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Family Theater

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Unveiled on December 9, 2005, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts' new 324-seat Family Theater provides a new home for world-class family theater performances for the nation's youth and continues the Kennedy Center's $125 million commitment to performing arts education for adults and children alike.

"This new venue" said Michael Kaiser, former Kennedy Center President, "expands the Kennedy Center's ability to produce and present excellent works for young people." The inauguration of the Kennedy Center's state of the art 324-seat Family Theater facility coincides with the 30th anniversary of the Kennedy Center's youth oriented Performances for Young Audiences series.

Designed by the architectural firm Richter Cornbrooks Gribble, Inc. of Baltimore, the new theater is located on the site formerly occupied by the AFI Film Theater. Its construction spanned 11 months, and incorporates the most modern theatrical innovations available, including: premium audio technologies; a computerized rigging system; and a digital video projection system.

Coming to the Family Theater :

No image available for <i>Mariko's Magical Mix: A Dance Adventure</i>

Mariko's Magical Mix: A Dance Adventure


Music is the key to making your world a rockin' place!
Mariko's Magical Mix: A Dance Adventure
A world premiere Kennedy Center co-commission with Hubbard Street 2,
in collaboration with Manual Cinema
Choreography and original concept by Robyn Mineko Williams
Music direction by Kyle Vegter
Puppetry and projection design by Julia Miller and Sarah Fornace
Narrative design by Sarah Fornace, Julia Miller, and Robyn Mineko Williams
It's the not-too-distant future, and the tedium of everyday life is making Mariko restless--until one day when she discovers a crate in her attic, filled with vinyl records that her mother collected. Armed only with a pair of headphones, Mariko is suddenly transported to a vibrant world of music and shadow. Far from the monotony of home, she encounters new friends, navigates inscrutable machines, and evades capture by strange creatures, allowing her to build the inner strength to confront her own demons and discover the extraordinary rhythms of her "ordinary" life.
Hubbard Street 2, the acclaimed early-career ensemble of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, follows up its "confident and lovely" (The Washington Post) 2010 Kennedy Center premiere of Harold and the Purple Crayon with this brand-new work devised in collaboration with Manual Cinema, Chicago's innovative company merging shadow puppetry with live performance and filmmaking techniques.

Most enjoyed by age 5 and up.

Performance Timing: 60 minutes, with no intermission.


Note: The 1:30 p.m. performance on Sat., October 10 is Sensory-Friendly.

Sensory-Friendly Performances
are designed to create a theater experience that is welcoming to all families with children on the autism spectrum or with other disabilities that create sensory sensitivities.

Accommodations for Sensory-Friendly performances include:
* Lower volume and consistent sound levels (no jarring sounds);
* Lights remaining at a low level in the theater during the performance;
* A reduction of strobe lighting focused on the audience;
* An understanding that patrons are free to talk and leave their seats during the performance;
* Short performance times, lasting 60-75 minutes with no intermission;
* Designated quiet areas within the theater;
* Space throughout the theater for standing and movement;
* Smaller crowds and a limited number of visitors at the Kennedy Center during the day and timing of the performance; and
* Trained Kennedy Center staff members who are inviting and accommodating to families' needs.

Families will also have access to resource materials to prepare for their visit. Please contact the Accessibility Office at 202-416-8727 (voice/relay) or for more information.