News Go behind the scenes with Omaha Performing Arts

Inspiring a new generation of performing arts lovers

Posted On Sep 1, 2020, 17:41 PM by Taylor Wyatt
Pictured: A Bronx Tale master class student

Think back to your days as an early lover of the arts. Do you remember your first experience at a concert? Your first experience entering the Orpheum Theater? How about watching the curtain close and feeling that moment of emotion brought on by your favorite show ending? Well, our Education and Community Engagement Departments at Omaha Performing Arts remember those feelings and experiences too; which is why we’re always thinking of ways to inspire a new generation of arts lovers!

At O-pa, a large part of our mission is to enrich the community through education and community engagement programs. Throughout the year, we’re busy offering artistic experiences in classrooms, at our venues and out in the community!

Here are the programs we offer to students, teachers and community members across Nebraska:

Master Classes & Workshops
Artists presented by O-pa lead hands-on training sessions for students, educators and community members. Topics vary but often focus on the creative process, artistic philosophy or performance techniques.

Student Rush Club
Students of all ages are invited to sign up and save. Simply register here to receive Student Rush emails and updates about upcoming performances. You’ll have the chance to see select events for as low as $10. Plus, receive 50% off some shows including Broadway!

Arts Access
O-pa distributes subsidized tickets to nonprofit community organizations serving populations lacking adequate access to the performing arts.

Beyond-the-Stage Conversations
Engage in lively conversation with artists and experts before and after performances! These moderated conversations offer an in-depth look at the creative process and added insight about specific art forms.

Student Matinee Series (Grades K-12)
The Student Matinee Series offers performances specifically geared toward young audiences. These daytime shows by touring artists bring learning to life by connecting the arts to a variety of school subjects and select state standards. Tickets are available for purchase to schools and home school groups only.

Musical Explorers (Grades K-2)
Designed in partnership with Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute, Musical Explorers is a semester-long, curriculum-based program for grades K-2 that focuses on three local ensembles, each representing a musical style and cultural community.

Disney Musicals in Schools (Grades 3-6)
Developed in partnership with Disney Theatrical Group, Disney Musicals in Schools (DMIS) builds sustainable musical theater programs in public elementary schools throughout Omaha, Council Bluffs, Lincoln and surrounding communities.

Jazz Academy (Grades 7-8)
Jazz Academy supports and fosters quality jazz education in Omaha area middle schools. This free program connects students and teachers to a professional teaching artist who tailors lessons to the needs and interests of each school.

Nebraska High School Theater Academy (Grades 7-12)
The Nebraska High School Theater Academy (NHSTA) celebrates the power of arts and – most of all – it celebrates the participants. NHSTA welcomes middle and high schools of all sizes and students of all experience levels. The academy offers access to master classes and virtual workshops with Broadway artists, live theater experiences, professional feedback on school performances, confidence-building through audition and performance opportunities, a chance to represent the state at the Broadway League’s Jimmy Awards in NYC and a celebration of your dedication and accomplishments at the Tony Awards-inspired showcase event.

During these times of uncertainty, we are continuously committed to providing education and community engagement experiences – whether digital or in-person – to the Omaha area and the greater Nebraska community. To check out past digital content, visit our website at

For more information on our education and community engagement programs, visit our website at or email the Education department at