Showing posts with label Chicago Children's Theatre. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chicago Children's Theatre. Show all posts

Saturday, May 21, 2016

CLOSING: 2 For 1 Tickets for Seedfolks at Chicago Children's Theatre Closing This Sunday

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

Don't miss this! Highly recommended for ages 7+. This show is part of Chicago Children's Theatre's Later Stages shows for older children. I went with my whole family for Mother's Day and my 13 & 15 year olds loved it as much as the adults. Sonja Parks is a consummate story teller and a true joy to see in action. We adore this story of a literal garden and the perfect metaphor it provides of growing community, growing friendships and growing hope. 

One woman plays 14 characters to tell the story of the founding and first year of a community garden in a gritty, immigrant neighborhood in Cleveland, Ohio. Each character is from a different ethnic group, and describes the transformation of the empty lot into a vibrant garden. While doing so, each one of those characters experiences his or her own transformation.

“14 characters, 1 amazing actress” –

**If you have special seating accommodations, please inform the Box Office 72 hours before the performance.
*Run time 60 min. including Q&A session.
*Tickets can be purchased at the Box Office one hour prior to performances with no additional fees.
*Children under 2 years of age will be admitted without a ticket provided they sit on another guest’s lap and do not occupy a seat. Any child 2 years of age and older will require a ticket to enter.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

SAVE THE DATES: Dead Writers Theatre Collective Gets WILDE With “LADY WINDERMERE’S FAN” At STAGE 773 April 17-June 7


Wild about Oscar Wilde? Don't despair now that Chicago Children's Theatre's incredible rendition based on Wilde's Selfish Giant and Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest: Concert Reading at Ruth Page have closed. Fans, there's more Wilde about to light up Chicago's Stage 773 via Dead Writers Theatre Collective! Save the dates. Previews begin 4/17-21.

Dead Writers Theatre Collective opens their season with Oscar Wilde’s four-act comedy of morals “Lady Windermere’s Fan,” directed by Dead Writers Artistic Director Jim Schneider at Stage 773 located at 1225 W. Belmont Ave., April 17-June 7. Previews are April 17-21.

“Lady Windermere's Fan” subtitled “A Play About a Good Woman” was first produced in 1892 at London’s St James's Theatre in London. Married into the peak of London high society, rich, titled, beautiful and proper Lady Margaret Windermere is 21 years old and without a care in the world. Before the next sunrise, malicious gossip, a glamorous woman with a dangerous past, a charming gentleman with a wicked reputation, and a misplaced fan will threaten to destroy everything she holds dear and change her forever.

“This play has always been near and dear to my heart,” says Schneider. “We did three performances of the play in our 2013 Chamber Series and it was so successful that many of our patrons asked if we would do a full production of it. The Collective is extremely pleased to include it in our 2015 season because it gives us the opportunity to fulfill the request from our fans and it is the perfect vehicle to show off what Dead Writers Theatre Collective has come to be known for: presenting theater with premier production values, fine acting and the highest caliber of period authenticity. Add in our wonderful cast and a treasure trove of designer talent and you get a deliciously rich, must-see theater experience, guaranteed to be a highlight of the spring theater season.”

The cast includes Megan Delay* (Lady Windermere), Edward Fraim (Lord Windermere), Joanna Riopelle* (Mrs. Erlynne), Doug Reed (Lord Darlington), Michael Graham* (Lord Augustus Lorton), Linda Roberts* (The Duchess of Berwick), Travis Barnhart* (Mr. Cecil Graham), Rob Cramer* (Mr. Dumby), Shawn Hansen (Mr. Hopper), Christina Rene Jones (Lady Agatha), Mindy Barber (Lady Plymdale), Joyce Saxon*  and Julie Mitre (Lady Jedburgh), Elliott Fredland (Parker), Sara Minton* (Mrs. Cowper-Cowper), Maggie Speer (Lady Stutfield), Bev Coscarelli (Miss graham), Melanie Vitaterna (Rosalie). Understudies are Mary Anne Bowman and Ben Muller*.

The design team includes Jim Schneider* (director), Moon Jung Kim (set designer), Patti Roeder* (costume designer), Erik Barry (lighting designer), Jeffrey Levin (sound designer)  and Sarah Jo White (hair and makeup designer). Stage manager is Shannon Desmond; assistant stage managers are Matthew Bonaccorso* and Alison Ennis. Assistant director is Brenda Kilianski*.

Oscar Wilde (1854 -1900) was a successful poet and journalist, though his greatest talent was for writing plays. His first successful play, “Lady Windermere's Fan,” opened in February 1892, followed by a string of extremely popular comedies including “A Woman of No Importance” (1893), “An Ideal Husband” (1895), and “The Importance of Being Earnest” (1895). In 1891, at the peak of his career, Wilde began an ill-fated affair with Lord Alfred Douglas, nicknamed “Bosie.” When Bosie’s disapproving father insulted Wilde, Wilde sued for defamation of character. Bosie’s father’s counter suit for “depravity” resulted in Wilde’s conviction for sodomy and Wilde’s two-year jail sentence. After serving his sentence, Wilde emerged from jail bankrupt and spiritually broken. He died of cerebral meningitis on Nov. 30, 1900. Wilde’s story is at the heart of David Hare’s “The Judas Kiss” which will have a chamber production by Dead Writers Theatre Collective at the Stage 773 Cabaret Aug. 8-10.

