The University of Iowa

Hancher Auditorium, the University of Iowa’s performing arts center, offers an educational and engaging school day matinee series designed just for elementary, junior high, and high school students. From early learners to high school seniors - this season, there’s something for everybody! To help educators connect our performances to their curriculum, we have listed standards and benchmarks addressed by each performance. Hancher can also provide study guides and other materials to help teachers introduce students to the performers, the programs, and other information.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

The Auditorium, Hadley Stage
Wednesday, March 11, 2020, 10:00 am
Run time - 60 minutes

Recommended for grades 7-12

  • Analyze and compare the movement patterns and their relationships in a variety of genres, styles, or cultural movement practices and explain how their differences impact communication and intent within a cultural context
  • Relate connections found between different dances and discuss the relevance of the connections to the development of one’s personal perspectives

The extraordinary dancers of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will present a very special matinee performance celebrating the company’s acclaimed masterwork, Revelations. This presentation will include a demonstration of some of the technical aspects of the show, a showcase of a few excerpts from the company’s lengthy repertoire, and an opportunity for members of the audience to learn some of the moves themselves. The second half of the engagement is a complete performance of Revelations, a work that uses African-American spirituals, song-sermons, gospel songs, and holy blues, to explore the places of deepest grief and holiest joy in the soul. Ailey said that one of America’s richest treasures was the African-American cultural heritage—“sometimes sorrowful, sometimes jubilant, but always hopeful.” Revelations is a tribute to that tradition, and since its premiere, it has been performed continuously around the globe, transcending barriers of faith and nationality, and appealing to universal emotions, making it the most widely-seen modern dance work in the world.

Compagnia TPO, Farfalle
Compagnia TPO
Farfalle (Butterfly)

Strauss Hall in Hancher Auditorium
Thursday, April 23, 2020, 10:00 am and 12:30 pm
Friday, April 24, 2020, 10:00 am and 12:30 pm
Run time - 50 minutes

Recommended for grades PK4-2 (Ages 4+)

Watch the butterflies. They flit and dance. They paint on the air. They become something new. Compagnia TPO is renowned for interactive performances that bring children into the art—not as a gimmick, but as a central part of the artistry itself. Farfalle combines dance, images, digital design, and the joy and wonder of the young people in the audience. Be a part of a wondrous transformation and an experience to remember.

  • Engage collaboratively in exploration and imaginative play
  • Dance for and with others in a designated space

Slingsby Theatre Company, Emil and the Detectives
Slingsby Theatre Company
Emil & the Detectives

Strauss Hall in Hancher Auditorium
Thursday, April 30, 2020, 10:00 am
Friday, May 1, 2020, 10:00 am and 12:30 pm
Run time - 70 minutes (Arrive 15 minutes before the show to participate in a fun pre-show activity) 

Recommended for grades 2-8

Young Emil is traveling by train when a nefarious stranger makes off with the family’s hard-won money. Recruiting a crew of fellow children to help hunt down the thief, Emil sets up to right a wrong with grit and determination. With projections, shadow puppets, and unerring storytelling instincts, Slingsby Theatre Company will have students, teachers, and chaperones alike cheering for Emil’s band of crime-solving friends. In Slingsby’s signature intimate theatrical style, the story is told by two skilled actors, combining the thrilling intrigue of a classic caper with an evocative film noir design, complete with smoke and mirrors, miniature worlds, and a cinematic score.

  • Explore how stories are adapted from literature to drama/theatre work
  • Identify connections to community, social issues and other content areas in drama/theatre work
  • Examine how the actions and motivations of characters in a drama/theatre work impact perspectives of a community or culture

School Matinees at Hancher Auditorium
2019/2020 School Matinee Series Ticket Information

Reservations can be made by calling the Hancher box office at (319) 335-1160 or 1-800-HANCHER. The box office is open Monday through Friday, 10 AM to 5:30 PM. Orders are accepted on a first come, first served basis.

Tickets are $5.00 per person; there is a $5.00 handling fee included with each order.

The Hancher Box Office must receive final ticket count and payment three weeks prior to the event. Checks payable to Hancher Auditorium, Visa, MasterCard, and American Express are accepted.

Unless otherwise indicated, admission is limited to school groups of 5 or more and students ages 5 and older. Children under the age of 5 will not be admitted to the student matinee performances. Tickets are required for anyone who will be attending the performance–students and adults.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa sponsored events. If you have a person with a disability in your party who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Hancher Accessibility Services in advance at (319) 335-1158.



Did you know that Hancher also takes artists into the community for performances, workshops, and other engagements? For up-to-date information about Hancher’s arts education programs, including our matinee series, or to explore the possibility of bringing a Hancher artist to your school, please contact Hancher’s Public Engagement Coordinator at You can also learn more about our programs by visiting the Hancher education page at


For More Information: 

Chuy Renteria
Public Engagement Coordinator
(319) 335-1128