Student Matinees

Student Matinees

School day performances of world-class artists bring young people and educators (Pre-K-12th grades) together from across Nebraska to share an unforgettable experiences. Presenting music, theater, and dance, the Lied’s student matinee performances enhance classroom learning, expand cultural awareness, and inspire creativity in all.



The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Other Eric Carle Favorites by Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia

Location: Lied Center’s Main Stage Theater

Two Performances

1:00PM on Thursday, January 17, 2019

10:00AM on Friday, January 18, 2019

Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia’s elegant stage adaptation of Eric Carle’s beloved work has made theatre history, both in Nova Scotia and throughout North America. This performance is designed to introduce young audience members to their first performing arts experience, as well as to encourage literacy and the love of reading. Three treasured stories by Eric Carle, the award-winning children’s book illustrator and author, are re-told on stage through the magic of black-light and fanciful puppets. The performance includes three favorites: the story of The Very Hungry Caterpillar’s metamorphosis into a beautiful butterfly; the fantastic account of Little Cloud’s travels through the sky; and The Mixed-Up Chameleon’s discovery of his own unique nature.  These whimsical tales have enchanted generations of children and adults alike; Mermaid Theatre’s acclaimed stage adaptation teaches as well as entertains.

Grade Levels: Pre-Kindergarten through 4th grade (age four and up)

Curriculum Connections: Theater, Puppetry, Language Arts, Reading, Storytelling, Visual Arts

Performance Length:  60 minutes includes a post-show discussion


My Ántonia with Illusion Theatre

Location: Lied Center’s Johnny Carson Studio Theatre

Four Performances

10:00AM & 1:00PM on Wednesday, February 6, 2019

1:00PM on Thursday, February 7, 2019

1:00PM on Friday, February 8, 2019

A story of the land and the people who came to settle the Great Plains, My Ántonia is also the story of a life-long friendship. Moore’s award-winning adaptation of the classic Willa Cather novel is told through the memories of narrator Jim Burden, who after 20 years of living in the East returns to his small prairie town to see Ántonia, the Czech immigrant girl who shaped his understanding of life. The play is wrapped up in an environment of the changing prairie created by the actors, set and sound. The theatrical adaptation was developed during Illusion Theatre's 2009 Fresh Ink Series and saw its first full-scale production in 2010, which won two Ivey Awards.

Grade Levels: 6 through 12th grades (age 12 and up)

Curriculum Connections: English/Language Arts, Theatre, Social Studies/History

Performance Length:  90 minutes with no intermission


Passing it Forward: The American Dream? by Tapestry Dance Company

Location: UNL’s Howell Theatre (across from the Lied Center box office)

Two Performances

10:00AM & 1:00PM on Monday, April 29, 2019

Passing it Forward: The American Dream? explores the rich and complicated history of our country. The performance encourages the audience to reflect on the role of immigration in creating the huge diversity of cultures that make up our American heritage. Through historical traditions and new works of tap dance set to a diversified musical score of spoken-word poetry, hip-hop, jazz, and American classics, Tapestry sets a rhythm of communication, hope and healing. The performance delves into our country’s challenges, ranging from the Civil Rights Movement to past and present day treatment of refugees and immigrants. This inspiring and timely story presents the warp and weft of culture that forms the fabric of our American identity.

Grade Levels: 6 through 12th grades (age 12 and up)

Curriculum Connections: Movement/Dance, English/Language Arts, Storytelling, Music, Social Studies/History, Social Emotional

Performance Length:  60 minutes

For more information about the student matinees and performance guides, please contact Nancy Engen-Wedin at 402-472-4707 or


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