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Performance Guide

Peter & Friends

Inspired by Sergei Prokofiev's "Peter and the Wolf," this concert is developed specifically for toddlers

Performance Guide

The String Queens

The String Queens perform programs that transport audiences through time and genres

Performance Guide

The Magic Flute: Opera Look-In

Theater and music come together in "The Magic Flute," one of the world's most beloved operas

Performance Guide

Cantus

Meet Cantus—eight men who use their voices to make a big sound and an even bigger impact within the music community

Performance Guide

NSO Open Rehearsal

Peek behind the curtain and see what takes place as the NSO prepares for its concert performance

Performance Guide

EGG-tion Hero

Join Dutch theater/dance company Maas in a hysterically egg-cellent time

Get'm

Performance Guide

GET'M

Dutch theater company Bontehond presents this imaginative production

Performance Guide

The Magic Flute

The Magic Flute is an enchanting quest for love and truth featuring colorful characters and unforgettable vocal acrobatics.

Balancing Bodies

Performance Guide

Balancing Bodies

Dutch dance/theater company WOEST brings this interactive show with interplay between performer and spectator

NSO YPC

Performance Guide

NSO Young People's Concert

Don’t miss a special showcase of female composers, conductors, and performers to mark 100 years since the 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote.

Performance Guide

Otello

Verdi’s monumental retelling of Shakespeare’s masterpiece explores good and evil, and the downfall of a leader

Halloween Spooktacular

Performance Guide

NSO Family Concert: Halloween Spooktacular

Enjoy spooky fun for the whole family at this annual tradition!

Performance Guide

Washington Women in Jazz presents the Amy K. Bormet Trio

Washington Women in Jazz celebrates the women of the DC jazz community

Paquita

Performance Guide

Mariinsky Ballet: Paquita

Paquita is a glittering showcase of classical technique, dazzling tutus, and non-stop virtuosic turns.

Presto

Performance Guide

Presto!

Join a string trio—to discover the secrets of string instruments and the music they play

Kennedy Center

KC Connection

Visiting the Kennedy Center

Student guides for visiting the Kennedy Center

Kennedy Center Concert Hall

Video

The Kennedy Center Concert Hall

Conductor Emil de Cou leads an expedition to the Kennedy Center's grand Concert Hall

Kennedy Center Opera House

Field Guide

A Field Guide to Theaters

Everything you need to know before you go to an arts event in a theater

Browse features

Coming to the Kennedy Center?

If you're coming to the Kennedy Center for a performance or event with your school, take a look below for links to our performance guides.

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Performance Guide: Washington Women in Jazz presents the Amy K. Bormet Trio
Celebrated by Amy K. Bormet in 2011, Washington Women in Jazz celebrates the women of the DC jazz community. In addition to hosting an annual festival, Bormet and her colleagues develop, promote, and lead a wide array of concerts, jam sessions, lectures, panels, discussions, and masterclasses, and provide opportunities for students to connect with professional artists. As a professional jazz pianist and vocalist, Bormet has been featured at the Kennedy Center’s Mary Lou Williams Emerging Artist Workshop and the Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival.

Performance Guide: The String Queens
Praised for its “authentic, soulful, and orchestral sound,” The String Queens is a dynamic trio that creates stimulating musical experiences that inspire diverse audiences to love, hope, feel, and imagine. With an array of repertoire spanning from the Baroque era to the Jazz Age to today’s Billboard Hot 100 Chart, The String Queens perform versatile programs that transport audiences through time and a multitude of musical genres.

Performance Guide: The Magic Flute: Opera Look-In
Theater and music come together in this introduction to opera and "The Magic Flute," one of the world's most beloved operas. A whimsical production designed by children's author/illustrator Maurice Sendak sets a playful landscape for this enchanting fairy tale. Join handsome prince Tamino and his silly sidekick Papageno as they set out on a fantastic journey to rescue the kidnapped Pamina in this special opera exploration. At this Look-In, students hear amazing performances; see demonstrations of behind-the-scenes technology, lighting, and stagecraft; and get a glimpse into the many careers available in stage performance, both onstage and behind the curtains.

