Notice: All performances and events have been postponed through May 10.  Please refer to for more information.

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 at the bottom of the page to join our educators email list and be informed of upcoming opportunities during the school year.

Students arrive for a school matinee at the Kauffman Center. Photo by Cody Boston.

Kauffman Center School Matinees

The Kauffman Center is proud to present a wide-range range of matinee experiences for students throughout the school year. All school matinee tickets are $2 each, and ticket applications are required. National Geographic Live student matinees are recommended for middle school students.

CANCELLED: National Geographic Live: Nizar Ibrahim 
Spinosaurus: Lost Giant of the Cretaceous
April 28, 2020 – 10:30 a.m.

Teachers: More details on each Kauffman Center school matinee can be found below. Contact to receive the free National Geographic Live school matinee study guide containing more background on the presenters, details on visiting the Kauffman Center, and a wide-range of classroom resources.

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

+Andy Mann: From Summit to Sea

Tuesday February 18, 2020 at 10:30 AM
Muriel Kauffman Theatre | Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

Photo by Andy Mann

Award-winning filmmaker and photographer Andy Mann combines his passions with purpose as a voice for the world’s oceans, following scientists to some of the most extreme locations on the planet in the hope of inspiring change.

Andy’s journey from rock climber to ocean storyteller involves some remarkable detours and misadventures that prove that field science can be every bit as thrilling as the climbing adventures of his past. He has dived alongside crocodiles, sperm whales, and sharks and survived near misses with icebergs, all in pursuit of his ultimate goal: to shed light on Earth’s incredible ocean environments and advocate for their protection.

He now spends over 100 days a year at sea, documenting cutting-edge marine science and telling the story of our rapidly changing planet—covering all seven continents for National Geographic.

+Shannon Wild: Pursuit of the Black Panther

Tuesday, March 10, 2020 at 10:30 AM
Muriel Kauffman Theatre | Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

Photo by Shannon Wild

Wildlife photographer and cinematographer Shannon Wild is a passionate conservationist who lives in Africa but works wherever the wildlife calls. In her 15 years documenting wildlife, she’s been pinned by a cheetah, charged by an elephant, lions, and buffalo, and bitten countless times by snakes and lizards.

But her most recent assignment might prove her most difficult yet: producing a documentary about a rare black panther – the only one living in 250 square miles of dense forest in southern India. Get an inside look at the challenges and dangers of tackling an assignment in an unforgiving environment, from the narrow dirt roads to extreme weather to unexpected injuries – and worse.

+Nizar Ibrahim: Spinosaurus - Lost Giant of the Cretaceous

Tuesday, April 28, 2020 at 10:30 AM
Muriel Kauffman Theatre | Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

Photo by Nazir Ibrahim

This performance is sold out. Please submit the ticket application to be added to the wait list.

Meet Spinosaurus, the largest predatory dinosaur yet discovered—larger than T. rex—and hear the incredible story of how this prehistoric giant was almost lost to science, before being uncovered again with the help of paleontologist Nizar Ibrahim.

Originally discovered in Morocco more than half a century ago by German paleontologist Ernst Stromer, Spinosaurus’ fossil remains were lost in the Allied bombing of Germany during World War II. But recent fossil discoveries in the desert, along with Stromer’s own data and drawings, helped Ibrahim and contemporary scientists reconstruct a full skeletal model of Spinosaurus, which has been featured on the National Geographic Channel and presented in the National Geographic Museum.

With amazing video recreating the lost world of the Cretaceous-era Sahara, Ibrahim will tell the story of Spinosaurus’ discovery, loss, and rediscovery, and explain what—other than its size—makes this ancient monster unique.

+Kauffman Center School Matinee Frequently Asked Questions

Who can purchase tickets for these performances?

Any school in the five-county metropolitan Kansas City area and outside the KC metro 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 order information 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 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: Postcards from the Americas

  • Tuesday, October 15, 2019 – 10 a.m. & 11:30 a.m.
  • Wednesday, October 16, 2019 – 10 a.m. & 11:30 a.m.
  • Thursday, October 17, 2019 – 10 a.m. & 11:30 a.m.
  • Friday, October 18, 2019 – 10 a.m. & 11:30 a.m.

