Bad Wolf was started in 1995 by lyricist John Heath and composer Ron Fink. They met in 6th grade and started writing songs together in high school, which was a very long time ago!
John and Ron wrote their first kids' musical (Jack and the Beanstalk) in 1992 for a first grade teacher in Camarillo, CA. Response was extremely positive and the writers did another show the next year. Kids had a great time, parents got excited, and teachers began to talk. John and Ron started contacting publishers, all of which turned them down. But, not to be thwarted, eventually they forged ahead and started publishing on their own.
In 2011—fifteen years, more than 50 shows and 100,000 productions later—we lost Ron. Ron will always be at the heart of Bad Wolf, and we are so fortunate to continue to have the support of his family and contributions from the same cadre of talented friends and musicians as before, led by composer and multi-instrumentalist, Mike Fishell.
John continues as the Bad Wolf Word Guy. He's also a classics professor at Santa Clara University, which means he teaches Latin and ancient Greek, along with the literature of the period. He likes to play banjo for his dog, wife, and daughters.
John's wife, Lisa, is now the one keeping the hamsters running at Bad Wolf headquarters. You'll hear from Lisa if you email or call us, and you might even hear her singing on future CDs!
Bad Wolf continues to believe that education should be fun, challenging, and participatory, and we will keep listening carefully to teachers so that we can produce shows that fulfill a clear need in the classroom.
Bad Wolf shows are filled with facts (i.e. mandated curriculum) but the story and the humor combined with music and rhyme do their stuff to help your kids understand and retain what they need to remember.
It's our patented formula:
Entertaining Story + Music/Rhyme =
Over and over again, teachers tell us that the songs are infectious, and once they get "stuck" in their students' heads, the curriculum is successfully retained.
"When they are having so much fun and learn, too, how can it fail? The
setting and the songs are disturbingly catchy. Do you know how many times I've
woken up and immediately began singing in my mind, "We Were Punctuation
--- Helena Signora, 2nd Grade Teacher, Holy Trinity School, Comstock Park, MI
We'd like to take full credit for the ingenious combinations of school subjects and silly settings, but actually many of our ideas come from you, the teachers of America. We are always hunting down the next frontier of curriculum resuscitation.What else can we bring to life for you? For instance, do you notice the glazing over of students' eyes as you teach a particular subject? Let us know about it and we'll make it fodder for our next play.
Speaking of humor, just where do the best Bad Wolf jokes come from? It used to be that great jokes were everywhere, ripe for the taking. No longer. Nowadays the finest source of educational humor is South America's Andes Mountains. And so Bad Wolf employs 27 workers to mine their claim in those distant snowy mountains, working from sunup to sundown to find and select really dumb jokes that will enliven the musical scripts.
"Thank you for your horribly delicious wacko humor."
--- Jocelyn Gooch, Music/Enrichment Teacher James Garfield School, San Leandro, CA
So you can be certain that the play will be memorable and full of great humor. Bad Wolf guarantees it.
Feel free to phone or email to tell us how we can better serve you.