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 School Matinees

Brian Skerry presenting Ocean Wild: Light Beneath the Seas
Tuesday, January 9th, 2018 – 10:30am

Florian Schulz presenting Into the Arctic Kingdom
Tuesday, February 6th, 2018 – 10:30am

Cristina Mittermeier presenting Standing at the Water’s Edge
Tuesday, March 6th, 2018 – 10:30am
*Note: This presentation on 3/6 is sold out at this time. Teachers can still request tickets if they would like to be added to the waiting list.

All Tickets: $2
Length: Approximately 1 hour

More details about each National Geographic Live school matinee can be found below.

Request Tickets

+Brian Skerry - Ocean Wild: Light Beneath the Seas

Brian Skerry – Ocean Wild: Light Beneath the Seas 

  • Tuesday, January 9th, 2018 – 10:30am

Themes: oceans, marine biology, conservation, geography

Suggested grades: 2-10

Immerse yourself in the latest amazing stories from beneath the waves as a master underwater photographer reports on his most recent National Geographic assignments. Brian Skerry’s surprisingly intimate portraits of marine life have captured the imagination of a generation. From a fascinating look at dolphins’ intelligence to a profile of the enigmatic Bluefin tuna, Skerry’s camera illuminates long-held mysteries of the deep.

+Florian Schulz - Into the Arctic

Florian Schulz – Into the Arctic Kingdom 

  • Tuesday, February 6th, 2018 – 10:30am

Themes: ecosystems, wildlife, photography, geography

Suggested grades: 2-10

A multi-year quest to document the Arctic took photographer Florian Schulz to the ends of the Earth. Over the course of the next 34 months he discovered that life beyond the arctic circle is unlike anyplace else on Earth. Through breathtaking imagery, students will get a closer look at the vibrant ecosystem of the Arctic kingdom, one of the world’s largest wildernesses, including playful polar bears, mysterious musk ox, and huge herds of caribou.

+Cristina Mittermeier - Standing at the Water's Edge

Cristina Mittermeier – Standing at the Water’s Edge – SOLD OUT

  • Tuesday, March 6th, 2018 – 10:30am 

Themes: water, conservation, environment, geography, culture

Suggested grades: 5 – 10

Photojournalist Cristina Mittermeier knows the power of water: the power to give life when it is respected, and the power to destroy when it is misused. Join Cristina’s journey to four indigenous communities around the world, the Kayapó in the Amazon, the Inuit of Greenland, the First Nations people of British Columbia, and native Hawaiians. These communities live in harmony with their water sources, and through their stories, students will learn about responsible earth stewardship.

Note: Teachers can still request tickets to this performance. All groups will be added to a waiting list and will be notified if seats become available. 

Teachers: This year’s National Geographic Live study guide containing more background on these presenters, details on visiting the Kauffman Center, and a wide-range of classroom resources will be posted soon.

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.

+Kauffman Center School Matinee Frequently Asked Questions

Who can purchase tickets for these performances?

Any school in the five-county metropolitan Kansas City area can submit an order form to purchase tickets for students and chaperones to attend any of the Kauffman Center Presents student matinees. Homeschool groups are also welcome to purchase tickets to these performances.

How long will it take to review my order form?

Orders will be processed as they are received and confirmation emails with invoices will be sent to the teacher within 2-3 weeks. Teachers are then responsible for sending relevant details to administrators to begin payment process.

Are all the Kauffman Center student matinee performances eligible for Transportation Assistance?

Each year, there will be over twenty school matinee performances, and they are listed under the Student Matinee page of our website. At this time, all student matinee performances qualify for the Open Doors Transportation Assistance program. Please be aware that only groups with more than 20 students who are traveling by bus are invited to apply. Also, transportation assistance applications must be submitted at least five business days prior to the scheduled performance.

What if my group reserves tickets to a Kauffman Center Presents school matinee, but we need to cancel at a later date?

If your approved group needs to cancel a National Geographic Live student matinee reservation, please let the Kauffman Center know as early as possible by sending a notification to Tickets must be paid for in full no later than one month prior to the performance date. Any school that cancels beyond that deadline will not receive a refund.

Can our school change our total number of students and adults attending in the months or weeks leading up to the performance?

Yes, you can adjust your numbers as needed, but all changes are subject to ticket availability. All changes must be made by one month prior to the performance date when ticket payment is also due.

For any other questions, please send an email to Open Doors at

Partner Organization School Matinees

+Kansas City Symphony

Kansas City Symphony

Young People’s Concert: Out of this World!

