2018-19 Season Guide

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts - 2018-2019 Season Guide

The eighth season of extraordinary and diverse performing arts experiences is underway at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City. As a major center for music, opera, theater and dance, and the performance home of some of the region’s leading performing arts organizations, the Kauffman Center hosts a wide spectrum of entertainers from around the world.

Pick up a copy of the 2018-2019 Season Guide to learn about all the events happening this season at the Kauffman Center. Highlights for this fall include the Lyric Opera of Kansas City’s presentation of West Side Story; a world premiere of The Wizard of Oz from the Kansas City Ballet; classics concerts and special guests like Ben Folds and Leslie Odom Jr. with the Kansas City Symphony; and Kauffman Center Presents concerts with Black Violin and Brian Wilson.

Flip through the guide below, or pick up a hard copy at the Kauffman Center or in the September issue of SPACES magazine.

Additional performances are added throughout the season. Find complete event listings for all that’s happening at the Kauffman Center at tickets.kauffmancenter.org.

Kauffman Center ’18-’19 School Matinees Announced


The Kauffman Center’s Open Doors program is designed to create unprecedented access to the performing arts young people in the Kansas City metropolitan area. Programs contain many avenues that connect local youth to high quality arts experiences. Through the Open Doors Transportation Fund, Community Tickets, and Spotlight on Youth initiatives, the Kauffman Center impacts the lives of hundreds of Kansas City’s youth.

The Kauffman Center is proud to continue offering popular school matinees for the upcoming school year. These presentations and performances serve as field trips for area schools and offer the opportunity for students to enjoy the Kauffman center.

After nearly 4,000 students attended the National Geographic Live matinees in 2018, the series will return with presentations for schools in January – March 2019.  This season’s speakers will explore their work socializing with chimps and gorillas, discovering new mountaintop environments, and investigating the reigns of ancient Egypt’s female rulers. Tickets are only $2 each!

  • National Geographic Live: Social by Nature presented by Ronan Donavon
    Wednesday, January 9, 2019 – 10:30am
  • National Geographic Live: Life on the Vertical presented by Mark Synnott
    Tuesday, February 19, 2019 – 10:30am
  • National Geographic Live: When Women Ruled the World presented by Dr. Kara Cooney
    Tuesday, March 19, 2019 – 10:30am

    Photo by Joanna Polley

The Kauffman Center’s season will also feature a special school matinee by classical hip hop fusion group, Black Violin, on Wednesday, October 3, 2018 at 10:30 a.m. Tickets are currently sold out, but educators are invited to please submit an application to be added to the reservation waiting list. All school matinee tickets are $2 each, and ticket applications are required. Click here to request seats for any of the Kauffman Center matinees offered this school year.

Tickets are also available for a wide range of matinees offered by the Kauffman Center’s resident arts organizations. Students can enjoy Peter and Wolf with the Kansas City Symphony, The Nutcracker presented by the Kansas City Ballet, and much more!

For full dates and information for all school matinees, visit us at https://www.kauffmancenter.org/open-doors/school-matinees-fieldtrips/

iLUMINATE Performing at the Kauffman Center on October 7th

iLUMINATE Performing at the Kauffman Center on October 7th

The performance will fuse technology and dance to create a visual experience in Muriel Kauffman Theatre

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Kansas City, MO – iLuminate™  will perform on October 7 in Muriel Kauffman Theatre at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, as part of the 2018-2019 Kauffman Center Presents series.

Called “the best new act in America” by America’s Got Talent, iLuminate™ fuses technology and dance to create a visual experience unlike anything else. Audiences will see dancers in electrified, glow-in-the-dark suits performing dynamic routines and illusions on a darkened stage. It’s a show that’s completely unique and incomparable to any other dance performance. The family-friendly performance is recommended for children ages 5 and older.

Tickets for this event range from $29 to $49 plus applicable fees and go on sale to the public at 10 a.m. Thursday, July 26.  They are available through the Kauffman Center Box Office at (816) 994-7222, via the Kauffman Center mobile app, or online at www.kauffmancenter.org.


iLuminate™ is an entertainment technology company that combines state-of- the-art technology with electrifying entertainers who perform in the dark to create the ultimate performing arts experience. Founded by dancer and software engineer Miral Kotb, iLuminate™ enables performers, choreographers, engineers, technicians, stylists and artistic directors to produce explosive performances with customized wireless lighting programs. The results are extraordinary lighting effects choreographed with phenomenal dance moves that take viewers on an exhilarating ride.

iLuminate™  has been featured on Dancing with the Stars, The X Factor and The Ellen DeGeneres Show. The group has appeared with GRAMMY-winning performers including Christina Aguilera and The Black Eyed Peas. The New York Times has described the show as, “Spectacular, magical and dazzling! iLuminate is more than a neon comic book, achieving a magic that’s as much a product of darkness as of light.”

