Kauffman Center Announces Third Season of National Geographic Live Speaker Series

KANSAS CITY, MO – Today, the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts announced that the popular National Geographic Live speaker series will return to the Kauffman Center in 2013–2014. Now in its third season, the 2013–2014 series will feature entertaining and visually spectacular presentations by extreme filmmaker Bryan Smith, wildlife photojournalist Paul Nicklen, groundbreaking photographer Jodi Cobb, and paleontologist Paul Sereno.

National Geographic Live speakers share their journeys of exploration from being on assignment around the world. Illustrated with award-winning photography and video, each evening concludes with a question and answer session and an opportunity to meet the presenter.

Season subscription packages for the four part series are available July 11, 2013; single tickets for the four events go on sale in September.

National Geographic Live will present two matinee performances specifically geared for students as a part of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts’ Open Doors program. Schools can find more information about these matinees at www.kauffmancenter.org/community/open-doors-news/

The 2013-2014 National Geographic Live Series is generously supported by Teresa and Tom Walsh.


BRYAN SMITH Extreme Filmmaker ‘THE LENS OF ADVENTURE’ Tuesday, February 25, 2014 Muriel Kauffman Theatre 7:30 p.m.

Have you ever watched a National Geographic film about some incredibly remote, dangerous place—and then wondered what the people behind the cameras experienced to capture the action? Join Bryan Smith, an award-winning filmmaker for the National Geographic Channel, as he shares gripping moments from his assignments to document extreme feats and high adventure in the world’s most challenging environments. An experienced kayaker who had paddled steep rivers in India, Peru, and Russia, Smith was inspired to take up video photography while protesting a hydroelectric dam project that threatened British Columbian rivers. He quickly developed a knack for creating innovative technical solutions to capture dizzying images—inevitably putting himself and his team at risk to get the shot. Currently, Smith is traveling the world in search of the world’s monster fish for the popular Nat Geo WILD series ‘Hooked.’ He recently filmed and directed ‘The Man Who Could Fly,’ a National Geographic special documenting experiments in human-powered flight. For Bryan Smith, extreme is “whatever is scary for you,” and he repeatedly tests the limits. Meet this dynamic filmmaker, adventurer, and conservationist for amazing stories and intense footage shot in stunning locations.

PAUL NICKLEN Wildlife Photojournalist ‘POLAR OBSESSION’ Tuesday, March 18, 2014 Muriel Kauffman Theatre 7:30 p.m.

Four years into a career as a Marine Biologist, Paul Nicklen realized he needed to study nature from a different perspective, so he set out on a three-month solo journey to photo journalistically document the wilds of the Arctic. Nicklen’s award winning work allows the public a glimpse into the mysterious and sometimes deadly polar landscape. A passionate advocate for polar and marine biodiversity, Nicklen has spent most of his adult life working in the Arctic and Antarctica. As a photojournalist working in some of Earth’s most remote and extreme environments, he faces incredible hardships and personal danger in pursuit of intimate and powerful images of iconic wildlife. Acting as a personal guide, Nicklen takes audiences to the vast polar regions of our planet. His unique and very personal perspective on some of Earth’s most beautiful and remote environments make him an inspiring advocate for the icy corners of our planet.

JODI COBB Photographer ‘UNCOVERING HIDDEN WORLDS’ Tuesday, April 29, 2014 Muriel Kauffman Theatre 7:30 p.m.

From her earliest years growing up in Iran, through her travels in sixty-five countries, Jodi has been searching for meaning in the world’s customs and traditions, and seeking to interpret the human condition through photography. She began by photographing the counter-culture surrounding her as a journalism and photography student, including some of rock & roll’s biggest names at pivotal points in their careers. She left newspaper journalism in the mid-70s to join National Geographic magazine as its only female staff photographer and went on to shoot some of the most pivotal stories in the magazine’s history, including 21st Century slaves, exposing a wide range of human trafficking, child and slave labor, illegal adoptions, and the sex trade. She is known for breaking through barriers and going undercover to reveal hidden societies, bringing to light some of the first images ever published of the geisha of Japan and the women of Saudi Arabia. She was also one of the first journalists to travel across China when it reopened to the West. Her work covers serious issues of human rights and the human toll on a planet that is now home to more than 7 billion people, but also lighter topics, like the experience of being a twin and an exploration of what is considered “beautiful” around the world. Through these stories, we also experience Jodi’s own growth as a photographer and a woman on her very public and yet private journey.

PAUL SERENO Paleontologist ‘THE DINOSAUR HUNTER’ Tuesday, May 1, 2014 Muriel Kauffman Theatre 7:30 p.m. Paul Sereno leads expeditions to places as diverse as the Sahara desert and the Tibetan plateau in search of fossils to help chart the evolution of dinosaurs. Discoverer of dinosaurs on five continents and leader of dozens of expeditions, Sereno’s fieldwork began in 1988 in the foothills of the Andes in Argentina, where his team discovered the first dinosaurs to roam the Earth. Sereno’s expeditions shifted in the 1990s to the Sahara where his teams have excavated more than 70 tons of dinosaur fossils from rocks dating from the Cretaceous period. Finds included the plant-eaterNigersaurus, the huge-clawed fish-eaterSuchomimus, the huge Tyrannosaurus-size Carcharodontosaurus, and the 40-foot-long “SuperCroc” (Sarcosuchus), the world’s largest crocodile. Since 2001, he has largely focused his efforts in China, Mongolia and Tibet. Most recently, in October 2012 he reported on a bizarre new cat-size herbivore with a parrotlike beak and sharp teeth given the name of Pegomastax africanus, or “thick jaw from Africa.”


The National Geographic Live Series subscription package includes ticket discounts and priority seating, making this an affordable option for all. Series tickets for the National Geographic Live speaker series go on sale July 11, 2013. Prices for the four-part series package range from $54 - $129. There is a special pick-three package priced from $46 - $110. Tickets for single events will go on sale in September.

Existing National Geographic Live Series subscribers may renew or upgrade their seats through June 18, 2013.

Subscription packages can be purchased through the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts by calling (816) 944-7222, or at the Box Office located at 1601 Broadway in the Kansas City Crossroads Arts District. Box Office hours are Monday through Thursday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Friday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and closed on weekends.

ABOUT THE KAUFFMAN CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, a major center for music, opera, theater, and dance designed by Moshe Safdie, opened in Kansas City on September 16, 2011. The Kauffman Center presents vibrant performances and educational programming and advances the role of the performing arts as a catalyst for Kansas City’s educational, civic, and economic vitality. Three of the region’s leading performing arts organizations — Kansas City Ballet, Kansas City Symphony, and Lyric Opera of Kansas City — are in residence at the Kauffman Center. The Kauffman Center’s two performance venues, the 1,800-seat Muriel Kauffman Theatre and the 1,600-seat Helzberg Hall, offer audiences engaging and intimate experiences, while at the same time providing resident companies with dramatically enhanced performance capabilities. Serving as a cultural cornerstone for Kansas City’s dynamic downtown, the Kauffman Center brings a new spotlight to the region’s performing arts community while simultaneously attracting some of the world’s most talented performers and entertainers, further establishing Kansas City as a major cultural destination. More information on the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts is available at www.kauffmancenter.org.

The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts would like the thank our official building sponsors, Aristocrat Motors and Mercedes-Benz of Kansas City, for their generous support of our 2013-2014 season.


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