Jim Schneider* (Director/Dead Writers Theatre Collective Artistic Director) directed last season’s staging of the Chicago premiere of Michael Bloom’s adaptation of Jane Austen’s “Emma,” at Stage 773. Other Collective directing credits include the professional world premiere of Adam Pasen's “Tea with Edie & Fitz” and Noel Coward's “The Vortex.” Additional Chicago directing credits include the critically acclaimed, Jeff Recommended productions of Clare Booth Luce’s “The Women,” Philip Barry’s “The Philadelphia Story,” Tennessee Williams’ “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” and Noel Coward’s “Hay Fever,”  “Design for Living” and “An Ideal Husband,” all at Circle Theatre. To date Schneider’s productions have garnered a total of five Jeff Recommendations and 11 Jeff Nominations, winning two for Best Costume Design. His 2010 production of “The Philadelphia Story” won three Broadway World Awards (Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Revival of a Classic) and “Tea with Eddie & Fitz” recently won the Broadway World Award for Best New Play of 2013. Originally from Houston, Texas, Schneider founded Houston’s Horizon’s Showcase Theatre where he premiered Horton Foote’s “Courtship” with the assistance of Foote, produced and directed Edward Albee’s “The Zoo Story” and “The American Dream” (with the assistance of Albee) among others. Schneider holds an M.F.A. from University of Houston.

Dead Writers Theatre Collective presents Oscar Wilde’s “Lady Windermere’s Fan” April 17 – June 7 at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave. Previews are Friday, April 17, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, April 18, 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, April 19 2:30 p.m. and Tuesday, April 21 at 7:30 p.m. Press opening is Wednesday, April 22 at 7:30 p.m. Post-opening performances are Thursdays-Saturday at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday Matinee at 2:30 p.m.  Tickets are $20 for previews; $40 for all other performances. Group, senior and student discounts are available. For tickets call 773.327.5252 or visit

* Denotes Dead Writers Theatre Collective Member

Dead Writers Theatre Collective seeks to transport audiences into the original world of the play through extensively studied period appropriate settings, props and costumes.  This strict attention to detail and high level of aesthetics is a hallmark of the Collective.

The Collective, under the leadership of Artistic Director Jim Schneider and Managing Director Bob Douglas, is a Chicago-based 501 (c ) 3 non-profit arts collective comprised of directors, designers, actors and playwrights and educators with a mission is to produce works either by or about dead writers. Past productions have included Jane Austen’s “Emma,” Noel Coward’s “The Vortex,” Brenda Kilianski’s “Loos Ends: A Hollywood Memoir,” Adam Pasen “Tea with Eddie and Fitz,” (winner of the Broadway World Award for Best New Play of 2013) and Chamber productions of Oscar Wilde’s “Lady Windermere’s Fan” and Pierre de  Marivaux’s “The Game of Love and Chance.”

The Collective’s 2015 season, “A Wilde Affair” features three works: ‘Lady Windermere’s Fan” (April 17-June 7), David Hare’s “The Judas Kiss” (Aug. 8-10) and David Grimm’s “The Learned Ladies of Park Avenue” translated and freely adapted from Moliere’s “Les Femmes Savantes” (Oct. 8-10). Three-show subscriptions are still available for Dead Writers Theatre Collective’s 2015 three-play season for $90 per person. For more information visit

Dead Writers Theatre Collective 2015 productions are supported in part by The Service Club of Chicago, Lois Siegel, Dr. and Mrs. James Hannigan and Joyce Saxon. 

Friday, February 28, 2014

ACT OUT KIDS: CLOSING Mr. Chickee's Funny Money (6+) #KidsReview

Last call for one of our favorite fam friendly shows currently running!

ChiIL Mama's ChiIL Picks List: 
Family Friendly Theatre Favorites  

We had a chance to catch Mr. Chickee's Funny Money waaaay back on opening night, and we've been raving about it ever since.  We loved it. Chicago Children's Theatre has long been one of our favorites, for family friendly shows for toddlers to tweens.  We're excited that they're cooking up plans for productions skewed toward older kids now too.  Click here for ChiIL Mama's prior Mr. Chickee review, video, and full show details.

**Mr. Chickee's Funny Money is suggested for kids six and up.** 
The run time is 75 minutes with no intermission--so make sure your kids can handle it, if you're considering bringing the littles. 

We highly recommend you check out Mr. Chickee's Funny Money. Read below for the tweens' take on the show. 

Sage & Du's Reviews
(a kids' eye view)
Mr. Chickee's Funny Money
Chicago Children's Theatre

Reviewed by 
Sage and/or Dugan (10 & 12)

Basic Story:

Chicago Children’s Theatre is not just for little kids.  Mr Chickee’s Funny Money has action, big numbers, big dogs and government agents, and appeals to older kids and adults too.  Little kids might not know who James Brown is… but they should.   

Photo credit for all:  Charles Osgood unless otherwise noted 

The original book was funnier—the humorous parts were better.  But this play really helps you visualize the story and brings it to life on stage.  We liked the giant, shaggy dog costume, and that the girl is the smartest kid in the play, and even more of a major character than in the book.  We were sad they didn’t include the funny, talking dictionary.  They had a live band and the music was good.  They played a huge variety of styles.