Presto

Performance Guide: Presto!
Oh no, a musician’s viola has been stolen! Could the culprit be the magician next door? Join Presto!—a string trio—to follow the clues and crack the case. Along the way, discover the secrets of string instruments and the music they play.

Performance Guide: Otello
As a raging storm breaks on Cyprus, the governor Otello returns victorious from battle. But there is another storm brewing. Iago, Otello’s ensign, launches a malicious scheme to lead his chief to believe his wife Desdemona is unfaithful. As Iago’s manipulations decay Otello’s trust in those he loves, the great hero will confront his most fatal enemy: his own jealousy. Verdi’s monumental retelling of Shakespeare’s masterpiece offers a psychological medium to explore good and evil, as well as the downfall of a celebrated leader.

Performance Guide: NSO Open Rehearsal
Peek behind the curtain and see what takes place as the NSO prepares for its concert performance

Paquita

Performance Guide: Mariinsky Ballet: Paquita
Most famous for its Act III “Grand Pas” wedding scene, Paquita is a glittering showcase of classical technique, dazzling tutus, and non-stop virtuosic turns. This 19th-century treasure is rarely performed in its entirety and, after treating our audiences to the Grand Pas in 2016, the company now brings the U.S. premiere of its lavish new full production.

Performance Guide: The Magic Flute
Friends will become foes and enemies will become allies in Mozart's final and beloved opera, a whimsical production designed by children's author/illustrator Maurice Sendak. This quest for love and truth is rich with unforgettable vocal acrobatics, evocative symbols and allegory, and colorful characters such as a handsome young prince, a silly bird-catching sidekick, and a mysterious Queen of the Night.

Get'm

Performance Guide: GET'M
Three television hosts prepare to go live in the studio. The problem? There's only one microphone! Witness the great laughs these so-called "mature" presenters go to hold the attention. Dutch theater company Bontehond presents this imaginative production in the spirit of "Tom and Jerry" and "Looney Tunes," featuring silly misunderstandings, a fantastic puppet show, and some hilarious hide-n-seek.

Performance Guide: EGG-tion Hero
See that egg? The one in the museum gallery guarded by two boring attendants? It's very expensive and no one is allowed to touch it. But just when the job of these attendants starts to feel extra boring, they're needed more than ever! Will they succeed at keeping the egg safe? Join Dutch theater/dance company Maas in a charming production for young audiences featuring miming actors, a chase scene, and a hysterically egg-cellent time.

Performance Guide: Cantus
Meet Cantus—eight men who use their voices to make a big sound and an even bigger impact within the music community

Balancing Bodies

Performance Guide: Balancing Bodies
Take a seat in a rolling office chair and observe an ordinary space transform into a universe full of surprises and twists. Dutch dance/theater company WOEST brings this interactive show in which the interplay between performer and spectator is the nucleus around which everything orbits. As a world builds from nothing to something, audience members take part in balancing playfulness and organization, young and old, foolishness and seriousness, and more.

Performance Guide: Peter & Friends
Inspired by Sergei Prokofiev's "Peter and the Wolf," this concert developed specifically for toddlers is sure to have audience members playing like ducks, catching a wicked wolf, and engaging with music all along the way! This wild adventure features actors, puppets, and a quintet of woodwind and brass musicians from the National Symphony Orchestra, presented in collaboration with Atlanta Georgia's Teller Productions. A NSO Music for Young Audiences program.

NSO YPC

Performance Guide: NSO Young People's Concert
Don’t miss a special showcase of female composers, conductors, and performers to mark 100 years since the 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote.

Halloween Spooktacular

Performance Guide: NSO Family Concert: Halloween Spooktacular
Enjoy spooky fun for the whole family at this annual tradition! The Concert Hall transforms into a ghostly sight when our ghoulishly attired musicians perform new and old classics to celebrate Halloween. Nicholas Hersh leads this exciting concert experience, which features music from Harry Potter and more.

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