2018-2019 Season

Dear Friends,

It is with great delight that we announce Chicago Children’s Theatre’s 2018.2019 Season. This year we build on the successes of our first full season in our new home, The Station at 100 South Racine Avenue, bringing the best in professional family theatre and theatrical arts education to theatregoers and makers of every age.

This new season brings three entertaining and enlightening world premieres to the stage in the intimate Pritzker Family Studio: The World Inside Me, X-Marks the Spot: A Show to Xcite Your Senses, and The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963, and two beloved favorites, Leo Lionni’s Frederick and The Beatrix Potter Holiday Tea Party.

We hope you enjoy all the amazing family experiences – shows, classes, camps, and special events – we have planned for you throughout the year, and look forward to seeing you at The Station!

–Jacqueline Russell
Artistic Director, Chicago Children’s Theatre

Leo Lionni’s Frederick

Adapted for stage by Suzanne Miller
Songs by Sarah Durkee and Paul Jacobs
Directed by Tommy Rapley

Chicago Children’s Theatre, The Station at 100 S. Racine Ave.
The Pritzker Family Studio Theatre
October 9 – November 12, 2018

Opening the 2018-2019 season is Leo Lionni’s Frederick, the smash hit family musical based on beloved children’s author Leo Lionni’s Caldecott Award-winning book about Frederick the mouse.

While other mice are gathering food for the winter, Frederick daydreams the summer away. But when dreary weather comes, it is Frederick who has stored up something special for the long cold winter. The classic, much-loved early reading book celebrates the idea that there is a place for all of us in this world.

Recommended for All Ages.


The Beatrix Potter Holiday Tea Party

Devised and directed by Will Bishop
Designed by Grace Needlman

Chicago Children’s Theatre, The Station at 100 S. Racine Ave.
The Pritzker Family Studio Theatre
December 8 – December 24, 2018

The perfect way to kick off your family’s holiday festivities! This Chicago holiday tradition returns with two new stories after a smash success last year. Children of all ages are cordially invited to dress up and enjoy a spot of hot cocoa with CCT’s friends from the English Lake District at the The Beatrix Potter Holiday Tea Party. Children and parents are invited to the stage following the performance to pull levers and turn cranks, revealing images that surprise and delight.

Guests exit to the lobby, which transforms into a Victorian-style dining hall where cocoa and cookies are served, beautiful decor, and have the opportunity to meet and pose for photos with the cast. This family-friendly event is a delight for theatre lovers of all ages!

Recommended for Ages 2-6.


X-Marks the Spot
Listen! Smell! Touch! – A Show to Excite Your Senses!

Conceived and directed by Jacqueline Russell

Chicago Children’s Theatre, The Station at 100 S. Racine Ave.
The Pritzker Family Studio Theatre
January 22 – March 3, 2019

X-Marks the Spot is a play presented with sounds and voices, and with touchable and scented props. A low-light setting and/or the use of blindfolds gently encourages audience members not to rely on their senses of sight, but instead to tune-in to their other four senses to experience EST, “Extra Sensory Theatre.” EST aims to give children insight into what it is like to encounter the world as a person who is blind or low vision (LV).

Following up on her successful Red Kite Project productions for children with autism, and informed by her work with LV students at Otis Elementary School, Jacqueline Russell drew inspiration for this new production from a Victorian children’s novel by E. Nesbit, Five Children & It. X-Marks tells the clever and funny story of a family of young adventurers who discover a mischievous wishing fairy in the sand—only to learn the old adage, “be careful what you wish for.”

Recommended for Ages 8 and up.


The World Inside of Me

Directed by Lauren Jost
Music by Jono Waldman
A Co-production with Spellbound Theatre

Chicago Children’s Theatre, The Station at 100 S. Racine Ave.
The Pritzker Family Studio Theatre
February 9 – March 10, 2019

The World Inside Me is a new form of educational arts experience designed specifically for Pre-K youth. This world premiere production is part art and part science, showcasing the creative abilities of our youngest children. The experience celebrates the human body, following human development from pre-natal through age 5 (the age span of the participants). Artists will lead the audience through a series of interactive vignettes that engage the body and senses, delighting the imaginations of participants.

Recommended for Ages 1-5.


The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963

Based on the book: The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis
Adapted by Cheryl L. West
Directed by Wardell Julius Clark

Chicago Children’s Theatre, The Station at 100 S. Racine Ave.
The Pritzker Family Studio Theatre
March 26 – April 28, 2019

Rounding out the 2018-2019 Season, Chicago Children’s Theatre, in a co-commission with Seattle Children’s Theatre and the University of California- Santa Barbara, will open a brand new adaptation of acclaimed author Christopher Paul Curtis’ groundbreaking, timeless work, The Watsons Go To Birmingham- 1963.

When Kenny’s older brother starts getting into too much trouble in Michigan, it’s decided that he needs to pay a visit to Grandma Sands in Birmingham, Alabama to straighten him out. The whole family – Momma, Dad, Byron, Kenny and Joetta – sets out on a wild cross-country journey in the family car, the “Brown Bomber.” When they make it to Birmingham, however, they find much more than they bargained for. The powerful story reminds us that during times of crisis, hope reveals itself in the forms of family and friendships; learning, growing, and evolving.

Internationally acclaimed playwright Cheryl L. West will to adapt the work for CCT’s stage after penning the world premiere musical adaptation of Last Stop on Market Street. Wardell Julius Clark will make his directorial debut at CCT with Watsons.

Recommended for Ages 9 and up.

Red Kite Green Mountain

Conceived by Jacqueline Russell with the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts, Burlington, VT
Designed by Will Bishop

Chicago Children’s Theatre, The Station at 100 S. Racine Ave.
The Pritzker Family Studio Theatre
Spring 2019

Red Kite, Green Mountain is an interactive, immersive theatrical production designed for young people (6 – 21 years old) with autism and sensory sensitivities and their families.

With the flora and fauna of the Green Mountain State of Vermont as its inspiration, audiences explore nature while experiencing “impressionistic and fantastical” animal puppetry according to designer and puppeteer Will Bishop. On their theatrical journey, audiences are introduced to a Mountain Music Man and band of handcrafted, interactive, larger-than-life, yet approachable puppets including foxes, hares, an owl and caterpillars.

Red Kite, Green Mountain is the seventh installment in CCT’s Red Kite Adventure series which has played locally and toured nationally since 2008. This production is s a co-commission with the Flynn Center for Performing Arts in Burlington, Vermont, where CCT has returned to the delight of special educators and families affected by autism in the New England region for the past three years.