School Matinee Performance Series announced

Luther College's School Matinee Performances for the 2014-15 year feature four dynamic events, including three theater performances: "The Lightning Thief," "And Justice for All" and "Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse," as well as an electrifying percussion performance by San Jose Taiko.

Tickets are just $2 for all ages, thanks to the support of donors and sponsors, and are now on sale. They can be purchased via phone (563) 387-1291, by emailing [email protected] or by visiting the Ticket Office in the Center for Faith and Life on the Luther College campus. Summer Ticket Office hours are Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. until Friday, Aug. 29. Normal Ticket Office hours resume Tuesday, Sept. 2 and are Monday, Wednesday and Friday 9-10:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Tuesday 9 a.m.-3 p.m. and Thursday 9 a.m.-7 p.m.

Area schools have seating priority for school matinees and community members are welcome as space is available. Performances take place in the Center for Faith and Life Main Hall and each show is about one hour in length.

The first performance at 11:30 a.m. Friday, Oct. 3, is "San Jose Taiko." Taiko means drum in Japanese, and San Jose Taiko is a dynamic percussive group that plays giant instruments with full body energy and infectious rhythm. In its interactive and joyful school program, the group teaches children about the history, instruments and costumes of taiko and leads them in cross-cultural rhythm and art exercises that open children's minds to the power of music. The performance is aimed for students from kindergarten to 12th grade.

The second performance at 11:30 a.m. Friday, Oct. 24, "And Justice for All: America and the Civil Rights Movement," presented by L.A. Theatre Works. The acclaimed L.A. Theatre Works group brings the civil rights era to life by sampling major events and speeches of the time alongside select scenes from the groundbreaking 1965 crime thriller "In the Heat of the Night." As the program, which includes modified language of the period, explores the volatile decade of Martin Luther King Jr., the Kennedy assassinations and the Civil Rights Act, it remembers the slow evolution in race relations that brought the country from segregation to integration. This performance is open to students ages 13 and up. Middle school, high school, college and adults are welcome.

The third performance at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015, is "Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse," presented by Dallas Children's Theater. Lilly loves everything about school, especially her cool teacher, Mr. Slinger. But joy turns to misery when he confiscates her prized possession, a purple plastic purse. Lilly sets out to make things right, but she will have to contend with bicycle-riding bullies, a spotlight-stealing baby brother and the dreaded "uncooperative chair" in this stage adaption of Kevin Henkes's award-winning children's book. The performance is recommended for students from Pre-K to third grade.

The fourth and final performance at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015, will be "The Lightning Thief," presented by TheatreWorks USA. Percy Jackson is in trouble. Lately, mythological figures seem to be walking straight out of a Greek mythology textbook and into his life. In this musical adapted from Rick Riordan's fantasy adventure series, Percy has 10 days to find Zeus's stolen lightning bolt, a quest that will require him to come to terms with the father who abandoned him, solve the riddle of the Oracle and unravel a powerful treachery. The performances are recommended for students in grades two through seven.

Study guides will be available at for each school production.

San Jose Taiko perform Friday, Oct. 3