Lawrence Arts Center Announces Fall 2018 Performing Arts Season

The Lawrence Arts Center is pleased to announce upcoming Fall 2018 performances. From Theatre for the Very Young and energetic approaches to classical dance, to topical social issues and unbelievable stories, the Lawrence Arts Center is ready to raise the curtain on an innovative slate of programming.


Join us for a sneak peek of Ric Averill’s new musical, as the Lawrence Arts Center partners with guest artists from New York City’s Rebel Playhouse. In this delightful new musical, a 5th grader named Q has to face a terrible day filled with an oral report, bullying friends, a math test, and, worst of all, the decision of whether to try out for the boys’ or girls’ soccer team. Fortunately, Q’s neighbor, Nix, seems to have all the magical items Q needs to complete their dangerous journey. This is a free event but donations are appreciated!

Cucharada: Noche de Tango – September 14
Join us for an evening of live Tango music and dancing as Kansas City Tango ensemble Cucharada brings its take on the immortal Argentine style to Lawrence. From the birth of Tango in the Mar del Plata region of South America on the border of Uruguay and Argentina to its rebirth in the United States, the listener will be taken through the evolution of this music from its early days in the late 19th century until today. Tickets are available now, and this event includes complimentary food and tango lessons!

Story Slam: Alone– October 12

Story Slam: Journey – November 9

Live music & social hour starts at 7pm. Slam starts at 7:30pm.
Real stories, live & uncensored. Stories told live, MOTH-style. Never the same story, or evening, twice. Adults, 18+ only. Cocktails throughout. Story Slams are always free and open to the public.

Color Play – October 5-7
What does blue sound like? What does green do when it wakes up in the morning? How does orange dance? Performers in Color Play explore how children think about color through a performance directly inspired by the ideas, movements, and words of children ages 2-6. Very young audiences will enter an interactive world where colors can make noises, have wild dances, and create delightful surprises. The performance itself will involve live music, exploratory art, and moments of interaction with the audience. Color Play is built in collaboration with the Center of Creative Arts in St. Louis, MO. Tickets are on sale now, with show times ideal for very young children!

Following Mary Baker’s Cabaret Showcase Gala last April, Mary Baker and Friends return for another evening of songs from Broadway and movie musicals, as well as the New York cabaret scene. This popular cabaret series recently celebrated its 17th anniversary. Director Mary Baker accompanies on piano with Valance Penn on drums. This popular event always sells out, so get your tickets in advance.

Join us for an evening of live music as we celebrate the release of Jonathan Fleig and the Flint Hills’ new album, Driftwood. Jonathan Fleig is an award-nominated Americana singer/songwriter from Emporia, Kansas. Harkening back to the bittersweet essence of American folk raconteurs, his styling lures listeners from all walks of life, from blues and soul to rock and country. Get a complimentary music  download with your ticket purchase.

Reefer Madness: The Musical – October 25-27
Inspired by the 1936 film of the same name, Reefer Madness is a raucous musical comedy that takes a tongue-in-cheek look at the hysteria caused when clean-cut kids fall prey to marijuana. The story follows young Jimmy Harper’s tragic demise after one puff of marijuana sends him from a dope-hazed tumble from the five & dime soda shop to the vice-ridden gutter and dangerous encounters with the druggie creatures of the night. Recommended for ages 16+. Tickets are on sale now!

Madeline – November 3-4
This classical ballet, inspired by the beloved children’s books by Ludwig Bemelmans, tells the story of the young Madeline, her boarding school classmates, and their many adventures. With beautiful choreography by Cynthia Crews and Lawrence Ballet Theatre dancers, this performance is for children of all ages. Tickets are already selling fast.



Rethink: I Am a Veteran
– November 9-11
This original theatrical production centers on the lives of women veterans, their families, and friends. This performance and storytelling project, designed and led by women artists, focuses on veterans who are women, sharing their first person experiences and delving into topics such as the challenges of toxic masculinity, abuse, military glass ceilings, family life, sexuality, camaraderie, and empowerment while serving their country with honor. This production features a very special set design and art installation. Tickets are on sale now.

*dwb* (driving while black) – November 17
Join us for this world premiere production of a one-act operatic work for soprano, cello, and percussion performed by University of Kansas faculty members Roberta Gumbel, Hannah Collins, and Michael Compitello. In 2016, librettist/soprano Roberta Gumbel’s African-American son turned 16. Her little boy would be *dwb* in a country where this has become a potentially lethal condition. In a collaboration that grew out of conversations with composer Susan Kander, Gumbel’s experience, like that of millions of women (and men), is the subject of this short, gripping one-woman opera. Tickets are on sale now.

A winter family favorite, this ballet is based on E.T.A. Hoffman’s original story and is set in Kansas during the civil war. Witness the magic and wonder of this story as Drosselmeyer and Clara defeat the Mouse King and liberate the Nutcracker from his enchanted form. Tickets are selling fast.