Performances for Youth

Student Matinees

The Playhouse offers special student matinees of selected mainstage productions throughout the school year. Virtual Study guides, post-performance workshops and post-show talkbacks are available to prepare students for these productions. Staff development workshops are also offered to teachers prior to their school’s participation in the student matinee.

2023-24 Student Matinee Dates

Thursday, October 19 @ 10:30am (arrival by 10:00 am) 

Written by Lisa Sanaye Dring
Directed by Ralph B. Peña
A co-production with Ma-Yi Theater Company

Show Description:

Entrenched in an elite sumo training facility in Tokyo, six men practice, eat, love, play and ultimately fight.

Akio arrives as an angry, ambitious 18 year old with a lot to learn. Expecting validation, dominance and fame, and desperate to move up the ranks, he slams headlong into his fellow wrestlers, especially Mitsuo, the highest ranked fighter. With sponsorship money at stake, their bodies on the line, and their futures at risk, the wrestlers struggle to carve themselves – and one another – into the men they dream of being.

Lisa Sanaye Dring has painted a vivid world with poetic precision, mixing ancient, divine ritual with the guttural ferocity of competition. SUMO was a hit as part of our DNA New Work Series in 2021. Directed by Ralph B. Peña (artistic director of Ma-Yi Theater) and featuring live taiko drumming, we are thrilled to bring this tenderly drawn and unique work to life for San Diego audiences.

“Welcome to the dohyō. Where the national heroes of Japan are made. These men are not gods, they are sumo. But sumo wrestlers were once gods.”

Application Deadline: Monday, September 11, 2023.
Applications are now closed. Schools will be notified of acceptance by Sept. 13, 2023.


Thursday, November 30, 2023 @ 10:30am (arrival by 10:00 am) 

By Joe DiPietro
Adapted from the novel by Sinclair Lewis
Directed by Christopher Ashley

Show Description:

You can’t always get what you want, but you might get what you need.

Multi-award-winning star of stage and screen Matthew Broderick and Tony Award-winning playwright Joe DiPietro (Diana, Memphis) join forces with our own Christopher Ashley for this unmissable theatrical event.

Babbitt entered the zeitgeist in 1922 as a novel by white-hot satirist Sinclair Lewis, the first American Nobel Laureate. An instant literary classic, Babbitt has been a stalwart on ‘best ever’ lists for over 100 years, and is now adapted for the stage.

George F. Babbitt is a middle-aged real estate broker in the Midwestern city of Zenith. By day, he has a prosperous, respectable middle-class existence. By night, he’s plagued by the thought that he has amounted to nothing. Searching for more to life than his top-of-the-line toaster and hickory golf club ― more meaning ― Babbitt leaps with abandon into the most spectacular rebellion of his life ― one that could end up costing him everything.

“Well something’s been off with me all day. It’s gonna sound silly, but this morning ― well there were no dry towels in the bathroom.” George F. Babbitt, Babbitt

Application Deadline: Friday, September 29, 2023.   To apply, please read the directions and click here for the application.


Thursday, March 21, 2024 @ 10:30am (arrival by 10:00 am) 

Book by Tina Landau
Music by Kate Diaz
Lyrics by Kate Diaz and Tina Landau
With additional contributions by Idina Menzel
Directed by Tina Landau

Show Description:

I hear my great escape calling.

Broadway icon Idina Menzel makes her La Jolla Playhouse debut in the world premiere of Redwood, a one-of-a-kind theatrical event about one woman’s journey into the precious and precarious world of the redwoods.

Idina plays Jesse, a successful businesswoman, mother and wife. She seems to have it all, but inside, her heart is broken. Finding herself at a turning point, Jesse leaves everyone and everything behind, gets in her car and drives… and drives. Thousands of miles later, she hits the ancient forests of Northern California, where a chance meeting and a leap of faith change her life forever. In the presence of the magnificent, towering redwoods, Jesse finds strange and powerful connections, an unexpected sense of community, and a chance at healing.

Acclaimed writer and director Tina Landau (Beauty) brings this immersive and cinematic new work to life with lush visuals and a soaring score from Kate Diaz. You will travel with Jesse into an intoxicating environment of dense greenery, fractured light and dizzying heights – a place where nature can help us heal, if only we don’t destroy her first.

An exhilarating new musical featuring one of Broadway’s greatest stars, Redwood will awaken your sense of adventure and lift you higher than the treetops.

“Now underneath a canopy of stars, I call out to the night. Please keep me safe and show me this is right. I’m scared of letting go of everyone I know.” Jesse, Redwood

Application Deadline: Monday, December 4, 2023.   To apply, please read the directions and click here for the application.


To be added to our educator list to be notified of our matinee program, please email: [email protected] with your Name, School Name, Grades/Subjects, and email address.

Student Matinee Frequently Asked Questions

POP Tour

One of La Jolla Playhouse’s signature Education programs, the Performance Outreach Program (POP) Tour is an annual world-premiere, Playhouse-commissioned production that brings the magic of theatre to San Diego classrooms. Launched in 1987, the POP Tour can be accessed by schools, libraries and community centers. Prior to each performance, a Playhouse teaching artist visits each school, either in person or virtually, to engage students in an interactive workshop that explores issues and themes at the core of the play. The Playhouse also provides schools with an interactive standards-based engagement guide that enables educators to integrate the play into their curriculum, including exciting interviews with the cast and the creative team. Ideal for students in grades 3 – 6.


By Jonathan Norton
Directed by Nikki Mirza

The 2024 POP Tour, Abeba in the Tall Grass by Jonathan Norton, is a captivating new play that centers around Abeba, a fifth-grade aspiring horticulturist, and the urban garden that has become her sacred space. When her sanctuary becomes invaded by a couple of goof-offs from school who have been tasked to work in the garden over spring break as discipline, Abeba hatches a plan to teach these boys a lesson, and a little respect for produce. However, in return, Abeba herself learns an important life lesson. Like plants need water and light to flourish, people need friendship and community to thrive.

Sign up here to learn more about POP TOUR 2024 and be first notified of the 2024 application release in late October/ Early November 2023.

Virtual Performance Experiences for High School Students

The following recorded performances from our Digital WOW series are a great way for high school-age students to enjoy theatre. Plus, they’re all FREE!

The Society of Wonder
The Totally Fake Latino News with Culture Clash
Walks of Life

Banner photo credit: (L-R) Shaun Tuazon, Jyl Kaneshiro and Rachael VanWormer in La Jolla Playhouse’s 2017 Performance Outreach Program (POP) Tour production of #SuperShinySara; photo by Jamie Lytle.

2023 August
2023 September
2023 October
Great deals, exclusive pre-sales and behind-the-scenes fun for you.

Get the latest news about the most exciting new shows in San Diego delivered to your inbox.

When you provide your cell, you will get useful reminders about your upcoming tickets, and very occasional texts about big announcements. Rates may apply.