Each May, Playhouse Square brings the world to Cleveland through the International Children’s Theater Festival presented by University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital. One of only four such festivals in the country, Playhouse Square’s offers children and families the opportunity to explore other cultures and enjoy the excitement of a visit to downtown Cleveland in a fun, welcoming environment.
This year’s International Children’s Theater Festival, which runs May 7-8, features three unique theater performances representing Australia, Ireland and U.S. Also, an interactive movement workshop led by Cleveland’s own Inlet Dance Theatre based on the award-winning children’s book What Do You Do With An Idea?.
In addition to the ticketed theater performances and workshop, Playhouse Square offers additional Festival experiences free of charge. Children can make crafts, create chalk art, visit the Cleveland Museum of Art’s Centennial Art Truck and join the University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Injury Prevention Center and become a Safety Detective. Fun crafts and games and even a photo op will help junior detectives learn important health and safety lessons. The activities include fun, hands-on learning to test safety knowledge and giveaways.
Polygot Theatre’s Ants, an interactive roving performance, will bring children together in a gentle and unusual landscaping project. Families can dance along with the premier purveyor of family funk and half-pint hip hop Secret Agent 23 Skidoo, performing on U.S. Bank Plaza under the GE Chandelier.
There also will be balloon and caricature artists, face painters and magicians waiting to delight and entertain. The following Playhouse Square neighborhood restaurants are offering special children’s menus during the Festival weekend: Cibreo, Cowell & Hubbard, DISTRICT, Dynomite Burgers, Encore at the Wyndham and Hofbrauhaus.
Tickets for International Children’s Theater Festival performances are on sale now at the Playhouse Square Ticket Office (1510 Euclid Ave.), online at playhousesquare.org/festival or by phone at 216-241-6000. Tickets for each performance are $10-15; What Do You Do With An Idea? workshop tickets are $5. Tickets for free activities are not required.