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The Kennedy Center

About KCTYA On Tour

For more information about Kennedy Center Theater for Young Audiences on Tour contact us at or (202) 416-8830

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.

Throughout the program's 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.

Cast of Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical. Photo by Carol Pratt.

(l-r) Brian Sutow and Tia Shearer in Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical. Photo by Carol Pratt.

The tours begin with a fully mounted production and engagement at the Kennedy Center for Washington, D.C. 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.

Cast of  Locomotion. Photo by Carol Pratt.

(l-r) Julian Elijah Martinez, G. Alverez Reid, and MaConnia Chesser in Locomotion. Photo by Carol Pratt.

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!; and Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical based on the Caldecott Honor-winning picture book Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale by Mo Willems.

Cast of Barrio Grrrl!  Photo by Carol Pratt.

(l-r, bottom) Vishal Vaidya, Deonna Bouye, Chris Wilson, (middle) Desireé Rodriguez, (top) Michelle Liu Coughlin in Barrio Grrrl! Photo by Carol Pratt.

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.