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PlayhouseSquare presents fifth annual International Children’s Theater Festival

Join the teachers, students and family members for days of education and fun.
Join the teachers, students and family members for days of education and fun.

Families, teachers and students will celebrate the world we share

Event is sponsored by University Hospitals Rainbow and Babies and Children Hospital and will be held through May 10, 2014

PlayhouseSquare will be the site of the fifth annual International Children’s Theater Festival presented by University Hospitals Rainbow and Babies and Children’s Hospital scheduled through May 10, 2014. The event includes a variety of interactive programs that include performances, workshops, balloon animals. face painting, chalk art and Miracoco a stunning walk through sculpture of light and color.

Last year over 25,000 students, teachers and family members participated and an even larger crowd is expected for this year’s events.

Tickets for International Children’s Theater Festival performances are on sale now at the PlayhouseSquare Ticket Office (1510 Euclid Ave.), online at or by phone at (216) 241-6000.

Tickets for each performance are $15; Miracoco tickets are $5 and purchased on-site only.

Gather 10+ friends/family, get a group discount – Call Moira (216) 640-8608
Tickets for free activities are not required.

School performances are scheduled through May 9th while public performances are scheduled from May 9 through 10. The Miracoco Luminarium will be open to everyone through May 10.

The 2014 International Children’s Festival Public Performances

The Mediterranean Sea
Compagnia T.P.O. (Italy)
May 9-10

Taking the classical mythology of the Mediterranean as a starting point, BLEU! explains the meeting between a sailor and a sea nymph. The story begins when the nymph drops a pearl into the sea, which the sailor has to find. The sailor sets off on an adventure-packed voyage across the sea, transforming this story into an odyssey of discovery and knowledge.

ArKtype presents, a co-production with Marseilles European Capital of Culture 2013 & Mercat de les Flors of Barcelona, artistic Direction by Francesco Gandi & Davidue Venturini, choreographer by Anna Balducci

Cre8ion (Australia)
May 9-10

The Gingham family is very concerned for all of the lost and discarded toys in the world. They travel all around to retrieve them and bring them to their colorful home of odd shaped boxes where they welcome them to the family. Each toy is introduced one-by-one and, after seeing a slide show of how they came to be lost, is given a vocal sound, a movement, a piece of music, a nightlight and a nice comfy bed.

Fluff: A Story of Lost Toys is a simple, joyful and humorous tale told with a twist. It has been acclaimed for its originality, warmth, clever use of comedy and extraordinary combination of song, movement, sampling, projection and audience participation.

Terrapin Puppet Theatre (Australia)
May 9-10

Oslo Rogers has a very fun mum called Ruthy, and lives in a very fun town called Mellingong. But now a very un-fun problem (called a big approaching storm) is forcing everyone to head for The Clondike, the big town hall on the hill.
And they can only take a few important things each – ‘love luggage’, Ruthy calls it. But the thing is, Oslo’s mum is a milk-lady, and owns a milk-float, and those can hold heaps of ‘love luggage’… if you pack them right. So Oslo sets out to help the people of Mellingong, and to find out the things they love most, the things you would save from a storm.

In this new play the lyrical and heart driven writing of Finegan Kruckemeyer is brought to life with traditional puppets, digital puppetry, stunning music and Terrapin’s trademark silly business. Love is a heartfelt story that is thoroughly entertaining on many levels.

Join this very brave 10-year-old, as he races against the elements and discovers a whole world of stories, all held in a milk-float’s worth of objects.

Terrapin Puppet Theatre and the tour of Love is assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, and through Arts Tasmania by the Minister for the Arts.

Tout à Trac (Canada)
May 9-10

If the story of this little puppet seems timeless, that is because it is about much more than just his nose that grows longer whenever he tells a lie. Pinocchio is one of the most beautiful representations of mankind, with all its faults and shortcomings, but also its most touching and noble aspects.
In 1833, author Carlo Collodi did not want to relate the feats of princes and princesses, rather he decided to tell the life of someone who was born at thievery bottom of the social ladder, at the lowest rung imaginable: that of a “common block of firewood, one of those thick, solid logs that are put on the fire in winter”. Pinocchio is a story about the growth of a tiny being who has the misfortune of being born into a difficult environment and who will learn, through the many hardships of life, to become what he has always dreamt of becoming: a real boy, a good son, a righteous man.

