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.

Jack Hanna
Into the Wild Live!
October 1, 2019 – 10:30 a.m.

National Geographic Live: Andy Mann
From Summit to Sea
February 18, 2020 – 10:30 a.m.

National Geographic Live: Shannon Wild
Pursuit of the Black Panther
March 10, 2020 – 10:30 a.m.

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

School Matinee Ticket Application

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.

+Jack Hanna: Into the Wild Live!

Tuesday October 1, 2019 at 10:30 AM
Muriel Kauffman Theatre | Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

Jack Hanna, who has traveled the world and made television appearances on shows such as The Late Late Show with James Corden and Good Morning Americawill be bringing his favorite animals to Muriel Kauffman Theatre on Tuesday, October 1 at 10:30 a.m.. Students can expect to see animals such as a baby cheetah, a joey (baby kangaroo), a baby tiger, and much more. Children and grandparents alike are sure to fall in love with Jack and his furry friends by the end of the show.

+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

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 Concerts: Composing a Story

  • Wednesday, October 10, 2018 – 10 a.m. & 11:30 a.m.
  • Tuesday, October 16, 2018 – 10 a.m. & 11:30 a.m.
  • Wednesday, October 17, 2018 – 10 a.m. & 11:30 a.m.
  • Tuesday, November 6, 2018 – 10 a.m. & 11:30 a.m.

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

Join the Kansas City Symphony as we discover the similarities between authors and composers. How do composers create story elements like character, setting and plot? How do authors create intriguing plots that keep the reader wanting more? Through exciting music and the 7th annual Writing Challenge, we’ll explore all of this and more!

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 English/Language Arts curriculum.

KinderKonzerts: Peter and the Wolf

  • Tuesday, February 12, 2019 – 10 a.m. & 11:30 a.m.
  • Tuesday, February 19, 2019 – 10 a.m. & 11:30 a.m.
  • Wednesday, February 20, 2019 – 10 a.m. & 11:30 a.m.
  • Thursday, February 21, 2019 – 10 a.m. & 11:30 a.m.

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

Peter and the Wolf has introduced generations of young concertgoers to symphonic music. Prokofiev’s tale of a fearless boy, his grandfather, a cat, a duck, a bird, and a hungry wolf combines masterful storytelling with musical themes you already know and love! The Kansas City Symphony and David T. Beals, III Associate Conductor Jason Seber will present this classic symphonic take in Helzberg Hall for students in grades K-3.

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 English/Language Arts Curriculum.

Link Up: The Orchestra Moves

  • Wednesday, April 3, 2019 – 10 a.m. & 11:30 a.m.
  • Thursday, April 4, 2019 – 10 a.m. & 11:30 a.m.
  • Monday, April 29, 2019 – 10 a.m. & 11:30 a.m.
  • Tuesday, April 30, 2019 – 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

By any definition, music moves. Melody, rhythm, and harmony all change, shift, and develop. When an orchestra plays for us, we may notice more than one kind of movement. On the outside, we can hear sounds move as the musicians change their pitches, rhythms, and dynamics. We can see the musicians’ bodies move as they play. On the inside, we may feel our emotions moving and changing in response to the music we hear. Sometimes music might even create a sense of physical movement as sounds become heavier or lighter, rise up or tumble down. Through the Link Up repertoire, hands-on activities, and a culminating interactive performance with the Kansas City Symphony, we will discover how the orchestra moves.

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.

Classics Series: Open Dress Rehearsals

  • Friday, September 14, 2018 – 10 a.m.
  • Friday, October 5, 2018 – 10 a.m.
  • Friday, January 11, 2019 – 10 a.m.
  • Friday, January 25, 2019 – 10 a.m.
  • Friday, February 8, 2019 – 10 a.m.
  • Friday, March 8, 2019 – 10 a.m.
  • Friday, April 12, 2019 – 10 a.m.
  • Friday, May 31, 2019 – 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 may include a brief Q&A with the guest artist, conductor and/or Symphony musicians.

Contact info for tickets:
Crystal Mann, Assistant Box Office Manager
Phone: (816)-218-2609
Fax: (816) 329-1809

+Kansas City Ballet

Kansas City Ballet

The Wizard of Oz

  • Thursday, October 18, 2018 – 10:30 a.m.

All seats: $12
Recommended ages: 3rd grade and older

The much anticipated world premiere by Septime Webre, the creator of Alice (in wonderland), will take audiences on a fantastical journey to the Emerald City. Filled with all the familiarity of the classic movie – Dorothy and Toto swept to Oz join up with three unlikely heroes to see the Wizard, their triumph over the Wicked Witch, and the quest to return home – yet realized with a bold, new spectacle of music, costumes, sets, projections and special effects.

The Nutcracker

  • Friday, November 30, 2018 – 10:30 a.m.
  • Thursday, December 6, 2018 – 10:30 a.m.
  • Friday, December 14, 2018 – 10:30 a.m.

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

Bring your students to Kansas City Ballet Artistic Director Devon Carney’s production of this favorite holiday classic. Carney created a traditional, 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

West Side Story Student Dress Rehearsal

  • Thursday, September 20, 2018 – 6 p.m.

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

When the only family you’ve ever known is a gang, and the only home you’ve ever had is a small patch of turf, anyone from anywhere else is an outsider. It’s here on the West Side, springing from a crack in the sidewalk and surrounded by despair, that the greatest love story ever retold blooms—and burns.

When opposites inevitably attract, and when the unlikely new couple tries to reconcile their worlds, the more their dream of finding a place of their own is torn apart. And from the first cigarette to the final “te adoro,” watching is such sweet sorrow.

With the original symphonic score, and Jerome Robbins’s original choreography adding a kick of kinetic eye candy, tonight truly won’t be just any night. Sung in English with English subtitles.

Madama Butterfly Student Dress Rehearsal

  • Thursday, November 1, 2018 – 6 p.m.

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

Young love falls for an old lie, and so begins what may be the greatest argument against long distance relationships ever made. Puccini pours melodic perfection (and keeps ’em coming) as “the happiest girl in Japan” eagerly marries a swaggering, shallow U.S. Navy man who embodies the phrase “love is fleeting.”

Wrapped in rapturous musical beauty that will bring you to tears is a heartbreaking ending that will bring you to your knees. We can only watch as Butterfly floats toward her fate, like a moth to a flame, like a lamb to the slaughter. ‘Til death do them part. Sung in Italian with English subtitles.

Cosi Fan Tutte Student Dress Rehearsal

  • Thursday, March 14, 2019 – 6 p.m.

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

With a name that practically screams “master manipulator,” the cynical Don Alfonso goads two friends into making a not-so-friendly wager. Its outcome will either defend the virtue of the two sisters they love, or expose a duplicitous streak supposedly inherent in all women. Unknown to their brides-to-be, a battle of the sexes has begun, and the two men set out to test the faithfulness of their fiancées, but end up tempting Fate in the process.

In the midst of madcap machismo and pre-feminist farce, we find Mozart in Monte Carlo, sipping mojitos, reveling in the mischief, and leaving the rest of us to marvel at his musical masterpiece. 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

  • Thursday, January 31, 2019 – 9:30am
  • Friday, February 1, 2019 – 9:30am

All Tickets: $5
Recommended ages:
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).

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.

Sign Up Now