang 
  • Toledo Police Officer, Burna Guy 
  • Current Mayor of Toledo, Wade Kapszukiewiczk
  • Former Toledo Mayor, Mike Bell
  • Former Toledo Mayor, Donna Owens
  • And even Ohio’s First Lady, Fran DeWine!

“My all-time favorite is Ebone Wawaru, who performs with the Toledo Opera, reading When Marian Sang,” says Sodeman. 

There are now over 30 episodes of Story Time to watch, with more coming soon!

Tickets, contact, and other information:

Interested? Check out the 2022-23 brochure here!

Groups of 14 and under: Groups of 15 and over:
$10 each $9 each

Tickets for the School Days Educational Theater program may be purchased throughout the school year at the following rates: 

For reservations you may:


  • Email Kelby Sodeman, School Days Coordinator
  • Call the Valentine at (419) 214-4803
  • Fax (419) 242-2791, Attention: Kelby Sodeman
  • Or mail your reservation form to:

The Valentine Theatre, School Days
410 Adams Street
Toledo, Ohio 43604

The complete policies, procedures, and theater etiquette are available here

Related Articles