Chicago Humanities Fest International Children's Theatre Fest

For 25 years, the Chicago Humanities Festival (CHF) has celebrated individuals, communities, and cultures with its vibrant year-round programming. 2014 marks the 15th year of CHF's amazing Stages, Sights & Sounds international children's theater festival. From May 6-24, Stages, Sights & Sounds will feature inaugural theater productions from around the world, world class puppetry performances, and readings with children's book authors.

This year's Stages, Sights & Sounds festival is the largest in CHF history, with more than 30 international and local artists offering 48 programs within a three-week period. Programs are just $7 for children and $14 for adults, making this festival an affordable means to introduce your kids to the wonderful world of live theater!

 

"This year's Stages, Sights & Sounds will be a ‘festival of firsts,'" shared Julia Mayer, CHF Assistant Director of Programming and Performance. "We're excited to present our first productions from Australia and Spain, as well as the U.S. premiere of Kaguya from returning favorite Nori Sawa. There are numerous ways to engage in the festival this year, including two new children's author events, and we're thrilled to offer these cultural opportunities to children and families in Chicago!"

Chicago Humanities Fest International Children's Theatre Fest

Stages, Sights & Sounds will host productions from as far away as Australia, Spain and the Czech Republic, featuring artists from Sydney's Cre8ion, Perth's The Last Great Hunt, and Madrid's El Retablo and more. Cre8ion will present Fluff, a quirky mix of sound, story, and video about a traveling trio who rescue long-lost misfit toys; Master puppeteer Pablo Vergne of El Retablo will star in a show for very young audiences (3+), Animales. Festival favorite Nori Sawa will be presenting the U.S. premiere of Kaguya: The Bamboo Princess and other Stories, which depicts the 10th century folktale of a Japanese princess through the use of puppets, masks, music, and physical theater.

In addition to international performances, the 2014 Stages, Sights & Sounds will offer readings with two critically-acclaimed children's book authors: Timothy Basil Ering, the illustrator of the Newbery Medal winner The Tale of Despereaux, and Jon Scieszka, best known for his book The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales. Ering will read from his latest work, The Almost Fearless Hamilton Squidlegger, the story of a little boy working to overcome his bedtime fears with a little help from Dad; he'll also share some of the secrets behind his art and create some original illustrations. Scieszka will read from his latest book Battle Bunny, the re-imagined story of Birthday Bunny, the main character in a book found at a garage sale.

Performances will hit the stage at three venues around the city, including the Chicago Cultural Center (77 E. Randolph St.), Storefront Theater (66 E. Randolph St.) and Victory Gardens Biograph Theater (2433 N. Lincoln Ave.). Tickets are $14 for adults and $7 for children (17 and under) and are on sale now at chicagohumanities.org/stages or via the CHF Box Office at 312-494-9509 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.