Chicago toddlers, you are cordially invited to meet your favorite Beatrix Potter friends, including Tom Kitten, Simpkin the cat and of course Peter Rabbit.
Because Chicago Children’s Theater’s popular holiday show, The Beatrix Potter Holiday Tea Party, a seasonal rite of passage for young Chicago families, returns for its seventh season, November 19 through December 24, 2022.
The perfect outing for toddlers’ first holiday show, The Beatrix Potter Holiday Tea Party is a fascinating and highly interactive trunk and puppet show featuring a trio of talented actors/singers/musicians who bring four adorable animal tales by Beatrix Potter.
Families watch in awe as actors pull levers and turn cranks on ingeniously designed mechanical “suitcase sculptures” that reveal handcrafted 3D puppets meant to surprise and delight.
Original live music performed on cello, guitar, banjo and toy piano rounds out the experience as CCT’s charming storytellers weave together classic Beatrix Potter storytelling while guiding sweet interactive moments, engaging young observers to join the adventure.
But, mom, where’s the party?
It’s after the show, in the lobby of the Chicago Children’s Theater, which is decorated for the season as a festive Victorian hall. This is where the public gathers to meet and take pictures with the actors, play with the puppets and enjoy juices, cookies and chocolate milk.
Some families come dressed in their finest attire. Others come as is. Either way, young and old enjoy this incredibly charming and meticulously crafted puppet show, not to mention meeting other families from all over town for an unforgettable shared vacation.
Over the past eight years, Chicago Children’s Theater Beatrix Potter productions have toured schools, libraries, cultural institutions and even China. The Chicago Reader called the Beatrix Potter Holiday Tea Party “dazzling, lively in under an hour and sweet as can be.”
Don’t miss the seventh season, from November 19 to December 24, 2022 at the Chicago Children’s Theater, 100 S. Racine Ave. in Chicago’s West Loop. The Beatrix Potter Holiday Tea Party is ideal for children aged 2-6. Performances take place on Saturdays and Sundays at 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. The show lasts 60 minutes, followed by afternoon tea.
Tickets start at $43.25 including fees and are on sale now at chicagochildrenstheatre.org. Mark your calendar and buy early because these shows will sell out. Email [email protected] or call (312) 374-8835 to learn about discounted rates for schools, playgroups, birthday parties, and scout groups.
CCT continues to strengthen its commitment to all Chicago children by expanding services to customers with disabilities. Access weekend for The Beatrix Holiday Tea Party is December 10th and 11th. Services include:
saturday 10 december
9:30 a.m. ASL interpretation and Open Captions
11:30 a.m. Sensory atmosphere
sunday december 11
9:30 a.m. Audio Description (Touch Tour on demand)
11:30 a.m. Sensory atmosphere
For more information about access and inclusion at the Chicago Children’s Theater, visit chicagochildrenstheatre.org/access or email [email protected]
The Chicago Children’s Theater is a “no shit” theater. It is centrally located in the former Chicago 12th District Police Department, now fully renovated and home to the city’s largest professional theater dedicated to children and young families.
The Chicago Children’s Theater is minutes from I-90 and I-290, as well as downtown and Ashland Avenue. Free parking is available on the south side of the theater. You’ll find free street parking nearby on weekends, or try the Impark parking lot, 1301 W. Madison St.
The Chicago Children’s Theater Beatrix Potter Series is designed by Will Bishop, Lara Carling, Kay Kron, Grace Needlman and Ray Rehberg. Will Bishop is the director. Lara Carling is co-director. The performers are Lily Emerson, Charlie Malave and Felix May. The puppets are by Grace Needlman. The music is by Ray Rehberg and Charlie Malave. The costumes are by Ian Liberman, based on original designs by Jillian Gryzlak. The lighting designer is Becca Jeffords. The sound designer is Daniel Etti-Williams. Anastar Alvarez is a manager.
Next spring at the Chicago Children’s Theatre:
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show
Since its first publication in 1969, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” has nibbled its way into the hearts of millions of children everywhere. Fifty years later, Eric Carle’s colorful story of makeover has been translated into 62 languages, has sold over 50 million copies worldwide and remains a staple at baby showers, bed stands and classroom shelves.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show is a bright, bold, puppet-filled stage version of Eric Carle’s timeless children’s book about an insatiable caterpillar that fights its way to becoming a full-fledged butterfly. Before and after the show, the CTC lobby is an inviting space where children and families can relax and have fun, play games and create their own Eric Carle-themed memories at craft stations colored.
Performances are April 15 through June 4, 2023: Saturdays and Sundays at 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Tickets start at $35.25 including fees and are on sale now at chicagochildrenstheatre.org. Email [email protected] or call (312) 374-8835 to learn about discounted rates for schools, playgroups, birthday parties, and scout groups. The very hungry caterpillar show is recommended for all ages, from 6 months. Jerrell L. Henderson returns to direct.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar show was created by Jonathan Rockefeller, who is also responsible for Disney’s acclaimed stage version of Winnie the Pooh. His creative staging of Eric Carle’s books earned him a Drama Desk Award nomination and won the Off-Broadway Alliance Award for Best Family Show.
When the Chicago Children’s Theater first presented The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show in 2019, the Chicago Tribune gobbled it up, exclaiming “Amazing work…Eric Carle’s books come to life beautifully.” Chicago Parent agreed, “Let yourself be seduced by the colorful world of live action.”
The production became a global sensation after performing over 2,000 shows worldwide, including sold-out engagements in Australia, New York, UK, Dubai, New Zealand, Canada, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.
About Chicago Children’s Theater
The Chicago Children’s Theater was founded in 2005 with a big idea: Chicago is the greatest theater city in the world, and it deserves great children’s theater. Today, the Chicago Children’s Theater is the city’s largest professional theater company devoted exclusively to children and young families. CCT has established a national reputation for producing top-notch children’s theater with professional writing, performing and directing talents and high-quality design and production expertise.
In January 2017, the company celebrated the opening of its new permanent home, Chicago Children’s Theatre, The Station, located at 100 S. Racine Avenue in Chicago’s West Loop community. The building, formerly the Chicago Police Department for the 12th Precinct, has been redeveloped into a beautiful, LEED Gold-certified center for the performing arts, education and community engagement that now welcomes every Chicago family. .
CCT provides tens of thousands of free and discounted tickets each season to underprivileged schools in partnership with Chicago Public Schools. CCT also continues to expand its performing arts and STEAM education programs, offering classes, workshops, winter and spring camps, and summer camps for ages 0-14.
In 2019, Chicago Children’s Theater won the National TYA Artistic Innovation Award from Theater for Young Audiences/USA. Additionally, the Chicago Children’s Theater has won six NEA Art Works grants and in 2017 became the first theater for young audiences in the United States to win a National Theater Award from the American Theater Wing, creator of the Tony Awards.
The Chicago Children’s Theater is supported by Goldman Sachs, Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, The Ralla Klepak Foundation for Education in the Performing Arts, The Shubert Foundation, Polk Bros Foundation, The MacArthur Fund for Culture, Equity and the Arts at Prince, Bayless Family Foundation, The Crown Family, Rea Charitable Trust, ComEd, US Bank, City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), Illinois Arts Council, Illinois Humanities Council, National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), The Susan M Venturi Fund in memory of James and Roslyn Marks to support access to theater education, and Erin and Jason, Ben, Bici and David Pritzker.
The Chicago Children’s Theater is led by co-founders, artistic director Jacqueline Russell and chairman of the board Todd Leland, with chairman of the board Armando Chacon.
To learn more, visit chicagochildrenstheatre.org.