Open Doors

School Matinees & Field Trips

The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts is passionate about providing youth in our community opportunities to experience high quality performing arts, learn about the facility, and even plan for a future in the arts.

Please sign up below to join our educators email list and be informed of upcoming opportunities during the school year.

Kauffman Center Student Matinees

National Geographic Live!portrait_Anand Varma_©Jeanne Modderman

Anand Varma presenting Beauty and the Bizarre 

  • Tuesday, April 4th, 2017 at 10:30am

All Tickets: $2
Length: Approximately 1 hour
Themes: biology, biodiversity, photography
Suggested Grades: 5-10

When Anand Varma takes a photograph of a parasitic wasp consuming a caterpillar from the inside, he doesn’t want you to be disgusted—he wants you to be amazed! He’s devoted years of his life to perfecting his techniques to create dramatic, bizarre—and beautiful—images of the miniature world around us. In these unique images, he reveals the secret life cycle of the honeybee, captures the lightning-fast behaviors of hummingbirds, and offers students a rare and astonishing glimpse at our world’s small wonders.

Teachers: Check out this year’s National Geographic Live study guide for more background on this presenter, details on visiting the Kauffman Center, and a wide-range of classroom resources.

National Geographic Live Student Matinee Study Guide (pdf)

Ticket Form

Frequently asked questions regarding Kauffman Center Presents student matinees can be found here.

National Geographic Live student matinees are eligible for bus transportation assistance through our Open Doors program. Transportation assistance applications and more information can be found here.

Partner Organization Student Matinees


+Kansas City Symphony

Kansas City Symphony

Young People’s Concert: Uncle Sam’s Symphony

  • October 11th – 13th, 2016 @ 10am & 11:30am
  • October 14th, 2016 @ 10am only

All tickets: $2
Recommended: Grades 3-6
Length: Approximately 1 hour

Kansas City Symphony Young People’s Concerts are designed to spark the imagination of students in grades 3-6. Programs include an introduction to the orchestra while making connections to the social studies curriculum.

 Explore the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches of government with an exciting orchestral twist! Students will learn about the structure of state and federal governments while also discovering different roles our musicians play in the orchestra. In addition to incorporating state and national standards in Social Studies, Music and English/Language Arts, the concerts will feature winning entries from our 5th annual Writing Challenge. This year’s Young People’s Concerts have expanded to include students in grades 3-6. 

KinderKonzert: Symphony Citizenship

  • January 31 – February 2, 2017 @ 10am & 11:30am
  • April 27, 2017 @ 10am & 11:30am

All tickets: $2
Recommended: Grades K-3
Length: Approximately 1 hour 

Kansas City Symphony KinderKonzerts are designed to introduce students in grades K-3 to the instruments of the orchestra. This year’s programs include curricular ties to social studies curriculum.

What makes a good citizen? With the help of musical examples from your favorite composers, the Kansas City Symphony explores how communities are strengthened through good citizenship traits including teamwork, listening skills and kindness.  KinderKonzerts are designed for students in grades K-3.

Link Up: The Orchestra Rocks

  • April 18, 2017 @ 10am & 11:30am
  • May 12, 2017 @ 10am & 11:30am
  • May 16, 2017 @ 10am & 11:30am

All tickets: $2 Student Ticket (does not include recorder), $5 Student Ticket (includes recorder), $5 Adult Ticket
Recommended: Grades 3-5
Length: Approximately 1 hour

One universal element of music is rhythm. Composers and musicians play with elements of musical time, creating patterns of sound and silence that are expressive and exciting. A consistent groove can unite musicians, singers, and audiences in an experience of listening and performing together. Through the Link Up repertoire, hands-on activities, and a culminating interactive performance with the Kansas City Symphony, we will discover how the orchestra rocks!

*Each student ticket includes a student workbook. Teachers may also opt to purchase student tickets that also include a recorder. One teacher per school will receive Carnegie Hall’s Teacher’s Guide, recorder, KCS Teacher Training Workshop and access to Carnegie Hall’s online teacher resource center.

Contact info for tickets:
Crystal Mann, Assistant Box Office Manager
1703 Wyandotte, Suite 200
Kansas City, MO 64108
Phone: (816)-218-2609
Fax: (816) 329-1809

+Kansas City Ballet

Kansas City Ballet

The Nutcracker

  • Thursday, December 1st, 2016 at 10:30am
  • Friday, December 2nd, 2016 at 10:30am
  • Friday, December 9th, 2016 at 10:30am

All tickets: $12
Length: 2 hours (includes 1 intermission)
Recommended for: 2nd grade and older. For groups of students only; 1 adult per 15 students at this special group rate. Reservations are made on a first come first serve basis and groups must have a minimum of 10.

In 2015, Kansas City Ballet Artistic Director Devon Carney presented an all-new production of this favorite holiday classic. Carney gave audiences a traditional yet boisterous, adventurous, and re-imagined production. Two act ballet based on E.T.A. Hoffman’s story—featuring vibrant costumes, elaborate scenery, and stunning sets, this holiday classic tells the timeless story of Clara, the Mouse King and her Nutcracker Prince.