Founder M​iral Kotb is a prolific entrepreneur in the fields of technology development and the performing arts. By the age of 9, her skills in coding and dance were fostered, but practiced separately up until early adulthood. Kotb’s work has since been presented in over 15 countries, including her native home of Egypt. Kotb combined her two passions when she formed iLuminate™ in 2009. You’ll see her manning the keyboard and dancing on stage.

iLuminate™ has pioneered a new art form and continues to impact people locally and globally in schools, arenas and Off Broadway theaters.

Learn more about iLuminate™ on their website.

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Brian Wilson Returning To The Kauffman Center November 13

Brian Wilson returning to the Kauffman Center for Greatest Hits Live!

The Beach Boys co-founder to perform November 13 in Muriel Kauffman Theatre

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Kansas City, MO – Returning to the Kauffman Center after his sold-out performance in 2016, Beach Boys co-founder Brian Wilson will perform his Greatest Hits Live, with special guests Al Jardine and Blondie Chaplin, November 13.

Brian Wilson is one of popular music’s most deeply revered figures, the main creative force behind some of the most cherished recordings in rock history. Indeed, it is no exaggeration to call him one of the most influential composers of the last century.

Tickets for this event range from $49 to $119 plus applicable fees and are on sale now. They are available through the Kauffman Center Box Office at (816) 994-7222, via the Kauffman Center mobile app, or online at www.kauffmancenter.org.


Wilson’s remarkable journey began in a modest Hawthorne, California home that was filled with music. Barely out of his teens, Wilson began to create some of the most beloved records ever with nine consecutive “gold” albums that featured such classics as “Surfer Girl,” “In My Room,” “I Get Around,” “Don’t Worry Baby,” “Fun, Fun, Fun,” “Help Me Rhonda” and “California Girls,” just to name a handful of the more than two dozen Top 40 hits he co-wrote, arranged, produced, and performed on with his family band, the Beach Boys.

Wilson’s ground-breaking work on the album Pet Sounds and the single “Good Vibrations” re-wrote the rules of what a pop album or single could be. His solo record SMiLE, released in 2004, had been anticipated by music fans since the late 1960s. Wilson is a Kennedy Center Honors recipient, a Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee and a multiple-GRAMMY Award-winner. With The Beach Boys, he was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1988 and honored with The Recording Academy’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001. Wilson continues to dazzle audiences with his lyrical and harmonic masterpieces, old and new.

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Kauffman Center Celebrates 5th Annual Future Stages Festival


On Sunday June 10th, 2018 the Kauffman Center for Performing Arts held its 5th Annual Future Stages Festival as part of the Kauffman Center’s Open Doors Spotlight on Youth program designed to share the Kauffman Center’s stages with a wide range of local artists and youth performers. Future Stages Festival provided area youth with the chance to exhibit and celebrate a variety of performing arts disciplines.

Future Stages Festival has been inviting all ages to experience the arts while showcasing diverse performance styles on the Kauffman Center’s stages for the past five years. Since 2014, the festival has:

Planet Play at Future Stages Festival

– Featured 3,500+ youth performers
– Highlighted 60+ community arts performance groups
– Welcome 25,000+ guests
– And presented dozens of arts activities for guests of all ages

Kansas City and its surrounding region are home to thousands of talented youth artists, each with dreams of performing on the big stage. Sharing the stage and spotlight with national and international performers, the Kauffman Center is committed to recognizing local youth performers’ talents at this annual event. Future Stages Festival provided young people from all performing art disciplines and styles the opportunity to perform at Kansas City’s most recognized performing arts venue. This free event also gave families a chance to come celebrate and have  fun supporting local organizations, and youth performers.

This year the festival welcomed more than 5000 attendees, featured more than 30 community arts organizations, and showcased nearly 700 youth artists performing on four Kauffman Center stages, including the Saint Luke’s Outdoor Stage, Muriel Kauffman Theatre, Helzberg Hall, and new this year, to celebrate the festival’s fifth year, a new Community Stage . This new space showcased small performance groups and engaged audience members with a stage combat training session and dance workshops.


Groups that would like to perform at next year’s Future Stages Festival, are invited to apply at the end of 2018.

Applications will be available here: https://www.kauffmancenter.org/open-doors/future-stages-festival/


 The Kauffman Center’s Open Doors program offers transportation subsidies for schools to attend matinee programs, provides free community tickets to non-profit agencies, and designs opportunities for students to engage with Kauffman Center staff through workshops and internships. Through its various initiatives, the Open Doors program is vital to the Kauffman Center’s efforts to promote and invest in arts advocacy.

The Kauffman Center Open Doors program connects young people to the arts through three major components:

– The Open Doors Spotlight on Youth initiative contains several programs that inspire and nurture the next generation of artists, arts patrons, and arts professionals with access to the Kauffman Center’s staff, stages, and resources.

– The Open Doors Community Tickets program offers access to programming at the Kauffman Center for youth and families through reduced-price or free tickets.

– The Open Doors Transportation Fund offers funding to schools in the metropolitan area so that bringing students to the Kauffman Center for school matinee performances is more affordable.

Photo by Cody Boston

More information is available at kauffmancenter.org/open-doors.