Arts 4 Youth Student Matinées

The Federal Way Performing Arts and Event Center invites you to experience our 2019 – 2020 Arts 4 Youth season specifically designed for school groups! The performances are one-hour long daytime presentations that bring the magic of live theater to students. Student Matinées align with and support Washington State and Common Core learning standards. We have designed study guides, lesson plans, and other resources to help teachers deepen the learning experience, make connections to other subjects, and introduce students to the performing arts. Pre-show classroom visits are also available for select performances. The Arts 4 Youth program is sponsored by the Federal Way Performing Arts Foundation and their generous supporters. Research demonstrates the power of the arts to strengthen youth intellectual and emotional development. We strongly believe in ensuring access to the performing arts and providing inspiring opportunities for everyone. See you at the show! Check out the 2018-2019 report to learn more!


2019-2020 Arts 4 Youth Season

My Name is Celia: The Life of Celia Cruz
Me llamo Celia: La vida de Celia Cruz

Thursday, October 17, 10AM
Grade Level: K-5
Study Guide

Queen of salsa, Celia Cruz, brought joy, music and the sweet sugar of the Havana sound to millions of people around the world. In this celebration of her life and her gift of song you will hear her story and feel the warmth of her love fill your heart. It’ll make you feel like dancing! This production by Book-It Repertory Theatre is based on the non-fiction book by Monica Brown and performed in English and Spanish. ¡Azúcar!

Anna Maria Mendieta & Del Cielo Ensemble

Wednesday, November 13, 10AM
Grade Level: All Grades
Study Guide

The passionate and expressive music and dance of Spain inspires Anna Maria Mendieta & Del Cielo Ensemble. The artists share their instruments and the history and particular sounds of flamenco, tango, and more. The group explores cultural traditions and presents dynamic dance numbers with colorful costumes. Students learn about the importance of music in our lives and the rich Latinx culture in our own country. Del Cielo connects the old with the new, tradition with innovation, the auditory with the visual, and the serious with the playful!

George Washington Carver and Friends

Monday, January 13, 10AM Grade Level: 1-5 Study Guide George Washington Carver and Friends by Bright Star Touring Theatre gives students a fast-paced and accessible introduction to many influential Black Americans who have shaped our nation over the last 150 years. It celebrates the many and often forgotten contributions by African American inventors, scientists and statesmen/stateswomen. The lives and accomplishments of Booker T. Washington, Jackie Robinson, Thurgood Marshall, Madame C. J. Walker, and other famous leaders are brought to life in this empowering production.

Peter and the Wolf     SOLD OUT!

Tuesday, January 28, 10AM
Grade Level: K-3
Study Guide

Peter and The Wolf by Pushcart Players is an adaptation of the Russian folk tale set to music by composer Sergei Prokofiev. In this exciting version a spirited young boy, confronted by danger, meets the challenge with courage, creativity and leadership. A different instrument and melody represent each character of the play, presenting an engaging introduction to the orchestra and musical themes. An adventure about the value of friendship and the experience of growing up!

Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut

Thursday, February 13, 10AM
Grade Level: K-5
Study Guide

A trip to “the shop” is a magical thing. You hop out of that chair looking fresh — the best version of yourself. The story is for those who should see what they see in that barbershop mirror — that their lives matter and always have. This poetic work presents the elevating power of community as we experience the confidence, respect, and self-esteem that can come from a fresh cut and a new view of ourselves. Book-It Repertory Theatre adapted this production from the book by Derrick Barnes.

John Henry – POSTPONED 

Grade Level: 1-8
Study Guide

John Henry is an original play by Mad River Theater Works based on the tale of the well-known figure from American folklore. No one could match John’s skill or his endurance as a “steel-drivin’ man” for the railroad — until the invention of the steam-powered driver, that is. John Henry uses storytelling, drama, and music to bring an American legend to life. It speaks to young and old alike and carries a strong contemporary parallel about the importance of our humanity in the face of changing technology.

Ballet Folklorico Mexico – POSTPONED

Grade Level: All Grades
Study Guide

Founded in 1972, the Ballet Folklorico Nacional is known as one of the most exciting groups presenting authentic dances of Mexico. Through a heady rush of tapping heels, dazzling costumes, and insistent rhythms, audiences learn about the traditional dances, fascinating folklore, and magnificent ceremonial rituals from regions all over Mexico. The Ballet Folklorico’s goals are to share their traditions, create interest and pride in the students’ own cultural backgrounds, and foster a sense of respect for other cultures.

Interested in attending?

Tickets are $5 per student, with no additional fees or taxes. The first adult per ten students receives a complimentary ticket. All other adults are ticketed at the $5 rate. Groups with fewer than ten students will be charged $5/person. There is no charge for additional chaperones needed for students with special needs. Performances start at 10:00 AM and will begin promptly. Please arrive 30 minutes prior to showtime to allow for seating, which is first come, first served. For more information, visit our Policies and Reservation Information page. 


We are here to help. For information about Arts 4 Youth performances, scholarships, bus funding and general questions, contact Katherine Dorr or call 253.835.7027.

General Guides

Theaterworks Group Visits

Want your class to find out even more about the performing arts? Try a Theaterworks Tour! Get a behind the scenes peek at all of the parts of the theater you don’t see from the audience. Hear from the staff of the PAEC about what it takes to run a performing arts facility. Do the work of a real actor through fun theater games. Our Theaterworks Tours are designed for 4th grade and older and up to 30 students. Visits last 1.5–2 hours and cost $5/student. A tour may be combined with attendance at a student matinée for a $25 flat fee per school. Please note that scheduling the visit must necessarily accommodate other events happening in the facility.

For more information or to make a reservation, please contact Kate Dorr, Arts Education Coordinator, at 253-835-7027.

Theater Etiquette

Share these guidelines with your students so that everyone will know what to do and have an enjoyable time.

    • Be on time! The show starts with or without you.
    • Listen to the ushers and other PAEC staff for instructions about where to go and what to do.
    • Always use walking feet and inside voices everywhere at the PAEC.
    • No food, gum, or drinks other than water are allowed in the theater.
    • The theater will get dark before the show starts. That is the signal to be quiet and ready. Do not get up until the lights go on again.
    • Make sure all of the grown-ups have their phones on silent.
    • Do not use any electronic devices during the show. Videotaping, audio recording, and photographing are prohibited by law and also very distracting for the performers and the rest of the audience.
    • Do not talk during the performance, but be sure to laugh if it’s funny, cheer if it’s awesome, gasp if you’re surprised, and clap at the end!