Teaching Artists

Solo • Duo • Live • Virtual

UP Arts in Education
with The UP Guys

Nurture Fun, Character, Wellness, Reading, STEAM...

Nels Ross and Richie Derwald are The UP Guys – known for elementary, middle, and high school assemblies as well as staff development.

They have shared 2,500+ solo or duo programs to rave reviews from schools, arts centers, libraries, museums, recreation, and others.

Applying their diverse training in theater, circus, music, and education, they promote laughter and learning!

🎯 Want programs for adults or young adults? Try here.

⋯ Assembly Programs ⋯

UP Laugh & Learn Show

Celebrate the laughter-learning connection through theater, variety arts, and fun. Perfect for holidays, family nights, and end-of-year celebrations. All Ages

"thanks for bringing so much joy!"

Riverview School

UP Character Assembly

Celebrate character through theater, variety arts, and fun. Themes include "UPLFFT" and "TAP Your Potential," with proven principles to uplift and empower. K-12

🎯 Kindness, Bullying, Respect, Service, More

"energizing and engaging!"

Ben Franklin Middle School

UP Wellness Assembly

Celebrate wellness through theater, variety arts, and fun. This program reinforces age-appropriate choices for physical, social, and emotional health. K-12

🎯 D.A.R.E., Red Ribbon Week...

"hands down the best!"

Geneseo Elementary School

UP Reading Assembly

Celebrate reading and lifelong learning through theater, variety arts, and fun. We can "read, know, and grow" on our way to wherever we want to go. K-6

🎯 Read Across America, PARP, RIF...

"stellar performance"

F P Donnelly School

UP STEAM Assembly

Celebrate STEAM – Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math – through theater, variety arts, flying objects, bouncing balls, spinning plates, and more. K-6

🎯 STEM and STREAM too...

"absolutely fabulous!"

Corning Museum of Glass

⋯ Also Popular

UP Play/Life Workshops

Through creative play with juggling props or everyday items, participants develop social / emotional learning and life skills such as goal setting and resilience.

Add assemblies for a residency.

Reinforce PE, PBIS, school goals.

"highlight of our school year"

Plank Road South School

UP Staff Development

Learn "FUNdamentals" for wellness, mental health, and growth. Participants employ fun for greater energy, focus, connection, and resilience. See Speaker page for more.

Great for teacher appreciation.

Short energizers to full programs.

"standing ovation"

National Center for Education Research & Technology

As seen at schools and...


As there are too many schools to list, here are districts which have had programs in New York, where it all started. Ask about New England, Northeast, and beyond too.

Addison • Akron • Albion • Alden • Alexander • Alexandria • Allegany-Limestone • Altmar-Parish-Williamstown • Amherst • Attica • Auburn • Avon • Barker • Batavia • Bath • Bemus Point • Binghamton • Brasher Falls • Brighton • Brockport • Buffalo • Caledonia-Mumford • Camden • Canandaigua • Cattaraugus-Little Valley • Chautauqua Lake • Cheektowaga • Cheektowaga-Maryvale • Cheektowaga-Sloan • Chenango Valley • Cherry Valley-Springfield • Churchville-Chili • Clarence • Clymer • Corning • Cortland • Cuba-Rushford • Dansville • Depew • Dunkirk • East Aurora • East Bloomfield • East Irondequoit • East Rochester • East Syracuse-Minoa • Eden • Elba • Ellicottville • Elmira • Evans-Brant • Fairport • Fayetteville-Manlius • Forestville • Franklinville • Fredonia • Frewsburg • Frontier • Gananda • Gates-Chili • General Brown • Geneseo • Geneva • Gorham-Middlesex • Grand Island • Greece • Hamburg • Hamilton • Hilton • Holland • Holley • Homer • Honeoye • Honeoye Falls-Lima • Hopevale at Hamburg • Horseheads • Ilion • Iroquois • Ithaca • Jamestown • Jamesville-Dewitt • Jasper-Troupsburg • Jordan-Elbridge • Kendall • Kenmore-Tonawanda • Lancaster • Lansing • Laurens • Le Roy • Letchworth • Lewiston-Porter • Liverpool • Livonia • Lockport • Lyndonville • Lyons • Maine-Endwell • Manchester-Shortsville • Marcellus • Marion • Medina • Mexico • Morrisville-Eaton • Mount Markham • Mount Morris • Naples • Newark • Newfane • Newfield • Niagara Falls • Niagara-Wheatfield • North Collins • North Rose-Wolcott • North Syracuse • North Tonawanda • Norwich • Oakfield-Alabama • Olean • Oneida • Orchard Park • Oswego • Palmyra-Macedon • Panama • Pavilion • Pembroke • Penfield • Penn Yan • Perry • Phoenix • Pine Valley • Pittsford • Port Byron • Potsdam • Red Creek • Ripley • Rochester • Rome • Royalton-Hartland • Rush-Henrietta • Salamanca • Sauquoit Valley • Seneca Falls • Sidney • Sodus • South Jefferson • South Lewis • Southwestern at Jamestown • Spencerport • Springville-Griffith Institute • Starpoint • Susquehanna Valley • Sweet Home • Tonawanda • Town of Webb • Trumansburg • Tully • Union Springs • Union-Endicott • Van Hornesville-Owen Young • Vestal • Victor • Warsaw • Waterloo • Watkins Glen • Wayland-Cohocton • Wayne • Webster • West Irondequoit • West Seneca • West Valley • Westmoreland • Wheatland-Chili • Williamson • Williamsville • Wilson • Windsor • Wyoming • York • Yorkshire-Pioneer • Still Reading? Wow.

*solo and team programs

⋯ Reviews

"Five stars! Teachers kept stopping by to share their delight with the program and the positive message on character. Several said it was the best assembly in all their years of teaching."

June Karassik
Cattaraugus-Little Valley School

"We are so grateful for your truly wonderful program. We didn’t realize how much it would make our day! Also, thank you for catering your program to our theme – it was a great touch to an already stellar performance."

Erin Foster
F P Donnelly School

"Fantastic presentation! It was a really good experience for this group because they are very stressed… You had everybody up and involved… Marvelous!"

Robert Martinez
Association of California School Administrators

"One of the most energizing and engaging performances focused on bullying and character development that we have seen!"

Frank Spagnolo
Ben Franklin Middle School

"Awesome job with the keynote for our Career Day. It was both entertaining and effective. Faculty and students loved it! Nothing but positive comments. You rock!!!"

Kathy Hoyt
North Rose-Wolcott High School

"Thank you for speaking at our conference in St. Petersburg. I thoroughly enjoyed your presentation, and the discussions and standing ovation proved it was very well received."

Anita Johnson
National Center for Education Research & Technology

"AWESOME!! Engaging and worth every minute… We had a blast and were talking about it the rest of the day… Great stressbuster… Hands down the best we’ve ever had!"

Kathy Collins
Geneseo Elementary School

"Absolutely fabulous! How wonderful it was to have science conveyed in such a fun way! You had everyone on the edge of their seats the whole time."

Kristy Bartenstein
Corning Museum of Glass

"Thank you for contributing to the success of our high school student leadership retreat… We are grateful for your commitment to your work, and we are in awe of your talent!"

Charmy Perry
Monroe 2-Orleans BOCES

"Thank you again for presenting at our event last week. People are still talking about it, practicing their juggling, and saying that it was the best kick off ever!"

Laryn Bishop
Solano County Office of Education, Fairfield, CA
*solo and team programs