About Bad Wolf Press

Bad Wolf Press is a tiny publishing company that hopes someday to grow to become a small company.

How Did Bad Wolf Get Started?

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. They named their venture Bad Wolf Press, after the Big Bad Wolf from fairy tales who appeared in one of their first plays, Little Red Riding Hood. (No, the name wasn't a reference to Dr. Who, whose Bad Wolf hit the scene some ten years later!)

After writing several plays based on fairy tales, Ron and John starting getting requests for shows containing more direct curriculum. They began adding history, science, grammar, writing, math, and character education to their list of shows.

In 2011—fifteen years, more than 50 shows and 100,000 productions later—Ron died suddenly, a terrible shock to all of us. When we finally got our wits together, we knew Bad Wolf Press had to continue. The company headquarters moved up to Northern California, where John and his wife Lisa live, so Lisa could take over as the company's Fearless Leader. She also forced John to share the coveted role of Bad Wolf Wordsmith. Today John and Lisa both write the scripts and song lyrics for our plays. Lisa is also the one you'll be forced to talk to if you email or call us! When he's not writing dumb jokes, John is a classics professor at Santa Clara University, which means he teaches Latin and Greek and ancient literature.

Our lead composer is Mike Fishell, an incredibly talented instrumentalist and classroom teacher who used to work on Bad Wolf plays with Ron in the good ol' days. Mike was the perfect person to step in to Ron's role, and we are so grateful for his commitment to Bad Wolf as well as his many students and musical adventures. If you're in the Ventura area, check out Mike's band, Fish Fry!

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. We have nothing but gratitude for our wonderful customers who make it possible for us to write these quirky little plays and keep Ron's memory alive all over the world. Thank you!

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What Makes Bad Wolf Plays Work?

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 =
Subject Mastery

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 Pirates?"
--- Helena Signora, 2nd Grade Teacher, Holy Trinity School, Comstock Park, MI

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How Does Bad Wolf Come Up With This Stuff?

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.