Wednesday, November 29, 2017


ChiIL Mama's Chi, IL Picks List: 
Family Friendly Fun For The Littlest Theatre Lovers 


**Created for Children ages 2 to 6**

ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar:
Kids turn levers, pull cranks at The Beatrix Potter 
Holiday Tea Party

Looking for a charming, heart-warming new holiday tradition for the entire family?

Look no further than The Beatrix Potter Holiday Tea Party, playing Saturdays and Sundays, December 2-17, 2017 at Chicago Children’s Theatre, The Station, 100 S. Racine Ave., in the heart of Chicago’s West Loop.

At this latest installment in CCT’s annual Potter holiday trunk show series, children of all ages not only get to see a great show, but they are cordially invited to enjoy tea or hot cocoa with Chicago Children’s Theatre’s best friends from Beatrix Potter’s beloved English Lake District.

That’s right, Peter Rabbit, Mr. Jeremy Fisher and Simpkin the cat all play major roles in this highly interactive, trunk and puppet show, complete with live music and mechanical pulls and levers that kids get to turn and crank to help tell every family’s favorite Beatrix Potter animal tales.

Children, especially ages 2 to 6, will be delighted by The Beatrix Potter Holiday Tea Party as soon as they walk through the door of Chicago Children’s Theatre’s new home, The Station. The party begins with a “toddler-timed,” 45-minute performance of three enchanting Beatrix Potter stories. Immediately after, kids are invited on the set for 15 minutes to explore and play with the ingenious mechanical “suitcase sculptures” custom-built for this production, and to meet and pose for photos with the cast.

When families emerge from Chicago Children’s Theatre’s new Pritzker Family Theatre, they’ll find the lobby decorated like a Victorian holiday parlor. CCT artists in Victorian garb will welcome kids and guide them to craft stations where they can create their own beautiful snowflakes. Kids will be treated to hot cocoa and scrumptious cookies, with tea and coffee available for adults.

The Beatrix Potter Holiday Tea Party runs December 2-17, Saturdays and Sundays at 11:30 a.m. or 3 p.m.

Tickets are $47, and include the show, crafts and tea party. Purchase tickets online at or call the Chicago Children’s Theatre box office,
(872) 222-9555.

Note: CCT also offers discounted rates for playgroups, birthday parties and other groups. Email or call (872) 222-9555 for more information.

Even better, save money by including the Beatrix Potter Holiday Tea Party in a 2017-18 Chicago Children’s Theatre subscription. Multi-show subscription benefits include flexible ticketing exchange, a 10% discount and no processing fees on additional tickets, and discounts on CCT classes and camps.

For subscription information, visit or call (872) 222-9555.

More about The Beatrix Potter Holiday Tea Party

“Exquisite” is how the Chicago Reader described Chicago Children’s Theatre’s 2015 world premiere of A Snowy Day with Beatrix Potter & Friends, the first installment in the series, also directed by Will Bishop and designed by Grace Needleman. Last season saw the highly successful debut of a sequel, Another Snowy Day with Beatrix Potter & Friends, which was performed at several unique locations around the city.

This year, however, “Everything’s happening at The Station” is the clarion call now that Chicago Children’s Theatre has moved into The Station, its new, permanent home in Chicago’s West Loop, which is ideally suited to host families for a performance coupled with a holiday tea party.

Will Bishop, director and writer of CCT’s Beatrix Potter series, is a full-time staff member at Chicago Children’s Theatre where he serves as Production Manager for all shows. With CCT, he has designed Red Kite shows for children on the autism spectrum, a collaboration with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and is designing scenery and costumes for the upcoming My Wonderful Birthday Suit! He has also produced with and been produced at Redmoon, First Floor Theater, The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, The Chicago Park District, BrainFrame, Corner Gallery, The University of Chicago, Second Floor Rear, The Toledo Museum of Art, and Hermes Boutiques in Nagoya, Japan and Hangzhou, China. He moonlights as the co-creator and designer of the Wonder Wagon, a mobile puppet theatre, which tours free shows to Chicago Parks every summer.

Grace Needleman (designer) is an artist, designer, educator, and museum worker preoccupied with questions about art in society. Her mask and puppet designs have appeared in productions at Chicago Children’s Theatre, the Actor’s Gymnasium, Rough House and Redmoon. She is an Artistic Associate at Rough House, and co-curator of Nasty, Brutish & Short at Links Hall. She is currently the Programmer of Education: Family and Youth Programs at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and has worked as a teaching artist at Chicago Children’s Theatre, After School Matters, Urban Gateways, the Smart Museum, Arts + Public Life and Redmoon. Needleman graduated with a MA in Contemporary Art Theory from Goldsmiths University of London, and a BA in fine art from Yale University.

From left: Lara Carling, Kay Kron and Ray Rehberg

The Beatrix Potter Holiday Tea Party is devised and performed by Lara Carling, Kay Kron and Ray Rehberg. Becca Jeffords is lighting designer. David K. Samba is sound designer.