Our Take:  

Mr. Chickee’s funny money is a lesson about money and greed making people crazy.  Friends are important to everyone.  Get to know your neighbors and help them out.  They might have a quadrillion dollar bill for you, or at least some interesting stories.

Children would find Mr. Chickee funny… well everyone would find it funny actually.  We greatly liked it and highly recommend it.  

Photo credit:  Tyler Core 

About Sage & Du's Reviews Launch
My kids have been immersed in the Chicago theatre scene their entire lives. Now at 10 & 12 they're still able to enjoy our city's stellar children's theatre offerings, but they've also become my go to +1's for big budget Broadway in Chicago spectacles, edgy storefront fare, and thought provoking dramas at Goodman, Steppenwolf and beyond.

Though they've been my silent partners for years, they've recently been inspired by Ada Grey to speak up and take an active role in our reviews for ChiIL Mama.   I'll still be writing reviews, too, but they will have space for their own unique voices too.   So check back with ChiIL Mama like we vote in Chi, IL... early and often.   Sage & Du's Reviews (a kids' eye view) will be a regular feature!

About Mr. Chickee’s Funny Money 
Via Chicago Children's Theatre
This world premiere R&B musical is adapted from the best selling young adult book Mr. Chickee’s Funny Money by Christopher Paul Curtis, who also penned Bud, Not Buddy, the Newbery Award-winning book and critically acclaimed CCT world premiere earlier this season. The story follows 10-year-old Steven, a self-proclaimed spy and president of the “Flint Future Detectives Club.” At the heart of this whimsical story is a highly intelligent, out-of-the-box thinker and entrepreneurial boy who discovers that family, friends, imagination and determination are the true keys to success; and sharing the spotlight with others can make one even richer.

This all new rhythm and blues musical grooves to original songs by Motown legend Lamont Dozier (who wrote or co-wrote hits like “Stop! In the Name of Love,” “How Sweet It Is,” “Reach Out I’ll Be There,” “Where Did Our Love Go,” and more) with additional music and lyrics by his son Paris Dozier.  Director Derrick Sanders staged CCT’s recent world premiere hits Bud, Not Buddy and Jackie and Me.

-The run time is approximately 75 minutes with no intermission.
-If you have special seating accommodations, please inform the Box Office 72 hours before the performance.
-Tickets can be purchased at the Box Office one hour prior to performances with no additional fees.
Ruth Page Center for Arts
1016 North Dearborn Street
Chicago, IL 60610

Cast: Yaw Agyeman, Bear Bellinger, Jonathan Butler-Duplessis*, Sam Deutsch, Elena Marisa Flores*, Brian Grey, Ashley Elizabeth Honore*, Alexis J. Rogers*, Travis Turner*
Production team: Courtney O’Neill (Scenic Design); Becca Jeffords (Lighting Design); Ray Nardelli (Sound Design); Christine Pascual (Costume  Design); Margaret Goddard-Knop (Properties Design); Cat Wilson (Projection Design); Dennis J. Conners* (Production Stage Manager); JoHannah Hail*, Jeri Frederickson*, Andi Sturtevant

*Denotes member of Actors’ Equity, the union of professional  actors and stage managers in the United States.

If you are not reading this on ChiILLiveShows or your RSS reader, then it's been plagiarized and stealing sucks!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

ACT OUT: Redmoon FREE Summer Finale in Humboldt Park & Original Video Interview With Frank Maugeri 9/7 #redmoon

Redmoon has been a favorite of ours for decades!   They're an integral part of the Chicago Theatre scene and never cease to amaze.   They're back at it again with a big, FREE finale to their summer series on 9/7.   Be there.   Highly recommended!

Check out our original video interview with Frank Maugeri and others who collaborated on Chicago Children's Theatre's spring production, The Elephant and The Whale right here.   We interviewed Frank as part of our ongoing series on "HOW CREATIVES PARENT AND HOW PARENTS CREATE".

We're so excited to bring you our original video interview with the Co-Directors of The Elephant and The Whale Frank Maugeri (Redmoon) & Leslie Buxbaum Danzig (500 Clown) and with actor, David Catlin (Lookingglass).   All 3 are parents and theatre professionals and they graciously took time out of their busy lives for an interview with us about the show.  They also shared their on insights on "How Creatives Parent and How Parents Create" for ChiIL Mama's long running series on the theme.  (Chicago Children's Theatre's World Premier Collaboration 5/2013)

Redmoon culminates its Summer Park Series - a Night Out in the Parks event 
in the historic Humboldt Park with a special reception open to the public to honor Allstate Insurance Company and it collaborators and supporters on September 7th, 2013. 

"Allstate is proud to be a part of these amazing Summer Park events, which showcase so many talented young Chicago performance artists who are bringing joy and fabulous entertainment to communities across the city," said Vicky Dinges, vice president of corporate social responsibility at Allstate. "Our company is strongly committed to supporting Chicago's vibrant and diverse cultural arts because they deliver positive, life enriching experiences for our youth and Chicagoans of all ages."

