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Monday, July 20, 2015

(WASHINGTON)—The Kennedy Center and the United States Botanic Garden (USBG) collaborate for the first time on two unique and inventive world premiere productions, The Cerulean Time Capsule and Flowers Stink, to be performed at the U.S. Botanic Garden in September and October, 2015. The U.S. Botanic Garden is a living museum filled with beautiful, inspiring plants as well as engaging exhibits. Part of the Kennedy Center's Theater for Young Audiences 2015-2016 season and presented by the U. S. Botanic Garden, both productions are most appropriate for patrons ages seven and up.

"Through this unprecedented collaboration with the U.S. Botanic Garden, the Kennedy Center continues to create quality arts experiences for young people and families in new and unexpected ways," says Kennedy Center Vice President of Education, Mario R. Rossero. "We look forward to this adventure with the USBG, as we 'cross-pollinate' our unique specializations to create these exciting new works, which will truly give our audiences a chance to immerse themselves in live theater in an atypical, yet beautiful space."

"We are excited to collaborate with the Kennedy Center to leverage the magic of theater to communicate the importance and beauty of plants to children and families," says Ari Novy, executive director of the U.S. Botanic Garden. "This will be the first time we have partnered to create and present theater in the Garden, and it is a perfect coupling—both gardens and theater seek to immerse people in unique and exciting worlds. These two productions will both educate and delight the audience through the world of plants."

The Cerulean Time Capsule is a first-ever interactive and site-specific theatrical adventure performed inside and throughout the U.S. Botanic Garden Conservatory in Washington, D.C. Created by Jonathan Shmidt Chapman and Drew Petersen from the Trusty Sidekick Theater Company with direction by Drew Petersen, The Cerulean Time Capsule is about Benjamin Peale, a botanist who claims to be a time traveler from the year 2041. Benjamin needs help from the audience to stop a critical discovery from happening in the U.S. Botanic Garden—one that will bring catastrophe and destruction to the world as we know it! Audiences must help Benjamin find the mythic Cerulean Time Capsule before it's too late. This groundbreaking and immersive theatrical event brings small groups around the Conservatory on the botanical adventure of a lifetime. The production is performed nine shows per day on weekends from September 12 – October 25, 2015, as well as on Columbus Day, October 12. Due to its small-group nature, this performance can accommodate up to 12 audience members at one time. Show times occur every half-hour from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. The cast stars Russell Sunday and Aaron Bliden. The creative team includes costume design by Jacy Barber. Please see ticket information section below for additional details.

Flowers Stink is a world premiere musical production performed outdoors on the Amphitheatre stage at the U.S. Botanic Garden. With words and music by Debra Buonaccorsi and Stephen McWilliams and directed by Gregg Henry, the musical mixes singing and dancing with folk, bluegrass, blues, and gospel, to tell the story of how one middle school girl learns to appreciate nature by opening her eyes, ears, and mind to the beauty around her, unleashing the very best of her imagination and creativity. Written by the Helen Hayes Award-winning creators of Dizzy Miss Lizzie's Roadside Revue, the musical teaches that, with a close eye, one can find the best of nature in the most unlikely places. The production is performed to the public on select Saturdays from September 26 – October 24, 2015. The production is also performed on weekday mornings during this time period for school groups by reservation. Casting includes Maggie Donnelly, Jonathan Feuer, and Sakile Lyles. The creative team includes set and costume design by Colin Ranney and sound design by Thomas Sowers. Please see ticket information section below for additional details.

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ABOUT UNITED STATES BOTANIC GARDEN
United States Botanic Garden (USBG) is one of the oldest botanic gardens in North America. The Garden informs visitors about the importance and fundamental value and diversity of plants, as well as their aesthetic, cultural, economic, therapeutic and ecological significance. With over a million visitors annually, the USBG strives to demonstrate and promote sustainable practices. The U.S. Botanic Garden is a living plant museum accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. The USBG Conservatory is open to the public, free of charge, every day of the year from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. www.USBG.gov

EDUCATION AT THE KENNEDY CENTER
The Kennedy Center retains its commitment as the nation's cultural center to educating and enlightening children and adults in Washington and around the country. The Center's national education programs include: Ensuring the Arts for Any Given Child, which works with 14 municipalities and their school districts around the country to develop a long-range strategic plan for arts education; ARTSEDGE, a website that offers standards-based materials for use in and out of the classroom, Partners in Education, which forges relationships between an arts organization and its neighboring school systems to build effective arts education programs for teachers and teaching artists; Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education Network works with 33 state organizations on arts education policy issues; Explore the Arts, which provide insight into the cultural and historical context of the works presented on stage and sparks dialogue between audiences and the artists who have created the performances through participatory workshops, demonstrations, panels, master classes, and open rehearsals; and the Kennedy Center Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Awards, which acknowledge teachers of grades K-12 whose efforts have made a significant impact on their students.

In and around DC, the Kennedy Center's programs include Changing Education Through the Arts, a program that works with 15 schools in the area to affect long-term change in school culture through professional learning in arts integration; Professional Development Opportunities for Teachers, which trains Washington-area educators to teach the arts or other subject areas through the arts; and Washington, D.C. Partnership Schools, where the Center provides resources and teaching artist residencies to 20 elementary, junior, and senior high schools in Washington, D.C. The Center also mounts more than 100 events and performances of theater, music, dance, and opera throughout the season for more than 100,000 local school-aged children.

In addition, the Center offers multiple skill development programs for young artists and professionals both locally and nationally, including the National Symphony Orchestra's Youth Fellowship Program, Summer Music Institute, and High School Competition; Washington National Opera's Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program, Opera Institute, and Kids Create Opera Partnership; the biennial New Visions/ New Voices forum for development of new plays for young people; Exploring Ballet with Suzanne Farrell; Betty Carter's Jazz Ahead; VSA's Playwright Discovery Program, Young Soloists, and Visual Arts Programs; arts administration internships; and the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival which impacts hundreds of thousands of college-aged theater students across the country and marks its 48th anniversary in 2016.

TICKET INFORMATION
The Cerulean Time Capsule runs for nine shows per day on Saturdays and Sundays from September 12 – October 25, 2015 as well as on Columbus Day, Monday, October 12. Show times are at 10:30am, 11am, 11:30am, 12pm, 2pm, 2:30pm, 3pm, 3:30pm, and 4pm. Due to its small-group nature, this performance can accommodate up to 12 audience members at one time. Patrons may sign up for FREE admission to a time slot in-person at the USBG on a first-come, first-served basis on the day-of the performance. For a nominal fee per person ($2 for the public and $1 for National Fund for the USBG members), patrons will be able to reserve a specific time slot in advance on the USBG web site. Please visit www.usbg.gov/theater.

Flowers Stink runs Saturday, September 26, 2015 at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. and Saturdays, October 3, 10, 17, and 24, 2015 at 11 a.m. Performances are FREE and take place outdoors at the U.S. Botanic Garden Amphitheatre stage. Open seating available on a first-come, first-served basis. In case of inclement weather, please check www.usbg.gov for performance updates. For school groups by reservation, Flowers Stink runs weekday mornings between September 22 – October 30, 2015. For more information on the school time matinees, contact 202.416.8862.

For more information, please visit the Kennedy Center website and the United States Botanic Garden website.

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PRESS CONTACTS

The Kennedy Center:
Stephanie Stohler
Senior Press Representative
202.416.8446 | srstohler@kennedy-center.org

United States Botanic Garden:
Devin Dotson
Public Affairs and Exhibits Specialist
202.306.6743 | ddotson@aoc.gov