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It’s that time of the year, when all the wonderful festivals start up. Pittsburgh is so lucky to have a eclectic variety of Arts, Education and Entertainment opportunities. Thanks to the PITTSBURGH CULTURAL TRUST we will be 30TH ANNUAL EQT CHILDREN’S THEATER FESTIVAL
The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust announces the EQT Children’s Theater Festival will be held May 12-15, 2016 in the Cultural District, downtown Pittsburgh. Celebrating three decades of outstanding international children’s programming, this year’s EQT Children’s Theater Festival has expanded its focus by offering a variety of events for all ages ̶ from babies to teens and their families. Highlights of the festival offerings include sensory-friendly performances, a U.S. premiere and Pittsburgh premiere as part of a first U.S. cities national tour. The festival is programmed by the Children’s Theater Series and Festival division of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.
The EQT Children’s Theater Festival features ticketed performances by seven award winning theater companies from Canada, Northern Ireland, Mexico, Peru, Scotland and the United States. Festival goers can enjoy over 35 free things to see and do, including hands-on activities, public art and music at a variety of outdoor pop-up green spaces and indoor lobbies located through the Cultural District. New festival event locations in the Cultural District have been added including EQT Plaza (625 Liberty Avenue), August Wilson Center and Trust Arts Education Center.
For 30 years, the EQT Children’s Theater Festival has been bringing to the community the diversity and culture of international arts and entertainment without having to leave the Pittsburgh area! The festival has featured performing artists from countries around the world and from six continents and it is known for presenting unique, globally inspired arts, music, one of a kind installations, premieres and unique free hands-on activities for any age. The festival welcomes everyone to participate in the educational and cultural experiences that bring people together while enjoying elements of fun and surprise. A full day can be planned that will range from theater to visual arts and more! Opening doors for children of all ages to experience professional performing arts programming that inspires, challenges, educates, and stimulates respect for and an understanding of all cultures in an entertaining and enlightening way continues to be at the heart of the festival’s mission.
Featured Ticketed Performances
All ticketed performances will take place in the Cultural District. For tickets and information visit www.TrustArts.org/PGHKids, call 412-456-6666 or in person at Theater Square Box Office, 655 Penn Avenue. For a full description of each Featured Ticketed Performance, including performance times, please visit www.TrustArts.org/PGHKids.
Air Play by ACROBUFFOS (United States)
All Ages | 60 minutes
Venue: Byham Theater, 101 6th Street
Air Play performance on Saturday, May 14 at 1:30pm is sensory-friendly.
Air Play is a comic adventure on an epic scale. It’s an innovative and spectacular new show for audiences of all ages. Created by the world famous comedic duo from New York City, Seth Bloom and Christina Gelsone, Air Play packs small, plays big and successfully merges the high art of Daniel Wurtzel’s extraordinary air sculptures with Seth and Christina’s crowd-pleasing comedy.
Acrobuffos join their hilarious comedy with the beauty of artist Daniel Wurtzel’s air sculptures, creating a wordless spectacle for international audiences that is equally at home in both the circus and modern art museum.
Air Play is an intended pun. Besides physically playing with air, the show soundtrack spins the radio dial creating an auditory “air play”. Drawn from the extensive world travels of Seth Bloom and Christina Gelsone, Air Play’s music encompasses Balkan gypsy music, Nordic boys’ choirs, symphony orchestras, Italian avant-garde, Appalachian ballads, and more.
Flying umbrellas, larger-than-life balloons, kites that float over the audience and the biggest snow globe you’ve ever seen will make you gasp in wonder and laugh until it hurts. Air Play is a visual poem to childhood, to the rite of passage in growing up while continuing to look at the world in childlike wonder.
PEEK by Teatro al Vacio (Mexico)
AGES 0-3 and their grown-ups* | 30 minutes
Location: August Wilson Center, Studio, 980 Liberty Avenue
Babies and toddlers are welcomed into a space created just for them filled with eye-catching colors and textures. The adventure begins as a game. It is a place from which to discover and understand the world. A space to communicate and connect with others both big and small. A young one’s grown-ups will be delighted by the often unexpected reactions that fill the environment. This event is a U.S. premiere. Teatro al Vacio returns to the festival line-up, following a successful and acclaimed performance of UMBO at the EQT Children’s Theater Festival in 2015.
*All children require a ticket, accompanied by an adult. Additional adult companions and guests will be seated in chairs surrounding the play space.
GOODNIGHT MOON AND THE RUNAWAY BUNNY by Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia (Canada)
3-8 years old | 60 minutes
Venue: August Wilson Center, 980 Liberty Avenue
Goodnight Moon performance on Saturday, May 14, at 11:45 a.m. is sensory-friendly.
Goodnight Moon is a celebration of familiar nighttime rituals, while The Runaway Bunny’s pretend tale of leaving home evokes reassuring responses from his loving mum. Both tales feature endearing rabbit characters, and the soothing rhythms of bunny banter and dream-like imagery never fail to infuse young readers with a reassuring sense of security. Mermaid’s staged adaptation will bring a new sense of appreciation to stories that have delighted several generations.
Company website: http://mermaidtheatre.ca/for-families/our-productions-2/goodnight-moon-f/
Links to video excerpts: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQLzuh9C4YE
EGG by Cahoots NI (Belfast, Northern Ireland)
3-7 years old | 40 minutes
Venue: Trust Arts Education Center, Peirce Studio, 805-807 Liberty Avenue
Egg is all about magic and music and an egg. The delightful story unfolds on a tiny, rustic set, exquisitely constructed out of twigs, feathers and shell. Join 3 madcap birds on an adventure of a lifetime as they grapple with growing up and giving in to their natural instincts to take flight. And then of course they meet an egg!