The Humboldt Park event begins with an hour-long free drum and poetry workshop, taught in collaboration with the Bucket Boys and poets from Young Chicago Authors (YCA).  Participants are then invited to parade through the park alongside Redmoon's newest machine - the Sonic Boom - a massive, 16 ft. tall transforming mobile boom box conceived by Redmoon's Producing Artistic Director Frank Maugeri.  The parade leads into a community celebration that is a mash up of music by DJ LMS, spoken word poetry, drumming, dancing, and a free meal of pizza and fried chicken.   

The event will also include a special performance by artists from YCA's Division St. Project, a year-long project grounded in non-fiction creative writing and verse journalism.   YCA teaching artist Malcom London and Division St. Project Storyteller Nita Tennyson will share poems inspired by the project, followed by a song by Angie Citali. 

As the conclusion of Redmoon's Summer Park Series, the event will include a special reception to honor the series' key supporters and collaborators, including Allstate Insurance Company, the Pritzker Traubert Family Foundation and the Chicago Park District.

"Mayor Rahm Emanuel's Night Out in the Parks initiative looks for ways to engage people in their communities," said Michael P. Kelly, Chicago Park District General Superintendent and CEO.  "Redmoon was a great example of this. We witnessed how participatory art transforms parks into spaces for creative and positive activities."

Over 8,500 community members participated in Redmoon's Night Out in the Park events.  Under the design and directorial leadership of Maugeri and Artistic Associate Will Bishop, Redmoon and its team of collaborators brought community celebrations to a lineup of 10 public parks on the South and West Sides of the city.  This included Sherwood Park in West Englewood, Columbus Park in Austin and Midway Plaisance Park in Hyde Park. "The Sonic Boom [and the Summer Park Series] is re-establishing the parks in Chicago as a center for culture and community," said Kevin Coval, Artistic Director for the Young Chicago Authors. 

By sharing a poem over the Sonic Boom's 10,000-watt speaker system, dancing to the music of DJ SuchNSuch - or simply joining their neighbors for a meal -community members from throughout the city joined in this spectacle celebration.   "The parade was a great idea... [the kids] who got the opportunity to perform feel like superstars," said Solomon Smith, Meyering Park Supervisor.  "They're still talking about it."

The Park Series has been a part of Redmoon's larger summer effort to create unexpected spectacular events and community celebrations throughout Chicago - all outdoors and all for free.   Since May, Redmoon has brought its contraptions and performers to 24 free outdoor events - from Evanston's Fourth of July Parade, to Pilsen's Low Rider Festival, Boystown's Market Days, and Homan Square and North Lawndale's Peace March and many more.  In total, Redmoon's summer work reached over 55,000 people.

Redmoon invites all to the culminating Humboldt Park event to celebrate this extraordinary summer of free spectacle and community building. 

Date:  Saturday, September 7, 2013
Location:  Humbolt Park, 1440 N Humbolt Dr.

4:30pm - Free drumming and poetry workshops for community members
6:00pm - Free community meal and reception
7:15pm - Humboldt Park community parade begins
7:30pm - Redmoon's show begins
8:30pm - Event conclusion 

To RSVP:  

Redmoon's Summer Park Series was part of Mayor Rahm Emanuel's Night Out in the Parks initiative supported by NATO Legacy funds, and was presented thanks to the generous support and civic vision of Allstate Insurance Company, Chicago Park District, The Pritzker Traubert Family Foundation, The 1111 Foundation, The Ebert Foundation, Bacci Pizza, KFC, Dance All Night, and many others.

A Year-long project grounded in non-fiction creative writing and verse journalism. 15 story finders meet weekly to engage in research and writing inspired by Studs Terkel's Division Street: America. The students are scouting the length of Division Street from the far East to the far West of the city, collecting and re-telling the stories of today's Chicago via anthology, video, recording and/or live performance. Join the movement and walk the miles traveled. 

Redmoon's mission is to transform the experience of our urban landscape through spectacular events that disrupt everyday life and promote community, creativity, and democracy. Founded in 1990, Redmoon transforms streets, stages and architectural landmarks, bridging international, economic, cultural and generational boundaries with unique brand of Spectacle: public art form that is equal parts pageantry, gadgetry, puppetry, robust physical performance and visual art.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Elephant & The Whale Ticket Giveaway & Original Video Interview With Three of The Creative Masterminds Behind The World Premier #originalvideointerview #giveaway #review #ad

ChiIL Out with ChiIL Mama.   Pop a bowl of popcorn and get ready to see something amazing.  We're so excited to bring you our original video interview with the Co-Directors of The Elephant and The Whale, Frank Maugeri (Redmoon) & Leslie Buxbaum Danzig (500 Clown) and with actor, David Catlin (Lookingglass).   All 3 are parents and theatre professionals and they graciously took time out of their busy lives for an interview with us about the show.  They also shared their insights on "How Creatives Parent and How Parents Create" for ChiIL Mama's long running series on the theme.

We generally try to keep our original videos around 15 minutes, but these three had some seriously sweet gems of info on parenting and great stuff about The Elephant and The Whale, so we're going to go ahead and run it as a longer feature.   I'll also break the material down into shorter 15 minute individual interviews at a later date, to add to our Creative Parenting series.

Win 4 Free Tickets:

ChiIL out with free tickets to Chicago Children's Theatre & Redmoon's stellar collaboration!   Our last giveaway was so successful, we're going to do it again!  Enter now through midnight on 5/13.   This giveaway is short, sweet & hard to beat.    We highly highly recommend you catch this show before it closes May 26th.

