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Maria and the Mouse Deer  School Shows

Virtual Performance

Recommended for elementary schools and middle schools

Maria and the Mouse Deer Schools Shows are sponsored by the Powell Foundation, the Moody Foundation & the National Endowment for the Arts.


Maria and the Mouse Deer is a whimsical adaptation of the Philippine folk tales of Maria ‘fairy of the mountain’ and the clever Mouse Deer.

Set to traditional Philippine folk music, the colorful short story ballet celebrates the different species of Southeast Asia and the beauty of caring for the earth and all its creatures.

Follow gentle and strong Maria, the nimble Mouse Deer, the quirky little Tarsier, vibrant birds and other animal friends as they protect each other and their environment.

FEATURING: Ballet Austin II
CHOREOGRAPHY: Alexa Capareda
MUSIC: Traditional Philippine Folk Music


Maria and the Mouse Deer curricula are offered at no charge, and include the following:

Elementary School:

  • TEKS-Aligned Pre-Show Curricula in ELAR and Science, designed for Grades K-2 and 3-5
  • Video 1: Itik Itik Lesson 1 for Pre-K4 – 2nd Grade
  • Video 2: Itik Itik Lesson 2 for Pre-K4 – 2nd Grade
  • Video 3: Itik Itik Lesson 1 for 3rd – 5th Grades
  • Video 4: Itik Itik Lesson 2 for 3rd- 5th Grades

Middle School:

  • Video 5: Tinikling Part 1, Basics for Middle School
  • Video 6: Tinikling Part 2, Beginner Lesson for Middle School
  • Video 7: Tinikling Part 3, Intermediate Lesson for Middle School

We encourage you to share these lessons with your students before they experience the performance to help contextualize their experiences with the ballet. The dance lessons can be shared before or after experiencing the ballet.


May Show Dates & Times:

  • May 15-19, daily viewing window 7:30 A.M-3:30 P.M. Central Time


Students (minimum group size is 10 students):

  • Non-Title I Schools: $5 per ticket
  • Title I Schools: $3 per ticket


  • Complimentary


May Virtual Performances – Registration and Payment Schedule

Please enter the following dates in your calendar now to insure you meet all registration and payment deadlines.

  • Monday, March 20: Early registration opens for all campuses. Payment plan (deferred payment) option is available for early registrations.
  • Friday, April 28 at 9am CT:
    • All registration changes are due.
    • Early registration closes, and payment plan option ends.
    • Late registrations accepted. Payment in full is due immediately for all late registrations.
  • Friday, May 12 at 9am CT: Registration closes at 9 am. All payments due for campuses that registered with the payment plan option.


May Virtual Performances – Dates for Receiving Materials

  • Monday, May 1 at 9am CT: All schools that have paid in full receive the link to Maria and the Mouse Deer recorded dance lessons web portal. All other schools receive these materials upon completion of payment.
  • Monday, May 8 at 9am CT: All schools that have paid in full receive the link and password to the Maria and the Mouse Deer School Show Virtual Performance web portal. All other schools receive the link upon completion of payment.


You will need the following information when you register:

  • The name and email address of the teacher who should receive the link to the virtual performance and supplemental materials (video contact)
  • The name and email address of the person who should receive billing info such as the invoice (billing contact)
  • The date you prefer to attend the virtual school shows
  • Title I status for your campus
  • Total # of students attending
  • School name and district
  • Total # of classrooms attending
  • The grade level(s) of students attending the show
  • Total # of teachers and aides attending
  • Total # of students with special needs attending
  • Whether or not any students will require audio description to accommodate visual impairments
  • School contact information including billing address
  • Your campus credit card to hold your registration order.

NOTE: If you select the payment plan option during early registration, your card number will be held on file to reserve your registration but will not be charged, and you will be able to pay your invoice at a later date by EFT/ACH, check, or an alternate credit card.

May Virtual Performances – Online Registration Process:

  • During registration through our online ticketing system, there will be general instructions that apply to anyone buying tickets. Green text is specific to teachers and contains important information about school shows registration.
  • A credit card is required to hold your registration but will not be charged if you select the payment plan option (only available during early registration). Payment plans may be paid by check, electronic fund transfer, or credit card before the payment deadline on May 12 at 9am CT. When registering, you must create an account using your school email address, or login with a previously-created account. Guest checkout is not available for any of our school shows.
  • Upon registration, you will receive an order confirmation that will list the number of tickets reserved and the total amount due. This indicates that your order has been received.
  • You will receive a separate email within 5 business days that has your invoice included with the payment deadline listed. This is your confirmation that you are registered for the Maria and the Mouse Deer School Shows Virtual Performance. 
  • Any changes to your initial submission are due by April 28 at 9am CT and should be e-mailed directly to our Education Team.
  • If you register on or after April 28 at 9am CT, your payment will be due immediately upon registration.


  • Ballet Austin accepts EFT/ACH payments from several school districts, including AISD and Hutto ISD. If your district prefers payment by EFT/ACH and does not have that set up with us yet, please contact us to do so.
  • Credit cards and checks are accepted only during early registration.
  • No purchase orders are accepted as payment.
  • There are no refunds for school shows.

May Virtual Performances – Please note:

  • Before April 28 at 9am CT: You will need to enter a credit card number for your campus to register.  The card will be held on file to reserve your registration but will not be charged. You may pay your invoice at a later date by one of the methods listed above.
  • On or after April 28 at 9am CT: You will need a credit card for your campus to register, and the credit card will be charged immediately.