Contact info for tickets:
Kansas City Ballet Outreach
(816) 216-5583

+Lyric Opera of Kansas City

Lyric Opera of Kansas City

Pirates of Penzance Student Dress Rehearsal

  • Thursday, April 20th, 2017 at 6pm

All Tickets: $5
Recommended for: 3nd grade and older
Length: Approximately 2.5 hours

High jinks on the high seas! Gilbert and Sullivan’s cheeky and charming operetta abounds with pirates, maidens and a Major General with the true gift of gab. Featuring hyperkinetic lyrics, madly colorful sets and a bevy of bungling bobbies, this production promises to be an evening of pure fun. Young Frederic, instantly smitten by the lovely Mabel but beholden to a Pirate King, and beleaguered by the Major General, must fulfill his sense of duty while staying true to his love. Sound complicated? That’s because only in The Pirates of Penzance will you hear the words ‘’lot o’ news’’ rhymed with “hypotenuse.’’  Sung in English with English subtitles and suitable for children who still pretend they’re pirates.

 Groups of 13 or more receive the educational materials and attend the dress rehearsal for $5 per person; add an in-school visit for a flat rate of just $885. Two adult chaperones are required per every 13 students at the final dress rehearsal.

Contact info for tickets:
Linda Ade Brand, Director of Education and Community Engagement
(816) 802-6053

+Störling Dance - Culture House

Störling Dance – Culture House

Störling Dance Theater’s UNDERGROUND

· Thursday, February 2nd, 2017 at 9:30 AM
· Friday, February 3rd, 2016 at 9:30 AM

All tickets: $5 2 FREE tickets per class for teachers and teacher’s aids.

Recommended for 3rd Grade – 12th Grade
Length: 1 hour and 45 minutes (with one intermission)

Chosen as one of the Top 10 Performances of the Decade for Kansas City, Störling Dance Theater’s UNDERGROUND is a powerful and inspiring portrayal of the Underground Railroad movement and the abolition of slavery. All teachers attending will receive a copy of the nationally award winning Underground Curriculum Guide that meets Missouri and Kansas State Educational Standards in the areas of Language Arts and Social Studies.

Contact info for tickets:
Tonya Franken
(913) 393-3141

Career Center Stage: Meet the Kauffman Center Staff

Learn about how the Kauffman Center staff runs one of the country’s premiere performing arts centers. Students can learn more about the daily operations and professional departments (e.g. marketing, programming, fundraising, theater production, and more!) These staff Q&A sessions last between 30 – 60 minutes and are often paired with a 45 minute facility tour. Scheduling is based on staff availability, and the Kauffman Center typically hosts no more than one Career Center Stage a month.


Recommended Participants: College and high school classes (available
for up to 30 students at a time)


  • Tour and Career Center Stage: $150, lasts approximately 90 – 120 minutes
  • Tour only: $100, lasts approximately 60 minutes

Fees will be paid for through the Open Doors program if the group is affiliated with non-profit organization (must provide Tax ID number).

To get more information about this program or inquire about availability, please contact the Community Outreach Supervisor at or 816-994-7227.

Beyond the Curtain: Backstage Intensive

As part of our Open Doors Spotlight on Youth program, students can participate in a special backstage experience. Students will engage in hands-on-activities, tours, and discussions with some Kauffman Center production staff members. This unique experience is designed to introduce high school and/or college students to careers in technical theatre including lighting, sound, carpentry, or venue management. Participants will be amazed by all the work that happens backstage to create a successful production! Scheduling is based on staff and facility availability, and the Backstage Intensive_2Kauffman Center staff typically hosts no more than one Backstage Intensive a quarter.

Recommended Participant Ages: High school or college students ages 15 – 22 years

Duration: Lasts anywhere from 90 minutes to 3 hours depending on availability and student interests

Fee: $250 (available for up to 25 students at a time)

Fees will be paid for through the Open Doors program if the group is affiliated with a non-profit organization (must provide Tax ID number).

To get more information about this program or inquire about availability, please contact the Community Outreach Supervisor at or 816-994-7227.

Children’s Architecture ToursTours_1

Children’s Tours provide an in-depth look at the facility’s architectural highlights while giving young people the opportunity to explore the Kauffman Center’s performance spaces. Participants will learn about the Kauffman Center’s history and will take part in a discussion about the artistic details throughout the facility. Children’s Tours are available for a $100 flat fee for groups of up to 60 students, and payment in full must be made in advance.

Recommended Participant Ages: 6 – 13 yearsTours_2

Duration: Approximately 45 minutes

Fee: $100 (available for up to 60 students at a time)

Fees will be paid for through the Open Doors program if the group is affiliated with a non-profit organization (must provide Tax ID number).

To get more information about this program or inquire about availability, please contact the Community Outreach Supervisor at or 816-994-7227.

Sign Up for Education Emails

Be among the first to learn about educational opportunities at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts by signing up for our Education Email List. By opting in to this education email list, you will receive information about Kauffman Center educational programs as well as performances that will be presented at the Kauffman Center.

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