Click The Rafflecopter Link Below For Your Chance to Win 4 Tickets To The Elephant & The Whale AND a free pizza party Thurs, 5/16, 6:30 pm.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

ChiIL Live Shows caught the opening weekend of The Elephant & The Whale at Chicago Children's Theatre and we were enormously impressed by this mammoth undertaking.   We've long been fans of Redmoon's mission statement "engineering wonder" and of the fabulous physical comedy and energy of 500 Clown.   These world collided in a BIG way for this show and adults and hard to please tweens and teens will dig this one, too!   Yes, Chicago Children's Theatre is not only for the littles, my friends.   A lot of blood, sweat & prep went into this production, but the end result is pure magic.

Credit for all Production Photos Charles Osgood

Click here for ChiIL Mama's past coverage of The Elephant and The Whale including ticket links, show times and plot points as well as more show footage & stills.

Check back with ChiIL Mama like we vote in Chi, IL... early and often for loads of original content, fabulous happenings and great giveaways.   

**Final footage footnote:  It took me longer than I'd hoped to don my editor's hat and finish the interview above.  There were so many insightful comments in the interviews that I tried to chop it to about 20 minutes for days, and finally surrendered, and decided that this needs to be published as a longer piece... at least once.
We also got caught up in crazy busy parenting land over here, with two kids in and out of their own performances with CircEsteem, 2 Roller Derby halftime shows, a school variety show and 2 gymnastics team showcases.   And I had a 4 day International film fest to cover, and a German filmmaker to interview.

Thanks for your patience.   It's worth the wait!   


This all-new family fable features sea voyages, wild mechanical objects, circus songs, panoramic paintings, exquisite shadow puppets and an innovative sound design. Performances through May 26, 2013 at Chicago Children's Theatre's new home, the Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn, Chicago.

The Elephant and The Whale is recommended for all ages.

Schedule through May 26:  Tuesday at 10 a.m.; Wednesday at 10 a.m. and 12 p.m.; Thursday at 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.; Friday at 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.; Saturday at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.; and Sunday at 11 a.m. and 2p.m. 

Run time is approximately 60 minutes with no intermission.


As if you need any more reasons to see this show...

Note:  Family-friendly 6:30 p.m. Thursday shows are preceded with a free pizza party starting at 5:45 pm.  Thursday evenings are $25 for dinner and show. On Friday evenings, families are encouraged to kick off their weekend at the 6:30 p.m. show, and stay after for a fun post-show craft party.  Friday evenings are $25 for show and party.

Regular single tickets are $26 for children, $36 for adults. To purchase, visit or call (872) 222-9555. For discounted school, scout, playgroup, extended family and other group rates, visit or call (773) 327-3778

Disclaimer:  Thanks to the fabulous folk at Chicago Children's Theatre for giving us family 4 packs of tickets to share with our readers.   All opinions are our own.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

ACT OUT (Family Friendly): Harold and the Purple Crayon at Chicago Children's Theatre

Harold and the Purple Crayon

October 11 - November 4, 2012 
Ideal for Ages 3+
The Ruth Page Center for Arts 1016 N. Dearborn St.
Chicago Premiere Based on the books by Crockett Johnson Text by Don Darryl Rivera, Lyrics by Rob Burgess, Music by Auston James, Directed by Sean Graney, Choreography by Tommy Rapley, Music Direction by Nick Davio

ChiIL Mama was thrilled to meet with Jacqueline Russell, Frank Maugeri and other key production staff for the upcoming season at Chicago Children's Theatre.

Harold and the Purple Crayon challenge--"Design a set entirely made of giant purple crayons!!   Oh yeah.....and they have to be durable, not melt under stage lights, and be light weight."    

Chicago Children's Theatre rose to the challenge.   Come see the stunningly playful and fun result.   Harold and the Purple Crayon is on now through Nov 4 in Chicago, with brief runs in Beverly and Skokie.    Don't delay.   Get your tickets today!!

Harold and the Purple Crayon

October 11 - November 4, 2012 Ideal for Ages 3+
The Ruth Page Center for Arts 1016 N. Dearborn St.
Chicago Premiere Based on the books by Crockett Johnson Text by Don Darryl Rivera, Lyrics by Rob Burgess, Music by Auston James, Directed by Sean Graney, Choreography by Tommy Rapley, Music Direction by Nick Davio

    2401 W. 111th St. Chicago, IL: November 7 -11
    9501 Skokie Blvd, Skokie, IL: November 14-18

Doin' it old school....   In these days of computer design programs, it was refreshing to also see the creative masterminds behind the costumes and set design for Harold and the Purple Crayon getting old school with the poster board collage brainstorming.

We geek out on the process behind the stage magic and think it's so much fun for kids...and adults to see a seed of an idea begin and then to see what it grows into in full bloom.

Check out some of the inspiration for Harold and the Purple Crayon below and see the creative process of how a simple, minimalist kids' classic morphs into a colorful, music filled stage production!!