All Tickets: $2
Length: Approximately 1 hour
Recommended Ages: 3rd – 6th grade

Join the Kansas City Symphony for a festive exploration of music throughout the Americas. Students will learn about musical traditions in Mexico, Puerto Rico, Uruguay, Peru, Brasil and the United States through rhythmic exploration, song and dance.

Kansas City Symphony Young People’s Concerts are designed to spark the imagination of students in grades 3-6. 2019/20 programs include an introduction to the orchestra while making connections to the Social Studies curriculum.

KinderKonzerts: Let’s Build an Orchestra

  • Monday, April 27, 2020 – 10 a.m. & 11:30 a.m.
  • Tuesday, April 28, 2020 – 10 a.m. & 11:30 a.m.
  • Thursday, April 30, 2020 – 10 a.m. & 11:30 a.m.
  • Tuesday, May 5, 2020 – 10 a.m. & 11:30 a.m.

All Tickets: $2
Approximately 1 hour
Recommended Ages: Kindergarten – 3rd grade

Kansas City Symphony KinderKonzerts are designed to introduce students in grades K-3 to the instruments of the orchestra. Programs include curricular ties to science.

Link Up: The Orchestra Sings

  • Tuesday, February 11, 2020 – 10 a.m. & 11:30 a.m.
  • Tuesday, February 18, 2020 – 10 a.m. & 11:30 a.m.
  • Wednesday, February 19, 2020 – 10 a.m. & 11:30 a.m.

All tickets: $2 Student Ticket (does not include recorder), $5 Student Ticket (includes recorder), $5 Adult Ticket
Length: Approximately 1 hour
Recommended Ages: 3rd – 5th grade

Link Up, a program of Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music institute, pairs orchestras across the country with students in grades 3-5 to explore orchestral repertoire through a hands-on music curriculum.  After studying the curriculum in the classroom, students participating in Link Up attend a culminating concert where they sing and play recorder with the Kansas City Symphony.

Melody is one of the universal elements of music. Composers and musicians create melodies, which can be sung or played on instruments. The orchestra sings when its musicians play melodies on their instruments. Through the Link Up repertoire, hands-on activities, and a culminating interactive performance with the Kansas City Symphony, we will discover how the orchestra sings.

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.

Open Dress Rehearsals

  • Friday, October 4, 2019 – 10 a.m.
  • Friday, October 25, 2019 – 10 a.m.
  • Friday, November 22, 2019 – 10 a.m.
  • Friday, January 17, 2020 – 10 a.m.
  • Friday, January 31, 2020 – 10 a.m.
  • Friday, February 7, 2020 – 10 a.m.
  • Friday, April 3, 2020 – 10 a.m.
  • Friday, April 17, 2020 – 10 a.m.

All Tickets: $2
Length: Approximately 1.5 -2.5 hours
Recommended Ages: Middle School – College

Select Kansas City Symphony Dress rehearsals are open to middle school, high school, and college music students. This program offers a unique look inside the rehearsal of a professional symphony orchestra and includes a brief Q&A with the guest artist, conductor and/or symphony musicians.

Contact info for tickets:
Stephanie Brimhall, Education Manager


+Kansas City Ballet

Kansas City Ballet

The Nutcracker

  • Friday, December 6, 2019 – 10:30 a.m.
  • Thursday, December 12, 2019 – 10:30 a.m.
  • Friday, December 13, 2019 – 10:30 a.m.

All seats: $12
Recommended ages: 2nd grade and older

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.

Nutcracker Online Study Guide: A multimedia guide is accessible by password for teachers bringing students to Nutcracker Student Matinees.

Swan Lake

  • Friday, February 14, 2020 – 10:30 a.m.

All seats: $12
Recommended ages: 2nd grade and older

Perhaps the most recognized ballet of all time, Swan Lake makes its highly-anticipated return to Kansas City Ballet this season. This immortal love story involves a wicked sorcerer who captures the beautiful Princess Odette and turns her into a swan. His evil spell can only be broken when a young prince pledges his love and marries her. Should he betray her, she will remain a swan forever.

Swan Lake Online Study Guide: A multimedia guide is accessible by password for teachers bringing students to the Swan Lake Student Matinee.

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

+Lyric Opera of Kansas City

Lyric Opera of Kansas City

The Abduction from the Seraglio Student Dress Rehearsal

  • Thursday, September 19, 2019 – 6 p.m.

