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. 

Student Matinee Brochure    Student Matinee Order Form



DINO-LIGHT By Lightwire Theater

Format: Virutal Video Format – register to be emailed the link/access to the performance

This performance is approximately 60 minutes in length.

AVAILABLE: March 25 - June 30, 2021

In this original story a famous scientist with magical powers brings a friendly dinosaur to life. Wandering away from home, the dinosaur discovers a wonderful world full of creatures that light up the darkness and help him find the true meaning of love. This glow-in-the-dark adventure is visually pleasing and has been praised for its blend of puppetry, technology, and dance by audiences all over the world. DINO-LIGHT (formerly Darwin the Dinosaur), received the prestigious Jim Henson Foundation Grant and is the first feature-length theatrical production created and performed by Ian Carney and Corbin Popp (a Lincoln, Nebraska native).

Curriculum Connections: Social Studies, English, Music, Theater, Puppetry, Social Emotional

Curriculum Guide   Website

Grade Levels: PreK-4



Rhapsody in Black by Leland Gantt

Format: Virutal Video Format – register to be emailed the link/access to the performance.

This performance is approximately 60 minutes in length.

AVAILABLE: March 15 - June 30, 2021 (includes post-show discussion)

When is the last time you and your students had a thoughtful conversation about racism? Writer/actor Leland Gantt challenges young people to start important conversations about racism in America in this one-man show about his personal experiences growing up in the ghettos of McKeesport, PA. Rhapsody in Black offers a deeply personal and unique look into Gantt’s thoughts and emotional processes, presenting a hopeful message that helps audiences explore the impact that history and current events have on our choices. How Leland manages to cope with the various psychological effects of consistently being marked “The Other” is recounted in remarkable and exquisitely moving detail, and guaranteed to leave lasting a impression. LeLand Gantt is on a personal mission to understand and eventually transcend racism in America.

Curriculum Connections: Physical Education/Health, Social Studies/History, Theater, Social Emotional

Grade Levels: 8th-12th



The Puppets, Song and Story of Ajijaak on Turtle Island by IBEX Puppetry/Heather Henson

Format: Virutal Video Format – register to be emailed the link/access to the performance

This interview and performance is approximately 45 minutes in length.​

AVAILABLE: March15 - June 30, 2021

This presentation includes an interview with puppeteer Heather Henson, author/director Ty Defoe, and composer Dawn Avery, as well as a short 10-12 minute video segment of the Ajijaak performance featuring Cranes and other puppets. The full performance of Ajijaak on Turtle Island will be featured in the 2021/2022 Lied Center Season!

Ajijaak on Turtle Island is a story about Ajijaak, a young whooping crane. Separated from her family in a Tar Sands fire caused by the monstrous creature, Mishibizhiw, Ajijaak must make her first migration from Wood Buffalo, Canada down to the Gulf Coast. As Ajijaak travels, she encounters many animals as well as communities of people from Ojibwe, Ho-Chunk, Lakota, and Cherokee Nations, living in balance with their environments. Eventually Ajijaak finds her own voice and a family, through many interconnections with peoples and creatures along the way. Heather Henson and Ty Defoe collaborated with regional storytellers, choreographers, poets, indigenous tradition bearers, and ecologists to weave an insightful story that enhances our connection to the earth and sky through puppetry.  

Curriculum Connections: Science, Social Studies/History, Indigenous Knowledge, Puppetry, Music, Theater

Grade Levels: 2-12




A Kid's Play About Racism

Format: Virutal Video Format –  register and get your password to view this performance.

This performance is approximately 30 minutes in length.​

AVAILABLE: February 15 - May 28, 2021

A Kids Play about Racism teaches children what racism is, how to know it when they see and experience it, and ideas for what they can do about it. Considered a sensitive topic for many, forty-two performing arts theaters across the United States, lead by the producing team of Bay Area Children’s Theatre, Seattle Children’s Theatre, and Alliance Theatre in Atlanta came together to present this virtual premiere of A Kids Play about Racism, a theatrical adaptation of Jelani Memory’s A Kids Book About Racism.

Adapted and directed by award-winning director and TYA artist Khalia Davis, A Kids Play about Racism is brought to life by an entirely Black and BIPOC cast and creative team from across the United States. A Kids Play about Racism utilizes theater to offer young children and families the opportunity to engage in meaningful conversations about race.

Curriculum Connections: Theater, Literacy, Social Studies, Social Emotional Learning (Self Awareness, Social Awareness)

Curriculum Guide  Website

Grade Levels: PreK-5


Chief Standing Bear's Journey to Statuary Hall by the Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs

Format: Virutal Video Format –  register to be emailed the link/access to this performance.

This performance is approximately 60 minutes in length.​

AVAILABLE: February 15 - June 30, 2021

This documentary recounts the story of Ponca Chief Standing Bear and the 1879 trailblazing human rights court case that lead to his designation as a Nebraska hero. In 1877 Chief Standing Bear and the Ponca Tribe were forced to leave their Nebraska homeland for Indian Territory - now Oklahoma. This forced removal led to many members of the tribe perishing, including Chief Standing Bear’s son. Determined to honor his son’s wish to be buried in his homeland, Chief Standing Bear and 30 Poncas walked over 500 miles back to their Nebraska home. In Standing Bear v. Crook, Chief Standing Bear sued for and won freedom for himself and his traveling companions, from U.S. Army custody. This was the first time an indigenous person spoke before a U.S. federal court, and it also established, for the first time, that Native Americans are people with civil rights. This film is about the statue in his honor that was dedicated and installed in the U.S. Capitol’s Statuary Hall in 2019.

Curriculum Connections: Social Studies, Nebraska History, Visual Arts, Sculpture

Curriculum Guide  Website

Grade Levels: K-12



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


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