Click here to buy your tickets

ChiIL Mama's been a huge fan of Chicago Children's Theatre since their inaugural year.   On the production end, their play bills read like a whose who of the best and brightest in Chicago's theatre community.   And the talent behind the scenes shows.   Their high caliber shows raise the bar for all children's theatre.   These shows are so intricately crafted and well done that they're as enjoyable for adults as they are for the littles.    We're also happy to see collaborations with other local favorites of ours.   

We adore Building Blocks Toy Stores and ChiIL Mama sponsored their big anniversary bash last year.   We're also fans of the cool arts and crafts at Wishcraft and the excellent resource for parents that is Neighborhood Parents Network. Check back with ChiIL Mama like we vote in Chi, IL...early and often.   We'll have loads more photos, our Harold and the Purple Crayon review and more.

Harold and the Purple Crayon teaches young audiences that anything is possible with a crayon and a big imagination. Meet Harold, a curious four year old boy who, armed with his trusty purple crayon, has the power to create a world of his own simply by drawing it. This imaginative musical uses breathtaking animation, inventive puppetry, and original music to bring Harold’s purple-hued world to life; it is perfect for introducing young children to theatre while simultaneously captivating their older companions.

Harold and the Purple Crayon will be helmed by CCT Artistic Associate Sean Graney, who directed the company’s productions of The Hundred Dresses, Honus and Me, and Hana’s Suitcase. Graney, Founding Artistic Director of The Hypocrites, is the recipient of a Career Development for Directors Program award from the National Endowment for the Arts and Theatre Communications Group, the winner of two non-Equity Joseph Jefferson Awards, and was named Chicago’s Best Avant-Garde Director by Chicago Magazine and 2004’s Chicagoan of the Year: Theater by the Chicago Tribune. 

Don’t miss Thursday night Piece Pizza Parties at Harold and the Purple Crayon: enjoy delicious Piece Pizza and IZZE Juice before the show. Only $20 a ticket (includes pizza party and performance!) 

Join us for Friday night Pajama Parties with Wishcraft at Harold and the Purple Crayon: After the show use your imagination to create something amazing, just like Harold does in the show! Only $25 a ticket (includes craft party and performance!) 


Building Blocks Toys is back this year to join us for Harold and the Purple Crayon with a post-show party: October 14, 11:00am. Free fun for the whole family: facepainting, glitter tattoos, yummy treats, activities & giveaways!   

Neighborhood Parent’s Network is back again, hosting a post-show party: October 21, 11:00am. Don’t miss coloring, refreshments, photography & more! 

ACT OUT: 2012-13 Season Begins TODAY In New Digs for Chicago Children's Theatre



Woo hoo!   Harold and the Purple Crayon opens today!!  Check it out.   This book was one of my kids' childhood favs and I remember it from my early days, too.   We can't wait to see what magic Chicago Children's Theatre and director, Sean Graney, have planned for the musical adaptation.   Get your tickets today for this Chicago premier!   Ages 3 and up...and up....and up.

ChiIL Mama was thrilled to meet with Jacqueline Russell, Frank Maugeri and other key production staff for the upcoming season at Chicago Children's Theatre.   We're beyond stoked to see our favs play so well with others.   The collaboration between Redmoon's Frank Maugeri and Chicago Children's Theatre on The Elephant & The Whale is bound to be epic!

We hope to have more original video interviews here at ChiIL Mama/ChiIL Live Shows and we'll have loads of updates as each show opens.   Right now we're so excited to see Harold and the Purple Crayon opening this weekend.   Our readers will get a sneak peek at the early production sketches for this season's sets, costumes and so much more.

Chicago Children’s Theatre (CCT) and Artistic Director Jacqueline Russell are delighted to announce the company has a new home and will be an Artist
In-Residence at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn St., Chicago for the entire 2012-2013 season.

In addition to welcoming its audience to one convenient destination all
season, Chicago’s #1 presenter of top-quality professional
children’s theater is thrilled to confirm three wildly imaginative productions for 2012-2013 – the Chicago premiere of a new musical version of
Harold and the Purple Crayon, directed by Sean Graney
(Oct. 11-Nov. 4, 2012),

an adaptation of the Newberry Medal winning novel
Bud, Not Buddy,
directed by
Derrick Sanders (Jan.12-Feb. 24, 2013),

and the world premiere of The Elephant & The Whale, created by Frank Maugeri, co-directed by Maugeri and Leslie Buxbaum Danzig, with a script by Seth Bockley and music by Kevin O’Donnell, produced in association with Redmoon (Apr. 10-May 26, 2013).
After seven years of being itinerant, we are so looking forward to our new
residency at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts because it gives Chicagoland families one consistent location to experience a full season of exceptional theatrical programming,” said Chicago Children’s Theatre Artistic Director and Co-Founder Jacqueline Russell. “Ruth Page was home for our 2010 smash hit Jackie and Me so we can’t wait to bring our audience back for three consecutive productions sure to delight children of all ages.”

Also new for 2012-2013: The performance schedules for all three
productions include family-friendly 6:30 pm Thursday shows, proceeded
by pizza parties in the Ruth Page Center’s multi-purpose room
starting at 5:30 pm. On Friday evenings, families are encouraged to
kick off their weekend by wearing their PJs to the 6:30 pm show, and
stay after for a fun post-show PJ Party with members of the cast.

