Chicago is a theater town, and stage shows meant for kids and families are as robust as the grown-up offerings. Some companies, like Chicago Children’s Theatre and Emerald City Theatre, dedicate their whole missions to entertaining and educating little ones; others, like Chicago Shakespeare Theater and Lifeline Theatre, make chldren’s theater part of a varied programming mix. With so many options, it’s never to early to get kids invested in the arts.
Children’s shows in Chicago
Want to look cool to your favorite pipsqueak (and adult friends, too)? Introduce them to Barrel of Monkeys' joyously long-running public show. The troupe conducts writing workshops with CPS grade school students by day, then transforms the kids' stories into hilarious or heartfelt skits and songs, performed with abandon by a spirited ensemble.
Deaf and hearing actors use spoken English and American Sign Language in this new adaptation of the classic tale of a puppet who wishes to be a boy. Chicago Children’s Theatre hosts the work by the Neverbird Project; Levi Holloway and Katy Boza are the adapters and directors.
Three classic stories by children’s author Eric Carle are brought to life through music, visual effects and puppetry in this production from Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia, last seen here in 2012.
The animated animals of Central Park Zoo come to life in this stage musical based on the DreamWorks film, with a book by Kevin Del Aguila (Altar Boyz) and original songs by George Noriega and Joel Someillan. Madagascar continues Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s tradition of familiar, family-friendly entertainment for summer visitors to Navy Pier.