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.

For More Information CONTACT: Nancy Engen-Wedin, 402-472-4707,





Jake Shimabukuro

Dates:  Thursday, October 12 at 10:30am in the Main Stage Theater
Grade Levels: grades 2 to 12
Curriculum Connections: Music/Ukelele, Reading/Writing, Speaking/Listening, Language and Culture
Length: 60 minutes

Since 2000, Jake Shimabukuro has grown his seemingly limitless music vocabulary -playing jazz, rock, blues, bluegrass, folk and classical on the unlikeliest of instruments -  the ‘ukulele. This Hawai’i-born virtuoso has reinvented this small underappreciated four-string instrument, reaching the legendary reputation as “Jimi Hendrix of the ‘ukulele.”Both humble and good-natured, Jake picked up the ‘ukulele at the age of four; a journey that took him from local phenom playing tiny clubs, to YouTube sensation playing prestigious concert venues-Hollywood Bowl, Lincoln Center and the Sydney Opera House. Shimabukuro’s personal mission lies in connecting and inspiring young people through education and outreach in the communities he visits, sharing his story and passion for this unique instrument and its heritage.


Mermaid Theater of Nova Scotia’s Rainbow Fish

Dates: Tuesday, February 20 at 10:30am in the Mainstage Theater
Grade Levels: grades Pre-K – 3
Curriculum Connections: Puppetry, Visual Arts, Literature, Science/Ocean Life, Friendships/Relationship Skills
Length: 60 minutes. No intermission
Resources: Study Guide; Activity Booklet 

A children’s picture book classic written by Marcus Pfister, Rainbow Fish is a colorful story told through innovative puppetry, striking scenes, and original music. The lesson? A beautiful fish with iridescent scales learns to share his most prized possessions in order to gain treasured friendships. Other stories performed include Rainbow Fish Discovers the Deep Sea and Opposites. Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia brings The Rainbow Fish to life with their enchanting puppetry. Winner of many Children’s theater awards, the sweet message of The Rainbow Fish series has resonated with children, parents, teachers, librarians, and booksellers around the world.


Drum Tao

Dates: Thursday, March 7, 2024 at 10:30am in the Mainstage Theater
Grade Levels: Grades 3 to 12
Curriculum Connections:
60 minutes

DRUM TAO: The Martial Art of Drumming is a Japanese drum and dance ensemble formed in 1993. This performing group combines music and dance to reflect Japanese tradition, but also incorporates KoreanMaori, and Indonesian influences. While some songs are traditional, most are modern compositions created by members of the troupe. Japanese entertainment for a new generation, Drum Tao’s stage is created through spectacle performances using “taiko” drums and the beautiful melodies of Japanese flutes and harps.

The performers train in their own center in the Kujū Highlands on Kyushu called Grandioso. The strenuous physical demands of their performance style requires all performers to also train as athletes. Daily workouts start at 5 a.m. and end at 10 p.m., and include a 20 kilometer run, calisthenics, martial arts training, and many hours of dance, drum, and music practice.  

Many pieces include only percussion instruments, and in some cases only taiko drums, but other pieces include the shinobue, or Japanese flute, bamboo marimba, gongs, and the koto, a horizontal harp.


SHOW WAY the Musical

Dates: Wednesday, March 27 at 10:30am in the Main Stage Theater
Grade Levels: grades 3-12
Curriculum Connections: Visual Art/Quilting, Musical Theater, Movement/Dance, History/Social Studies, Social Awareness, English/Literacy.
Length: 50 minutes, no intermission.
Notes: This show includes a fog effect.

Jacqueline Woodson’s award-winning story of history, love and resilience follows the stitches of a family’s lineage. Soonie's great-grandma was 7 years old when she was sold to a big plantation with only some fabric and needles to call her own. She began to stitch a Show Way – a quilt with secret meanings – to show enslaved people the way to freedom.

As each generation passes, the Show Way shines a light on the past and paves a road to the future, stitching together possibility and promise.

Kennedy Center Artist-in-Residence Jacqueline Woodson’s award-winning book/story of history, love, and resilience becomes a world premiere stage adaptation directed by Schele Williams with new music by Tyrone L. Robinson. This moving, lyrical account pays tribute to the women in Woodson’s own family whose strength and knowledge illuminate their daughters’ lives over seven generations.


Program and School District Sponsors:

The Kennedy Center and the Kennedy Center Partners in Education Program 
Nebraska Arts Council and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment 
Pace Woods Foundation 
Dr. Phillip Engen
UMÓnHOn Nation School  


For More Information CONTACT: Nancy Engen-Wedin, 402-472-4707,




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