In addition to its three-play season at the Ruth Page Center, Chicago
Children’s Theatre will take its season-opener Harold and the Purple Crayon on a regional tour after its downtown run, with performances November 7-11 at the Beverly Arts Center, 2401 W. 111th
St. in Chicago’s Beverly neighborhood, and November 14-18 at the
North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 N. Skokie Blvd. in

Family Membership Passes on sale now

For complete season information, visit
or call (773) 227-0180 x 11.
For group inquiries, contact GroupTix at (773)
or visit

More about Chicago Children’s Theatre’s 2012-2013 season:

Harold and the Purple Crayon
A Chicago Children’s Theatre Chicago premiere

Based on the books

Text by Don Darryl Rivera, Lyrics by Robert Burgess, 
Music by Auston James
Directed by Sean Graney

October 11-November 4, 2012 
Recommended for ages 3 and up

Also touring to The Beverly Arts Center, 2401
W. 111
th St., Chicago, November 7-11
And the North Shore Centre for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd.,
Skokie, November 14-18

Harold and the Purple Crayon teaches young audiences that anything is possible with a crayon and a bigimagination. Meet Harold, a curious four year old boy who, armed with his trusty purple crayon, has the power to create a world of his own simply by drawing it. This imaginative musical uses breathtaking animation, inventive puppetry, and original music to bring Harold’s
purple-hued world to life; it is perfect for introducing young children to theatre while simultaneously captivating their older companions.

Harold and the Purple Crayon will be helmed by CCT Artistic Associate Sean Graney, who directed the company’s productions of The Hundred DressesHonus and Me,and Hana’s Suitcase.

**Graney, Founding Artistic Director of The Hypocrites, is the
recipient of a Career Development for Directors Program award from
the National Endowment for the Arts and Theatre Communications Group, the winner of two non-Equity Joseph Jefferson Awards, and was named Chicago’s Best Avant-Garde Director by Chicago
and 2004’s Chicagoan of the Year: Theater by the Chicago

Bud, Not Buddy
Based on the Newberry winning novel by Christopher Paul Curtis
Adapted by Reginald Andre Jackson
Directed by Derrick Sanders

January 12-February 24, 2013
for ages 8 and up

Bud, Not Buddy
follows the journey of a young African-American orphan as he searches for his
father. Clues kept in a suitcase lead him to adventures in
Depression-era Michigan, where he finds community among a group of
jazz musicians and, ultimately, an unexpected sense of home.

Popular reading in the classroom, author Christopher Paul Curtis’ Bud, Not Buddy was the winner of the 2000 Newberry Medal and the Coretta Scott King
Award. In 2010, Jackson's stage adaptation won the Distinguished Play Award from The American Alliance for Theater and Education.

Award-winning director Derrick Sanders – Founding Artistic Director of Congo Square Theatre Company, a Chicago Tribune Chicagoan of the Year in 2005, winner of multiple Joseph Jefferson Awards and Black Theater Alliance Awards, and director of CCT’s 2010 world premiere Jackie
and Me
– has a national reputation, having directed at countless Chicago, regional and New York theaters. He is known for his many collaborations with the legendary August Wilson, including in Chicago his award-winning
productions of Joe Turner’s Come and Gone and Seven
for Congo Square.  His Off-Broadway directorial debut, Wilson’s King
Hedley II
for Signature Theatre, received two Lucille Lortel and Audelco nominations. He was also a part of August Wilson’s World premiere productions of Radio Golf and Gem of the Ocean on Broadway and at the Huntington Theatre, Mark Taper Forum and the Goodman.

The Elephant & The Whale
A Chicago Children’s Theatre world premiere, presented in association
with Redmoon 
Created by Frank Maugeri

Co-directed by Frank Maugeri and Leslie Buxbaum Danzig
Script by Seth Bockley

Music by Kevin O’Donnell

April 10 –May 26, 2013 
Recommended for all ages

CCT’s seventh season will conclude with a world premiere collaboration with
Redmoon’s Frank Maugeri to create The Elephant & The Whale,
an all new family fable featuring sea shanties, wild mechanical
objects, theatrical clowning, hand painted imagery, exquisite shadow
puppets and an innovative sound design. This new work is conceived by
Maugeri with an original story and songs by
Seth Bockley
with composer
Kevin O’Donnell.

Co-directed by Leslie Buxbaum Danzig (of 500 Clown),
this epic tale invites audiences of all ages to discover the majesty
of the largest animals on our planet, and a story of friendship
conquering the sea itself. 

The year is 1901. On the largest steamship in the world, a captive
African Gray Elephant is bound for America. Mid-Atlantic, the boat
encounters a massive blue whale. What happens next is a love story
spanning species, time zones and many nautical miles. The performance will feature a live band and three performers who crank contraptions, pedal panoramic painting apparatuses, operate wild puppets and manipulate shadow sequences all while they sing shanty-like songs to weave this original and epic tale.  

Redmoon Co-Artistic Director Frank Maugeri
during his 15 year tenure with the company has created countless spectacle
productions and events seen around Chicago. Highlights include serving
as director, co-creator, and designer of the recent Astronaut’s Birthday,
a large-scale animated, graphic novel projected on the Museum of
Contemporary Art’s 80-foot façade; co-creation and design of the
critically acclaimed The Feast: an intimate Tempest
at Chicago Shakespeare Theater; seven of the famed All Hallow’s Eve
ritual celebrations in Logan Square; over a dozen annual family-friendly Winter
performances; Once Upon a Time
(Jeff Award, After Dark Award) with its subsequent tour to France;
Laika's Coffin and Cape and Squiggle for the Chicago Humanities Festival at MCA; Boneyard Prayer; and Redmoon’s longest running production The Cabinetits remount and tour of Brazil.

