Turn Back Time with the World Premiere Play of The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963

MJ Tam | April 1, 2019
The racial divide in America has always been around, and although there’s a heightened sense of racial discrimination happening in our nation right now, we’ve come a long way.

The World-Premiere play The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963, based on the Newbery Medal-winning a book by Christopher Paul Curtis, brought me to a journey back to the days when freedom as a person of color was a luxury. Most especially in the South.

“Meet the Watsons, an African-American family of five, who live in Flint, Michigan. When oldest son Byron starts getting into trouble, it’s decided he needs to be sent to Birmingham, Alabama to live with his grandma to get set straight. So the whole family – Mama, Daddy, Byron, Kenny, and Joetta – sets out on a cross-country journey in the family car, the “Brown Bomber.” When they make it to Birmingham, they find more than they bargained for – a city simmering with tension during the height of the civil rights movement. This powerful story reminds us that during times of crisis, hope reveals itself in the forms of family, friendships, learning, growing and evolving.”

As I began to meet the characters, I slowly got sucked into the family setting; I felt a particular attachment to the mom. The uneasiness she had for her older child and feeling fearful about going through the road trip. I believe that every person who watches will discover themselves in one of the characters. I know I did. I felt surges of emotion throughout the show. It made me happy seeing the family dance to their favorite music, it made me afraid when a bigot approached the family, and then I wept during the church bombing.

Bring your family and friends to this beautiful show!



Virtual Summer Camp starts June 22May 14, 2020

Ages 7.5 – 11 | Program Length 1 week | Time 12 pm – 4 pm with the final show at 4 pm on Fridays Tuition $300/child | Location Zoom | Financial Aid Available Using the frameworks of legends and fairy tales, your child will learn the basics of acting, songwriting, … Continue reading

“Andrà tutto bene” | Everything will be okayMarch 19, 2020

We are deeply grateful for the expressions of love we received over the weekend as the COVID-19 crisis forced us to cancel shows and classes, and postpone our spring production Me…Jane: The Dreams and Adventures of Young Jane Goodall. As you can … Continue reading

The Ralla Klepak Foundation Play at Home ContestMarch 17, 2020

Deadline Extended through May 31, 2020   During this difficult time when many students aren’t in school, Chicago Children’s Theatre is encouraging children to build new worlds and stories in their homes equipped with their imaginations, found objects, family members … Continue reading

Chicago Children’s Theatre statement regarding coronavirus cancellationsMarch 13, 2020

Chicago Children’s Theatre statement regarding coronavirus cancellations Effective Friday, March 13, 2020 The welfare of our patrons, staff, artists, and the issue of public health must be paramount in these difficult times.  So it is with heavy hearts that we … Continue reading

A Message on COVID-19 (Coronavirus) to Chicago Children’s Theatre GuestsMarch 10, 2020

Chicago Children’s Theatre is committed to the health and safety of our staff and families who attend our performances and educational programming. While there are currently no changes to our performances or education programming schedule, we are taking careful measures … Continue reading