  • October 17th, 18th, 20th, and 24th , 2017 @ 10am & 11:30am

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 science curriculum.
From Earth to Space and everything in between – join the Kansas City Symphony for a scientific symphonic exploration! Students in grades 3-6 will learn about the solar system, planets, stars and more through exciting orchestral music inspired by science. 

KinderKonzert: The Science of Sound with the Science City STEAM Team

  • February 6th, 7th, 8th, and 13th, 2018 @ 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 the science curriculum.

Explore the exciting world of sound with the Kansas City Symphony and members of Science City’s STEAM Team! How is sound made? How is it heard? Learn all of this and more as the Symphony fills Helzberg Hall with vibrations, soundwaves and decibels. Symphony KinderKonzerts are open to students in grades K-3.

Link Up: The Orchestra Swings

  • April 24th, 2018 @ 10am & 11:30am
  • April 25th, 2018 @ 10am
  • May 15th, 2018 @ 10am & 11:30am
  • May 16th, 2018 @ 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

“Swing” is many things. It’s a distinctive rhythmic feel; a musical era dominated by big band jazz; a style of dance that grew alongside the music; and that elusive but unmistakable feeling that results when musicians are deeply tuned into each other and playing in sync, or “in the pocket.” Though swing is characteristically associated with jazz, an orchestra can also swing. Through the Link Up repertoire, hands-on activities, and a culminating interactive performance with the Kansas City Symphony, we will explore the elements that contribute to that magical moment when the orchestra starts to swing.

*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
Phone: (816)-218-2609
Fax: (816) 329-1809

+Kansas City Ballet

Kansas City Ballet

Romeo & Juliet

  • Thursday, October 19th, 2017 – 10:30am

All tickets: $12
Recommended for: High School and College students

For groups of students only; 1 adult per 10 students at this special group rate. Reservations are made on a first come first serve basis and groups must have a minimum of 10.

William Shakespeare’s romantic tragedy ranks among the world’s most enduring stories. Artistic Director Devon Carney brings us his interpretation of this classic masterpiece with soaring choreography and sweeping characters. Don’t miss out on one of the most popular ballets in the world to music by Sergei Prokofiev, performed live by Kansas City Symphony! Specially discounted for High Schools!

The Nutcracker

  • Thursday, December 7th, 2017 – 10:30am
  • Wednesday, December 13th, 2017 – 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 10 students at this special group rate. Reservations are made on a first come first serve basis and groups must have a minimum of 10.

Bring your students to Kansas City Ballet Artistic Director Devon Carney’s production of this favorite holiday classic. Carney created a traditional yet boisterous, adventurous, and re-imagined production. A two-act ballet based on E.T.A. Hoffman’s story— featuring vibrant costumes, elaborate scenery, and stunning sets, this classic tale tells the timeless story of Clara, the Mouse King and her Nutcracker Prince.

Contact info for tickets:
April Berry, Community Engagement & Education Manager

+Lyric Opera of Kansas City

Lyric Opera of Kansas City

Everest Student Dress Rehearsal

  • Thursday, November 9th, 2017 – 6pm

All Tickets: $5
Recommended for: 7th grade and older
Length: Approximately 2.5 hours

This contemporary tragedy brings to life the white-knuckle rush and devastating true stories of three climbers caught in a blizzard on Mt. Everest in 1996. As the first staged performance since the world premiere in Dallas, Everest promises to take you on an operatic journey unlike anything you’ve experienced before. Together, Gene Scheer’s unrelenting libretto and composer Joby Talbot’s luminous and inventive score surrounds us with the insurmountable beauty of the Himalayas, the demons and dreams driving each climber upwards, and the undeniable danger that infuses every exhausted step with fear. Sung in English with English subtitles.

 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.

The Barber of Seville Student Dress Rehearsal

  • Thursday, April 26th, 2018 – 6pm

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

Check your powdered wigs at the door and join us in Seville, Spain for a Barber of a different color. While true to every character, every wink and every note, this vibrant performance of The Barber of Seville draws inspiration from the magical realism of filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar to stretch the opera’s Spanish setting into an experience that is as ’60s psychedelic as it is laugh-out-loud hilarious. Sung in Italian with English subtitles.

Contact info for tickets:
Linda Brand, Director of Education and Community Engagement

+Storling Dance - Culture House

STORLING DANCE – Culture House

Störling Dance Theater’s UNDERGROUND

  • Dates are TBD at this time

All tickets: $5 (Two 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

More Kauffman Center Field Trip Opportunities

The Kauffman Center Open Doors Spotlight on Youth program offers a wide range of experiences for students to learn from staff and utilize the facility’s resources. Find out more about each of the available experiences below.

+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

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 Kauffman 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 Tours

Children’s Architecture Tours

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 years

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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