Seth Bockley
the critically-acclaimed writer and adapter, is a playwright in
residence at the Goodman Theater and book writer for the new musical
February House.  He is also an artist in residence at the University of Chicago, and was a recipient of Theater Communications Group's New Generations
Grant for which he spent two years with Redmoon as Directing

Leslie Buxbaum Danzig (co-director)
co-created Lucky Plush Productions’ The Better Half,
which premiered at MCA Chicago and tours in 2012-2013 throughout the
US.  She was resident 
director with 500 Clown for 10 years, directed Redmoon’s Hunchback at New Victory Theater (NYC), and is Program Curator for the Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry at University of Chicago. 

Kevin O’Donnell (composer) is a Chicago-based musician; he has worked in Chicago theater for the last 10 years, during which time he has been
nominated for 19 Jeff Awards (receiving 8), and 2 consecutive After
Dark Awards (Outstanding Season).  He has worked around the
country, both in theatre and as a musician, having recorded and
toured with Andrew Bird, Kelly Hogan, Nickel Creek, and many others. 

About The Ruth Page Center for the Arts, Chicago Children’s Theatre’s
home for 2012-2013

The Ruth Page Center for Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn St., is located just
steps from Michigan Avenue’s Magnificent Mile. The historic 1927
building in which The Center resides sits on a lovely tree-lined
street in the heart of Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood, near the
CTA Red Line and the Clark, Broadway and Division bus lines. Under
the aegis of The Ruth Page Foundation, the Ruth Page Center for the
Arts has for over 40 years committed its resources to supporting
dance and theater in Chicago through its initiatives and programs.
Among these is its Artist In-Residence program where emerging and
established artists and organizations can have a home, office space,
rehearsal space, collaborative programming, and performance
opportunities. Lookingglass Theater and Chicago Shakespeare Theater
have both called the Ruth Page Center home before moving on to
establish their own venues. In addition to Chicago Children’s
Theatre, the 2012-2013 Ruth Page Artist-In Residence program includes
ShawChicago Theatre Company, River North Dance Chicago, CDI/Concert
Dance Inc, DanceWorks Chicago and the Ruth Page Civic Ballet.
Chicago’s top dance companies also perform at the Ruth Page Center
as part of its Subsidized Theater Rental Program. For more
information, visit

Chicago Children’s Theatre

Chicago Children’s Theatre focuses on the production of first-rate
children’s theatre in Chicago, with top writing, performing and
directorial talent and high-quality design and production expertise.
Chicago Children’s Theatre aspires to enrich our community through
diverse and significant theatrical and educational programming that
engages and inspires the child in all of us.

Launched in 2005, Chicago Children’s Theatre strives to provide affordable
and accessible theatre for families and area school children. To
enhance the impact of any given production’s themes, Chicago
Children’s Theatre offers educational materials and programs for
families and educators.

This summer, Chicago Children’s Theatre is expanding
its operations with the launch of the company’s first-ever Summer
Theater Camp, July 16-27, 2012 at
Franklin Fine Arts Center in Chicago’s Old Town neighborhood.
Guided by artists and arts educators with extensive experience in the
Chicago theater industry, CCT summer campers will learn to create
their own stories and work as a team to turn those stories into one
big theatrical adventure. For more information and to register visit
or call 773.227.0180.

In addition to its mainstage programming for families, schools and
groups, Chicago Children’s Theatre will also continue
its Red Kite Project in 2012-2013, creating multi-sensory, interactive theater programming tailored specifically to the needs and interests of children on the
autism spectrum. CCT’s Red Kite Project
also includes Camp Red Kite, an annual summer arts camp tailored specifically to the unique interests and needs of children on the autism spectrum. For
the most up-to-date information on every
development, including the upcoming summer session of Camp
Red Kite
, June 25-July 13 at Chicago’s Cleveland Elementary School, call
773.227.0180 x15 or visit
Led by Artistic Director Jacqueline Russell,
and Board Chair Todd Leland, the company is supported by a committed Artistic Council of
Chicago-based actors, directors, musicians and designers, and a
dynamic Board of Directors comprised of dedicated individuals from
the fields of entertainment, philanthropy and business. Officers
include David Saltiel, President; J. Scot Pepper
and Jacqueline Tilton,Vice Chairs; Lynn Lockwood Murphy, Vice Chair and Secretary; and David Chung,Treasurer.

Chicago Children’s Theatre’s 2012-2013 season is made possible in part by
the generosity of its sponsors:  ComEd
is the Official Lighting Sponsor. Goldman
Sachs Gives is the Official Season Sponsor.
JPMorgan Chase is the Official Education Sponsor. Target
is the Official School Field Trip Sponsor. United
is the Chicago Premiere Sponsor as well as the Official and Exclusive
Airline Sponsor. 

For more information about Chicago Children’s Theatre visit
or call 773.227.0180.

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