All Tickets: $6
Recommended ages: 8th grade and older
Length: Approximately 3 hours

This risqué rom-com transplants Mozart’s trademark melodies to 1930s Tinseltown, where a “legitimate businessman” kidnaps a dishy deb with even prettier pipes and locks her away in his swanky nightclub.

While her honey puts together a plan to free the club’s new canary from her cage, her singing sparks a sweetness beneath the intimidating exterior of the buttoned-up boss. But with a gorilla guarding the door to her dressing room, it’ll take more than a little luck to break her outta the joint. Until then, the showgirl must go on.

The Abduction from the Seraglio will be sung in German, with English subtitles.

La bohème Student Dress Rehearsal

  • Thursday, November 7, 2019 – 6 p.m.

All Tickets: $6
Recommended ages: 6th grade and older
Length: Approximately 3 hours

Paris is for lovers…Puccini is for opera lovers. At the crossroads, an unrivaled romance sets bright bohemian rhapsodies against a tragic trajectory, blending into one of opera’s quintessential tearjerkers.

It’s here, on a brisk, candlelit night, that a young seamstress loses her keys and finds the love of her life.

The merciless winter chill seeps and creeps through the couple’s drafty dwelling until it permeates their hearts, replacing hope and happiness with doubt and jealousy. The two lovers are finally reunited – and their love rekindled – by a tragic turn of a events that ultimate leaves one of them consumed by grief, and the other by consumption.

La bohème will be sung in Italian, with English subtitles.

Lucia di Lammermoor Student Dress Rehearsal

  • Thursday, March 5, 2020- 6 p.m.

All Tickets: $6
Recommended ages: 8th grade and older
Length: Approximately 3 hours

Despite ominous premonitions, young Lucia stokes the fire of a forbidden love with her brother’s greatest political enemy. But with her once-wealthy family balanced on the brink of bankruptcy, she is forced to do her familial duty and marry the head of a rival family. Convinced by her ambitious brother that her true love has been unfaithful, she signs the marriage contract. When her former flame finds out, he flips out. And that’s when the wedding cake hits the finials.

With tragedy rivaling Romeo and Juliet, and violence reminiscent of Psycho, a day that began with a wedding march now ends with a funeral procession. And a little club soda will NOT get this out.

Lucia di Lammermoor will be sung in Italian, with English subtitles.

The Shining Student Dress Rehearsal

  • Thursday, April 23, 2020- 6 p.m.

All Tickets: $6
Recommended ages: 8th grade and older
Length: Approximately 3 hours

Deep in the shadows of the Colorado Rockies, nestled between the middle of nowhere and miles from where anyone can hear you scream, waits the Overlook Hotel. For its new caretakers, the Torrance family, the only thing more unnerving than their profound seclusion is the realization that they are not the hotel’s only guests.

The young son with a sixth sense endures the house of horrors as his father faces demons – past and present, real and remembered – that ultimately turn him into a monster. What started as a desperate search for financial (and marital) sanctuary, spirals into a terrifying struggle for sanity and survival.

With music as haunting as the story is tragic, only through opera does The Shining reach more frightening depths than ever before.

The Shining will be sung in English, with English subtitles.

Contact info for tickets:
Catie Pederson


+Storling Dance - Culture House

STORLING DANCE – Culture House

Störling Dance Theater’s UNDERGROUND

  • Thursday, January 30, 2020 – 9:30am
  • Friday, January 31, 2020 – 9:30am

All Tickets: $5
Recommended ages:
3rd grade – 12th grade
Length:  1 hour and 45 minutes (with one intermission)

Störling Dance Theater’s Underground has been called “one of the most vivid, heartfelt, and theatrically astute pieces of dance theater ever to grace a Kansas City stage,” (Kansas City Star) and named one of the top ten performances of the decade! (The Independent)

Choreographed by the duo of Mona Störling-Enna and Tobin James, Underground is a visual tapestry based on true stories of the Underground Railroad. With a cast of more than 50, featuring the talented artists of Störling Dance Theater, the production of this dramatic historical depiction has been hailed as a cultural gift, making it the perfect celebration of the Black History Month and a beautiful portrayal of the American Spirit.

For its 13th consecutive year, UNDERGROUND will inspire and challenge, awaken and encourage – embraced by a wide and diverse audience from across Kansas City and beyond.

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).

Request a Children’s Tour

To get more information about this program or inquire about availability, please submit the request form above. A Kauffman Center representative will follow-up with more information.

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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