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 Courage; The 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 Clothes; Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse; Walter Dean Myers’ Harlem; Color Me Dark: A Story of the Great Migration North; Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka; The Phantom Tollbooth; Teddy 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.
Me…Jane: The Dreams & Adventures of Young Jane Goodall
A WORLD PREMIERE KENNEDY CENTER COMMISSION
ADAPTED BY ANDY MITTON, PATRICK MCDONNELL AND AARON POSNER
MUSIC AND LYRICS BY ANDY MITTON
BASED ON THE BOOK ME…JANE BY PATRICK MCDONNELL
CHOREOGRAPHED BY CHRISTOPHER D’AMBOISE
DIRECTED BY AARON POSNER
PART OF JFKC: A CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION OF JOHN F. KENNEDY
“The idea of bringing Me…Jane to the stage is very exciting. I LOVE THE BOOK AND I AM SURE THAT THE LIVE ACTION will inspire children of all ages to pursue their dreams and to realize IF JANE DID IT, THEY CAN DO IT, TOO.” —Jane Goodall
Age 6+, Grades 1-5
Before she was a renowned humanitarian, conservationist, and animal activist, Dr. Jane Goodall was a little girl with a very special toy chimpanzee named Jubilee. Together, Jane and Jubilee went on outdoor adventures and observed all the miracles of nature around them. As they learned more and more on their expeditions, Jane dreamed of spending the rest of her life living with and helping animals. And one day, she would go on to do just that.
In this brand new musical adaptation, join young Jane and her special friend as they learn about the world around them and the importance of protecting all living species. With anecdotes taken directly from Jane Goodall’s autobiography, this adaptation makes this very true story accessible for the very young—and young at heart.
These photos are from the world premiere original production at the Kennedy Center in November/December 2017. Photo credit: Teresa Wood