Beatrix Potter (1866-1943) was a British writer, illustrator and conservationist best remembered for her best-selling children’s books that combined her love for animals and the English countryside. During her childhood in England’s Lake District, she looked after many animals including rabbits, frogs and even bats. She drew these animals throughout her youth, gradually improving the standard of her drawings. In her 20s she sought to try and get her children’s book and drawings published. Her initial attempts proved unsuccessful, but she persevered and eventually her first book The Tale of Peter Rabbit, was published in 1902, when she was 36. Today, Peter Rabbit is one of the most beloved children’s books of all time. In sum, Potter wrote 24 books. Some of her best know titles include The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle, The Tale of the Pie and the Patty-Pan and The Tale of Mr. Jeremy Fisher. For more information, visit the Beatrix Potter Society,

About Chicago Children’s Theatre, The Station

Chicago Children’s Theatre has transformed the former 12th District Police Station, located in the heart of Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood at 100 S. Racine Avenue, at the intersection of Racine and Monroe Street, into its first permanent home. The new Chicago Children’s Theatre, The Station, opened its doors in January 2017, and now serves as a beautiful, mixed-use performing arts, education and community engagement facility that welcomes all Chicago families.

Savvy, culturally inclined families know they can save lots of money with a variety of Chicago Children’s Theatre 2017-18 multi-show Subscription Packages, now on sale at or by calling (872) 222-9555.

Choose between pre-built packages or a Choose Your Own package for maximum flexibility. Younger Audience Fixed Packages, recommended for ages 2 to 6, include Chicago Children’s Theatre’s current smash hit, A Year with Frog and Toad, running now through October 29, plus The Beatrix Potter Holiday Tea Party and My Wonderful Birthday Suit! Older Audience Fixed Packages, recommended for ages 6 and up, include A Year with Frog and Toad, along with new productions in 2018 of An Epic Tale of Scale and Last Stop on Market Street.

Fixed Packages are $100. Benefits of subscription packages include flexible ticketing exchange, a 10% discount and no processing fees on additional tickets. 

In addition to a full slate of shows in the new Pritzker Family Studio, Chicago Children’s Theatre, The Station, is also home to four classrooms hosting a year-round roster of performing arts classes and camps for children ages 0 to 14.

Registration is now open for the upcoming Winter session, January 22-March 17, 2018. Visit to sign your children up for Improv with The Second City!, Old Town School of Folk Music’s Wiggleworms classes, aerial arts with Actor’s Gymnasium, Hip Hop 4 Totz, Bubble Jams, Taking the Stage and more. 

Additionally, CCT now has its own dedicated space at The Station for Red Kite programming for children on the autism spectrum and other special needs. These children have opportunities to participate in Red Kite Adventures and CCT’s annual Camp Red Kite, the only summer arts camp of its kind in Chicago. Visit to learn more.

About Chicago Children’s Theatre

Since its launch in 2005, Chicago Children’s Theatre has cemented its reputation as the city’s largest professional theater company devoted exclusively to children and young families.

The company evolved out of Chicago’s need for high-quality, professional year-round children’s programming to match the quality and significance of theatrical powerhouses such as Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Goodman Theatre and Lookingglass Theatre.

Likewise, CCT has always believed children should be treated as the sophisticated audiences that they are, showcasing high profile and award-winning talent, inventive production values and compelling stories that challenge, educate and entertain.

Audiences have embraced Chicago Children’s Theatre since its inaugural production, A Year with Frog and Toad, at the Goodman Theatre in 2006. Since then, CCT’s productions have featured everything from black-light scenery to live music to interactive four-dimensional sets to life-size puppets, with performances showcasing the heart of Motown to Vaudeville to contemporary, current and modern styles.

CCT has also built a national reputation due to its focus on new work, producing 16 world premieres in the last 11 years including The Selfish Giant, The Hundred Dresses, Jackie and Me, Dot and Ziggy, The Houdini Box, The Elephant and The Whale (in association with Redmoon), Mr. Chickee’s Funny Money, Leo Lionni’s Frederick, Wonderland, Alice’s Rock & Roll Adventure, A Snowy Day with Beatrix Potter, Jabari Dreams of Freedom, Another Snowy Day with Beatrix Potter, Manual Cinema’s The Magic City and The Year I Didn’t Go To School: A Homemade Circus. These enjoyed successful inaugural runs in Chicago, many followed by productions at theaters across the U.S.

CCT has always honored a strong commitment to low-income families and children with special needs. In partnership with Chicago Public Schools, the company offers free tickets to more than 5,000 Chicago-area low-income students each season.

Chicago Children’s Theatre is led by Co-Founders, Artistic Director Jacqueline Russell and Board Chair Todd Leland, Community Programs Artistic Director Frank Maugeri, and Board President Eric Neveux. The company is supported by a dedicated staff and dynamic Board of Directors comprised of leaders from the fields of entertainment, philanthropy and business. Chicago Children's Theatre is sponsored in part by ComEd, Goldman Sachs Gives and JP Morgan Chase.

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