Kauffman Center For The Performing Arts Announces The 2019 National Geographic Live Speaker Series

The 2019 National Geographic Live season at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts will feature five speakers, including photographers, a rock climber and an Egyptologist.

National Geographic Live speakers share their journeys of exploration from being on assignment around the world. Illustrated with award-winning photography and video, each presentation concludes with a Q&A session with the audience.

For its eighth season at the Kauffman Center, National Geographic Live features biologist-turned-photographer Ronan Donovan; climber and adventure writer Mark Synnott; Egyptologist Dr. Kara Cooney; and photographer Stephen Wilkes. Biologist-and-photographer team Cheryl Knott and Tim Laman will close the 2019 series with a special engagement event.

Season subscription packages will be available starting Wednesday, August 15. Single tickets for the five events will go on sale Friday, September 7. Subscriptions and single tickets will be available through the Kauffman Center Box Office at (816) 994-7222, via the Kauffman Center mobile app, or online at www.kauffmancenter.org.


Ronan Donovan, Photographer
Social By Nature
Tuesday, January 8, 2019 at 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, January 9, 2019 at 7:30 p.m.
Muriel Kauffman Theatre | Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

Humans are, at our core, social mammals. We build relationships, communicate, reproduce, establish territories, and adapt to shrinking resources. Chimpanzees, wolves, gorillas, and bears are among the most charismatic of the social mammals we know-besides ourselves. They're also under threat. Join biologist turned photographer Ronan Donovan as he talks about the incredible similarities we humans share with other social mammals in the animal kingdom, and what we can learn from them.

Mark Synnott, Climber
Life On The Vertical
Tuesday, February 19, 2019 at 7:30 p.m.
Muriel Kauffman Theatre | Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

Mark Synnott is a man ever on the brink of new discovery. A big wall rock-climber of the highest order, Synnott has made legendary first ascents of some of the world's tallest, most forbidding walls, from Baffin Island to Pakistan. Today, the National Geographic adventure writer uses his skills to break scientific ground, reaching incredibly inaccessible environments in search of rare species. It's all in the spirit of adventure and exploration, to educate about these sites of strange, remote beauty.

Dr. Kara Cooney, Egyptologist
When Women Ruled The World
Tuesday, March 19, 2019 at 7:30 p.m.
Muriel Kauffman Theatre | Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

Throughout history, powerful women have been called many things - witches, regents and seductresses. But there was a time in the ancient world when at least one was called "King." Often neglected in the history books, these women were considered exceptions to the rule, political pawns in a patriarchal society. But their power and influence are undeniable. Join Dr. Kara Cooney, professor of Egyptology, for a look at a time in ancient history when women ruled the world. What can we learn from how these women ruled? Dr. Cooney shares some illuminating answers.

Stephen Wilkes, Photographer
Day To Night
Tuesday, April 30, 2019 at 7:30 p.m.
Muriel Kauffman Theatre | Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

Can a photograph inspire and create change? For photographer Stephen Wilkes, a five-year photographic study of Ellis Island's long abandoned medical wards helped secure $6 million toward the restoration of the south side of the island. His work documenting the ravages of Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy brought heightened awareness to the realities of global climate change. In this presentation, Wilkes will take audiences behind the scenes of his defining project, Day to Night. These epic cityscapes and landscapes, portrayed from a fixed camera angle for up to 30 hours, capture fleeting moments of humanity as light passes in front of the lens over a full day. Wilkes will discuss the months-long process of turning 1,500 photographs into a single image.

SPECIAL ENGAGEMENT: Cheryl Knott and Tim Laman, Biologist and Photographer
Adventures Among Orangutans
Tuesday, June 4, 2019 at 7:30 p.m.
Muriel Kauffman Theatre | Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

Solitary animals living in hard-to-reach places, orangutans are one of the most difficult large land animals to study. Since 1992, husband-and-wife team Cheryl Knott and Tim Laman have been using innovative techniques and new technologies to gain a closer look at this intelligent, resourceful - and threatened - species, giving us insights not only into their world, but also our own. Frequent contributors to National Geographic, Knott and Laman have been studying, photographing and protecting wild orangutans in Borneo for more than 25 years.

As part of the Kauffman Center's Open Doors program, National Geographic Live will present three student matinee performances in winter 2019:

January 9, 10:30 a.m.: Ronan Donovan - Social By Nature

February 19, 10:30 a.m.: Mark Synnott - Life On The Vertical

March 19, 10:30 a.m.: Dr. Kara Cooney - When Women Ruled The World

Educators can find more information and request tickets to the matinees at kauffmancenter.org/schoolmatinees.

The National Geographic Live season subscription package includes ticket discounts and priority seating. Season tickets for National Geographic Live go on sale Wednesday, Aug. 15. Prices for the four-part season package range from $100 to $172. Season package upgrades are available to include the special engagement presentation Adventures Among Orangutans, at a discounted price. Single tickets for all five events go on sale Friday, Sept. 7.

Subscriptions and single tickets will be available through the Kauffman Center Box Office at (816) 994-7222, via the Kauffman Center mobile app, or online at www.kauffmancenter.org.

Fans of National Geographic Live and supporters of the Kauffman Center are invited to join the Adventure Circle membership group. In return for a tax-deductible gift to support the National Geographic Live series and Kauffman Center programming, Adventure Circle members receive an invitation to a private reception with one of the featured National Geographic speakers and special access to tickets. To learn more, call the Kauffman Center Box Office at (816) 994-7222.

The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts - a major not-for-profit center for music, opera, theater and dance designed by Moshe Safdie - opened in 2011. Serving as a cultural cornerstone for Kansas City and the region, the Kauffman Center delivers extraordinary and diverse performing arts experiences. Honored as one of the World's 15 Most Beautiful Concert Halls, the Kauffman Center attracts some of the world's most renowned performers and entertainers.

Through educational outreach programs and community enrichment, the Kauffman Center supports Kansas City as a cultural destination. More information on the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts is available at kauffmancenter.org.

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