SHORT STORIES by Teatro Hugo e Ines (Peru)
AGES 7+ | 55 minutes
Venue: August Wilson Center, 980 Liberty Avenue
Also part of the EQT Bridge Theater Series.
With amazing dexterity and delightful creativity, Teatro Hugo e Ines transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary with their unique blend of mime, dance and puppetry. Short Stories include a riot of characters composed of knees, feet, hands, elbows and a handful of props playing out the poetic moments of daily life.
Company website: https://hugoeines.wordpress.com/
Link to video excerpts: http://danceinteractive.jacobspillow.org/dance/teatro-hugo-ines
TITUS by Red Bridge Arts (Scotland)
AGES 10-Adult | 40 minutes
Venue: Trust Arts Education Center, Peirce Studio, 805-807 Liberty Avenue
Also part of the EQT Bridge Theater Series and Red Bridge Arts U.S. cities tour.
Meet Titus. He’s a boy in a situation that seems hopeless. He thinks the truth is boring. He can choose to take flight or meet his problems head on. Don’t miss this show about finding yourself complete with pigs that fall in love and crows that talk. Titus, originally written by Jan Sobrie, was awarded the Dutch-German Author Prize in 2007 and is considered one of Europe’s most successful plays for young people. This new English version, written by Oliver Emanuel and directed by Lu Kemp, won the 2015 International Performing Arts for Youth’s Victor Award for best theater production. This event in Pittsburgh is also part of Red Bridge Arts’ first U.S. cities national tour.
Company website: http://redbridgearts.co.uk/
Link to video excerpts: http://vimeo.com/macrobertproductions/review/98538414/d74ac0c652
THE SHEEP by Corpus (Canada)
AGES 3-Adult | 35 minutes
Location: Outdoors in the Cultural District
Reality meets fantasy in this wordless live installation that recreates a country scene in a typical urban setting. Travel to a strange & hilarious universe and observe a surrealistic overview of sheep behavior and routine activities including shearing, feeding, milking and many more…This truly innovative performance twists reality in surprising ways and takes audience interaction to new heights! The Sheep is made possible in-part by the Maranne P. Welch Family Endowment. Established in 2015, the Maranne P. Welch Family Endowment supports adventurous theater for young audiences.
Company website: http://corpus.ca/
Links to video excerpts: https://player.vimeo.com/video/82388369
Sensory-Friendly Performances Schedule
Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny, Saturday, May 14, at 11:45 a.m.
Air Play, Saturday, May 14, at 1:30 p.m.
The festival grounds will include a variety of food options and vendors, visual art programming at local galleries, pop-up green spaces, free hands-on activities, and free outdoor performances coordinated with Youth Express. The festival will include street closure and bike lane closure on Penn Avenue between 7th and 9th Streets and provide crossing and security guards, festival guides, volunteers, staff and directional signage to help visitors plan their day and navigate events. Festival hours are 10:00am-2:00pm on Thursday, May 12 and 10:00am-7:00pm on Friday, May 13, Saturday, May 14 and Sunday, May 15, 2016.
Parking and Transportation
The Cultural District is located in downtown Pittsburgh, along Penn Avenue and Liberty Avenue, between the David L. Lawrence Convention Center and Stanwix Street. www.TrustArts.org/visit
Reserve discounted parking vouchers in the heart of the Cultural District at Theater Square Parking Garage. A limited number of vouchers will be held for Festival visitors each day. To reserve your parking voucher, call 412-456-6666 or visit the Box Office at Theater Square.
Festival travel as convenient and comfortable as possible! For information about parking lots and garages in the Cultural District, visit www.ParkPGH.org. This site shows real-time parking availability in over 20 downtown parking lots with parking inventory updates every 30 seconds.
The Cultural District is serviced by public transportation options through the Port Authority of Allegheny County. For more information, visit www.TrustArts.org/visit/public_transportaion/.
The Festival grounds and featured performance venues are fully handicapped accessible. ASL interpreters are provided for featured performances upon request when requests are made at least 10 business days in advance. For information and questions, please call (412) 456-6666.
Other accessibility offerings include:
- Wheelchair-accessible restrooms located at Theater Square.
- ADA-compliant cable covers are used throughout the outdoor pop-up spaces, where applicable.
- Guide animals are welcome in all Festival locations.
- Large-print programs are available at information booths.
- Sensory-Friendly Performances
For more on accessibility, please visit TrustArts.org/Accessibility.
Tickets and Information
Tickets are $9 for featured performances. Flex Vouchers from the Citizens Bank Children’s Theater Series and EQT Bridge Theater Series are honored for all ticketed events taking place during the festival. Multi-show packs are available and offered for as low as $6 per show! Visit www.TrustArts.org/PGHkids, call (412) 456-6666, or pick up tickets in person at Theater Square Box Office, 655 Penn Avenue. For groups of 10+ call (412) 471-6930, or visit GroupSales@TrustArts.org.
Information booths will be open during festival hours providing information, tickets and merchandise. Each Featured Performance venue will have staff on-site 60 minutes prior to show time.
Thursday, May 12, 2016: 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
Friday, May 13, Saturday, May 14 and Sunday May 15, 2016: 10:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.
Thanks to the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust I have a Family 4 Pack to giveaway to one lucky winner. This giveaway will run from 5/3/16 – 5/8/16 all you have to do to redeem is call the box office or go to a ticket window. You must call ahead to make sure there are seats available, can not be redeemed the day of the show. Please click on the link below. Good luck!