Registration for Maria and the Mouse Deer Virtual School Shows 2023 have closed. Sign up for updates below for more information about next year’s in-person school shows.


Explore the music, drawings, and background information that inspired Maria and the Mouse Deer in the tabs below!

Graceful Maria Makiling (mah-kee-ling) is the diwata (dee-wah-tah) or fairy of the forest. She is known to have a good heart – tending to trees, making flowers bloom, and caring for all animals like colorful birds, big-eyed tarsiers (tahr-see-ers), slithering snakes, and nimble mouse deer.

Maria’s work of looking after the forest became harder with loggers, miners, and poachers (those who capture and harm animals) causing much damage. Maria’s animal friends lost their habitats to deforestation (the removal of forests by humans) and became sick from pollution, and the changing climate brought more typhoons and extreme weather events. Pilandok (pee-lahn-dok), the clever mouse deer, notes Maria’s weakening powers and suggests they venture into the town to persuade people to take better care of the environment.

Meanwhile, Juan, the zookeeper’s nephew, cares for his tamaraw (tah-mah-rau; water buffalo). Juan’s uncle assigns him the task of hunting for and bringing back a rare creature, the tarsier, from deep in the forest.

Maria and Pilandok (the mouse deer), accompanied by birds, a tarsier, and a snake, are journeying through the forest when a heavy storm strikes and they become separated.

Also disoriented by the storm, Juan loses track of his tamaraw. Wandering around, he glimpses the tarsier, lost and alone. Remembering his uncle’s orders, Juan sneaks up behind the tarsier and traps it. Flying high overhead, Maria’s bird friends witness this.

Juan’s tamaraw ends up near a riverbank. A crocodile, pinned down by a heavy log, asks the tamaraw to help remove it. Once freed from the log, the hungry crocodile’s instincts take over and he bites the tamaraw’s leg. Luckily, Maria and Pilandok happen upon them. Pilandok tricks the crocodile into letting the tamaraw go and helping them cross the river. They successfully cross the river on the crocodile’s back, but the crocodile threatens to attack them again. Thinking fast, Pilandok offers the crocodile a “special magic belt” (which is really Pilandok and Maria’s friend the snake!). The snake binds the crocodile while Maria and Pilandok take the tamaraw to safety.

The birds fly over and tell Maria and Pilandok that Juan captured their tarsier friend. With the birds leading the way, they find Juan, who is overjoyed to see his tamaraw. Maria asks Juan to release the tarsier, explaining that tarsiers are important to the environment and are becoming endangered. She also tells him of the harm that humans are causing. Realizing his misdeed, Juan frees the tarsier and leads Maria and her animal friends into the town. They convince the townspeople to save natural resources and protect the environment. Maria, at peace, transforms herself into a mountain, a constant reminder for people to care.

Maria and the Mouse Deer uses traditional ethnic music from the Philippines. Music is integral to Filipino culture and its many rhythms and sounds help animate the characters in this production. Keep an ear out for these instruments and their sounds.

kulintang (coo-leen-tuhng) – bronze gongs

Also common in other Southeast Asian countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei, the kulintang is a traditional Filipino instrument composed of eight bronze gongs sitting in a row, each with different pitches. Each gong is knobbed at the centre and is perched across two cords, allowing them to resonate freely when struck.

kubing (coo-bing) – jaw harp

Kubing is a small, truly unique musical instrument. The elongated bamboo jaw harp produces a distinct sound controlled by the force of air blown through the split opening by the user as they flex and release the prong on the righthand side.

bunkaka or bungkaka (boong-cah-cah) – bamboo buzzer

Among the Cordillera highlanders, these bamboo buzzers are widespread. They are made from a length of bamboo closed with a node at the bottom, with its top half shaped so that two tongues face each other. The top half is struck against the palm of the hand.

Original hand-drawn instrument sketches by Alexa Capareda


Mouse Deer



Original hand-drawn costume sketches by Alexa Capareda

Mouse Deer


Yellow-Breasted Fruit Dove

Bleeding Heart Dove


Philippine Eagle-Owl


Crocodile Headpiece

Tarsier Headpiece

Tamaraw Headpiece

Headpieces inspired by original hand-drawn animal sketches by Alexa Capareda. Headpiece sketches by Benjamin Taylor Ridgway.

Rainbow Eucalyptus Tree

Set design inspired by original hand-drawn sketch by Alexa Capareda

Zoom in and out to move the map around to see where the Philippines is located! Can you find where you live on the map?

The logo for Maria and the Mouse Deer is inspired by the Philippine flag that you can see here!






Clockwise from left: Birds, Maria, Juan, Tarsier, Tamaraw, Mouse Deer, Crocodile


Mouse Deer and Crocodile

Maria and Juan


Maria and Juan

From left to right: Bird, Tamaraw, Maria, Crocodile, Mouse Deer, Juan, Tarsier, Bird

From left to right: Birds, Maria, Juan, Crocodile, Tarsier, Mouse Deer, Tamaraw


Photography by Anne Marie Bloodgood


If you have any questions that are not answered on this page, please contact Associate Director of Education, Kathleen Rockefeller, by email.

Maria and the Mouse Deer Sponsors

Maria and the Mouse Deer Underwriter
This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Education Sponsors


Education Underwriter
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