Stages, Sights & Sounds: Spring Theater Festival

Written by: Jara Kern

It’s a familiar refrain: “Mom? Dad? I’m bored.”

Aren’t you tired of hearing this? And these days, when kids have access to so much information and stimulation, it can be hard to find something to quell that boredom.

But we’ve got you covered. It’s boredom-stopping, absolutely absorbing, unique entertainment on a budget, perfect for the whole family. Stages, Sights & Sounds, our spring performing arts festival, is the only source in Chicago for family-friendly theater from Europe, Canada, and our fair city.

Our festival’s performances are kid-pleasers: they’ve got that slightly twisted take that piques a kid’s interest and are unlike anything they’ve ever seen. Shows include international artists who perform in English translation and wordless performances where gestures and objects convey the whole story.  You’ll be absorbed too, and you’ll forget you’re there “for the kids.”   The performances take place in spaces that are fairly small, letting you and the kids see and hear the artists up close—an unforgettable way to take in a performance of this quality.

This year’s edition of Stages, Sights & Sounds- our 13th- runs May 2–12 and includes over 35 performances. This year’s lineup features performers from France, Canada, Japan via the Czech Republic, and right here in Chicago. Shows are for children as young as 4, but please keep in mind that each of these shows is as captivating for adults as it is for children. Learn more about each show below and visit us on the web to watch video clips, view schedules, and purchase tickets (starting at just $5 for kids).   

Vélo Théâtre: The PostmanFrom France, for ages 4+, May 2–9 at the MCA Theater, Chicago: Laden with letters and packages to deliver, a postman sets out on his bicycle. Opening one of the packages, he discovers a fantastic and magical world inside. One package—and adventure—leads to another in this wordless play. NPN BONUS: 5 pairs of free tickets to show and private reception with artists on May 3, 7pm at Musuem of Contemporary Art Chicago theatre, first come first served. Redeem by phone through the CHF Box Office's line at 312-661-1028 ext. 735.

Susanna Hamnett: Nearly LearFrom Canada, for ages 12+, May 3–12 at the Josephine Louis Theater, Evanston: Told entirely by one actor, Nearly Lear upends expectations of what a Shakespeare play should be and uses exuberant storytelling, music, and film to take its audience into the heart of this great tale. Seen through the eyes of Lear’s devoted clown, the story is not only poignant and tragic, but also gentle, mischievous, and funny. NPN BONUS: 5 pairs of free tickets to show/reception on May 4, in Evanston at the Josephine Louis Theater at Northwestern University at 7 pm, first come first served. Redeem by phone through the CHF Box Office's line at 312-661-1028 ext. 735.

NPN PARENT PERK! Discount of 10% on all ticket orders through the festival, when tickets are purchased in advance. This offer can be redeemed online or by phone and requires the code "npnoffer2012."  You can also call the CHF Box Office for more information and to purchase tickets by phone. The CHF Box Office is open Monday through Friday, 10 am to 5 pm, at 312-494-9509.

Check out these other performances too! 

Theater Un•Speak•Able: Superman 2050From Chicago, for ages 7+, May 2–6 at the Josephine Louis Theater in Evanston: Epic story, pocket proportions—seven actors share a tiny 3-by-7 feet platform, and upon it an original Superman tale unfolds.

DynamO Théâtre: Mur-Mur (The Wall)From Canada, for ages 7+, May 6–12 at the MCA Theater, Chicago: Montreal’s DynamO Théâtre performs internationally renowned acrobatic theater.

Nori Sawa: Fairy TalesFrom Japan/Czech Republic, for ages 5+, May 9–12 at the Josephine Louis Theater, Evanston: Solo puppeteer Nori Sawa delivers fresh takes on classic fairy tales.

Posted on April 28, 2012 at 5:02 PM