Kennedy Center Theater for Young Audiences on Tour- Darius & Twig

Kennedy Center Theater for Young Audiences on Tour- Darius & Twig


Since 1992, Kennedy Center Theater for Young Audiences on Tour has been a leader in bringing imaginative and original works to communities around the nation.


In the program’s 19 year history, 43 tours have played in hundreds of cities in 49 states as well as parts of Canada. More than 2 million children, teachers, and parents have been part of these audiences. Many of the students who see these productions may never have the chance to visit the nation’s performing arts center, but could still experience the professionalism and talent that has become the trademark of Kennedy Center Theater for Young Audiences.


The tours begin with a fully mounted production and engagement at the Kennedy Center for Washington, DC metropolitan area audiences. Prior to the touring season, the shows are re-worked specifically for the road, complete with performing company and production staff. Many works are specifically commissioned by the Kennedy Center and affiliates in order to contribute to the development of new plays and musicals for young audiences. It is our belief that supporting the creation of new works for young audiences is critical to the ongoing revitalization of the field.


Tour highlights include: The Red Badge of CourageThe Snow Queen; Little Women; a dance/theater adaptation of The Nightingale; a musical adaptation of Judith Viorst’s Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day; an opera version of The Emperor’s New ClothesLilly’s Purple Plastic Purse; Walter Dean Myers’ Harlem; Color Me Dark: A Story of the Great Migration North; Roald Dahl’s Willy WonkaThe Phantom TollboothTeddy Roosevelt and the Treasure of Ursa Major—a Kennedy Center collaboration with the White House Historical Association; Nobody’s Perfect, a bi-lingual musical in spoken English and American Sign Language, the first tour to travel the country with open-captioning; Barrio Grrrl!Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical based on the Caldecott Honor-winning picture book Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale by Mo Willems; and Elephant and Piggie’s: We Are in a Play! based on the Elephant & Piggie series of books also by Mo Willems.


When presenters book a KCTYA on Tour production, they also receive access to a comprehensive education package. Curriculum connections made through Cuesheets, study guides highlighting different activities and information for students for use before and after the performance, and the Kennedy Center’s ArtsEdge educational website are featured components of our national touring program.
Ages 13 and up

Can two friends break away from the city to live their dreams?

Darius & Twig

A Kennedy Center world premiere commission 
Based on the novel Darius & Twig by Walter Dean Myers
Adapted by Caleen Sinnette Jennings
Directed by Eleanor Holdridge
On Harlem’s 145th Street, teenage best friends Darius and Twig dream of a world beyond the confines of their daily lives. Darius is a writer, whose latest story might be published in a magazine–if only he can keep his alter ego, a fierce falcon, in check. And Twig is a runner, whose speed and endurance might bring him a scholarship–if only he can impress college scouts at an upcoming meet. But with Darius’s mother barely scraping by, pressure from Twig’s uncle to give up racing, and bullies Midnight and Tall Boy constantly on their case, these true-blue allies may not truly be free to use their gifts. 
Based on the award-winning novel by Walter Dean Myers, this captivating tale about the power of friendship takes the late author’s “unerring eye for what’s real and meaningful in life” (Newsday) to depict visceral scenes of inner-city struggle with sensitivity and wit. Street-smart and suspenseful, playful and profound, Darius & Twig is ultimately the story of two young men who must overcome obstacles by finding the best within themselves.

Most enjoyed by age 13 and up. 
Please note: Play’s subject matter is intended for older audiences and the play includes choreographed stage violence and prop guns.

60 minutes, no intermission

Suggested venue size: medium proscenium

Company is able to accommodate sensory friendly requests.

Darius & Twig Review- Theatre Bloom

November 2015







“All in all, Darius & Twig is a really fun and moving 60 minutes at the theatre. It is a production that was written for young audiences, but does not talk down to them. It presents its issues frankly and unapologetically, but it does not dwell in the unpleasantness of them. Those issues are not the only component that makes up these characters lives, as Darius tells his teacher when she suggests writing about a neighborhood shooting. They are only a part of the whole, and both Darius and Twig use them as inspiration to further their goals. Darius & Twig doesn’t have a happy ending; rather, it has a hopeful ending, which I would argue is the more real, and ultimately more satisfying, ending.

Click here for Theatre Bloom Review

Darius & Twig Review- A Parent in Silver Spring

November 2015



“Charlie said this was the best play he had ever seen, and right now he is in a post-Halloween candy daze, curled up on his bed reading the novel on his Kindle. He and I both heartily recommend that other families with children grade 6 and up head to the Kennedy Center to catch this play. The Kennedy Center recommends age 13 and up.”

Click here for A Parent in Silver Spring Review

Darius & Twig Review- Broadway World

November 2013


“What makes this show unique however is the topic addressed. It is relevant and significant in American society and it is important to expose these issues to audiences of all ages…. For a night of humor, intensity, and a slice of real American life, DARIUS & TWIG is worth bringing your family to.”

Click here for Broadway World Review

Elephant and Piggie 002 - Photo by Teresa Wood