And this is a much-needed story in this dark and cynical time when descendants of the Fox and the Cat are making headlines on a daily basis. We still need Pinocchio because life, with all the hardships and hurdles it still throws at us, nonetheless remains a magnificent adventure. We still need Pinocchio because telling the story of a small block of wood dreaming to become human brings hope to a world that is losing its humanity and becoming increasingly dependent on machines. And because a child that grows up and carves out his place in the world is still a miracle of life with or without the help of the Blue Fairy.

In co-production with Tennessee Performing Arts Center & Place des Arts

African Pourquoi Tales
Charlotte Blake Alston (USA)
May 9-10

WhyOhWhyOhWhy? African Pourquoi Tales– Tales that make you say, “Hmmm.” The essential themes and lessons of this genre of centuries old African folk stories reveal why they have stood the test of time. Often offering creative and humorous ideas for natural phenomena and man’s relationship with the earth and the universe, these timeless stories were primarily designed to offer the listener food for thought. At the center of many of these tales are characters you may know: Anansi the Spider from Ghana, or Sungura the Rabbit from Kenya.
Not only may you find yourself asking, “What will Turtle do next?” you may also find yourself asking, “What would I do in that situation?” Hmmm. This tradition followed Africans to America where Br’er Rabbit, Br’er Fox and company were born. Come listen, laugh, join in, tap your finger on your temple and say “Hmmm?” then go back to your classroom (or back to your home) and TALK! No, not talk to your neighbor when you should be listening – talk about the ’Why’ stories you just heard! Hmmm.

Architects of Air (United Kingdom)
May 6-10
$5.00 tickets available on-site only

Built in 2011, the Miracoco luminarium is a stunning sculpture of light and color representing a new step in the evolution of luminarium design. Miracoco’s Centre Dome is more voluminous than any previous dome built. It’s is a monumental structure redolent of the Lotus Temple of India that features spiral lattices to create a display of glittering points of light on a field of iridescent hues.
Vivid reflections of liquid color spill across the curved walls creating a world apart from the normal and every day. The radiance of the daylight transmitted by colored PVC is surprising in its luminosity and makes a direct impact on the senses. Through labyrinthine tunnels and cavernous domes, you will move in a medium of saturated and subtle hues. You can wander freely or just lay back and enjoy the ambience.

No two visits are alike as the atmosphere inside alters according to changing weather and light. It is a paradox that such a stimulating environment can simultaneously be so calming. Many people try to put their experience into words – describing it as a visit to a futuristic space station or a journey inside the human body.

Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult (1 adult for 4 children).

Miracoco is fully accessible for wheelchair users and persons with physical disabilities.

Festival Activities & Workshops

FREE Activities on Star Plaza
Saturday, May 10
11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Balloon animals
Face Painting with Flower Entertainment, Inc.
Roaming Magicians
Chalk Art

FREE Concert
Justin Roberts and the Not Ready For Naptime Players
Saturday, May 10
Star Plaza
1:00 p.m. & 4:00 p.m.

GRAMMY Nominated, Justin Roberts is truly one of the “all-stars” of the indie family music scene. USA Today calls him “The Paul McCartney of kids music” and “Hands down the best singer in the genre.” With numerous national awards and recognition and a devoted fan base, Justin and The Not Ready for Naptime Players dish out unexpectedly intelligent and whimsically rocking music for kids and their parents.

FREE Craft Workshops / Idea Center
Saturday, May 10
11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Led by Michael Gill and Johnny Russell

Puppet Pals
Construct a puppet based on the whimsical marionette puppetry style found inPinocchio (Tout à Trac’s commedia dell’arte performance playing in the Ohio Theatre)

Deep Sea Discovery
Explore the creation of the beautiful water-based images seen inBleu!: The Mediterranean Sea (Compagnia T.P.O.’s multi-media dance piece playing in the Westfield Insurance Studio Theatre, Idea Center)

School Field Trips

Reservations are now being taken for school field trips to the International Children’s Festival. Educators can visit or call 216-348-7909 to find out more.

The International Children’s Theater Festival is made possible in part by support from University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, Kathy and Jim Pender and the Michael Pender Memorial Fund, PNC, the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation, Medical Mutual, the John P. Murphy Foundation, The Children’s Theatre Endowment established by the Junior League of Cleveland , The Laub Foundation and the William N. Skirball Endowment Fund.
The fifth annual International Children’s Theater Festival at PlayhouseSquare is supported in part by the residents of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.

The Ohio Arts Council helped fund the fifth annual International Children’s Theater Festival at PlayhouseSquare with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans.

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