The ‘One Deep Breath’ Series (Grades 4-6+)

The Secret Life of Riley K.


Jay vs the World

Extraordinary new musicals about mental health.

“The secret life of Riley K provides a unique experience for middle school children, combining an entertaining and great show that is nonetheless jam packed with age appropriate concepts about a fairly common mental health issue: anxiety. The accompanying teachers’ package is a rich resource for ongoing discussion in the classroom after the show. Bravo EAC, I would love to see more of this kind of very needed mental health programming in the school system!”

Dr. Diane A. Philipp, MD FRCP(C)
Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist

We are thrilled to announce our brand new “One Deep Breath” (formerly “My Voice”) initiative featuring thought-provoking shows and teaching resources in a range of topics appropriate for grades 4-6 (note: many schools are bringing older students as well… ask us about this). Touring right into your school gymnasium for the 2018/19 school year.  Many dates already sold out. Book now. For more information about this exciting new program, please contact us.

The Secret Life of Riley K (Special return engagement, October 2018) 

Riley is a clever, ambitious girl who strives for a perfect life. But the prospect of giving a big speech leads to a perfect mess. She is suprised to learn that her sick stomach was not the flu, but anxiety. Riley discovers she isn’t alone with these challenges and that help is nearby. Her grandfather gives her a treasured book about a girl who conquers a dragon. Like the girl in the book, Riley uses her strategies and the help of family and friends to move forward, one step at a time.

Through this wonderful new program, students in grades 4-6 will learn about mental health, with a particular focus on anxiety. The program was developed with the assistance of the Government of Ontario, The Ontario Trillium Foundation, and an advisory committee of mental health professionals (see below).

Data from Evaluative Study of the Inaugural Tour of Riley K

Jay vs the World (World Premier Tour begins Feb 2019) 

Jay has it all – popularity, talent, and an awesome best friend. But when the friend moves away, Jay’s plans to run for Student Council lead to public humiliation in the school cafeteria. Angry and embarrassed, Jay tries to topple the frontrunner for president. As his frustration builds, Jay’s world spins out of control. For Jay, emotional regulation turns out to be an even bigger challenge than getting elected. But making the journey back from bully to hero is worth the effort.

This exciting initiative was created by Juno award-winning composers, Judy & David Gershon, and by Canadian director and playwright, Ali Joy Richardson, under the guidance of a team of mental health professionals. The program includes an unforgettable in-school performance and excellent teacher resource materials to extend the learning through the year. NOTE: Major subsidies to this program are available for schools in York/Simcoe regions.

For more information about these exciting new programs, please contact us.

Education Arts Canada is indebted to the Ontario Trillium Foundation and the Government of Ontario for their kind support of these programs.


Written by Ali Joy Richardson and Juno award winners, Judy and David Gershon.

Advisory Committee

Education Arts Canada is deeply grateful to our Mental Health Advisory Committee for this initiative. The MHAC consists of accomplished mental health professionals as well as representatives from the education and arts communities. Please feel free to contact us if you would like more information about the committee or about the content of the shows.