Chicago Theatre Week (CTW) is the star of February. For a couple bucks more than a ticket to the movies, you can witness the magic of live theater with your family. From February 12-22, over 100 productions will offer discounted tickets for $15-30, with many offering further discounts. Here are three CTW children's plays on our radar for Chicago Theatre Week 2015. 

The Selfish Giant - Chicago Children's Theatre

Based on Oscar Wilde's classic story, this show centers on a selfish, grumpy giant who forbids children from playing in his garden, setting off an eternal winter. Chicago folk music legend Michael Smith and master puppeteer Blair Thomas join forces to present this imaginative and whimsical show, which promises live music and plenty of fun for both kids and grown-ups. The Chicago Children's Theatre performs at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn St., in Chicago's Gold Coast neighborhood, steps from the Magnificent Mile.


Lions in Illyria - Lifeline Theatre

Adapted from Shakespeare's Twelfth Night and featuring a fun cast of animals in place of stuffy Elizabethan royalty, Lions in Illyria is the story of Violet, a young lioness, who must brave a new land all on her own after her brother is lost at sea. This magical comedy brings all the animals of the jungle onstage - from peacocks to warthogs - for an adventure in the weird and mythical land of Illyria. This production is recommended for children ages 5 and up (children under 2 not permitted), and runs one hour with no intermission. Lifeline Theatre is located in the North Side neighborhood of Rogers Park at 6912 N. Glenwood Avenue.

Short Shakespeare! Macbeth - Chicago Shakespeare Theatre

Short Shakespeare! Macbeth
Haunted by visions of the murdered Banquo, Macbeth (Chris Genebach) is silenced by Lady Macbeth (Lanise Antoine Shelley), as the concerned court looks on in Short Shakespeare! Macbeth. Photo by Liz Lauren.

Short Shakespeare's Macbeth is a condensed but certainly not dumbed-down 75-minute version of the original. Before the show even begins, one of the ensemble members takes a moment to speak to the kids in the crowd. His message: if you are having trouble understanding our words, look to our actions. Listen to us as you listen to a new song. The action certainly held my 10-year-old son's interest when we saw it for the first time, and provided a wonderful entry into the world of Shakespeare, where witches, battles, intrigue and madness are all part of the show. Recommended for ages 10 and up.

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