From June through September, our talented children's theatre casts brings stories from around the world to life.
Youth Theatre participants receive over 50 hours of performing arts training with professional artists and educators, and will portray characters from folklore and children’s literature in stage productions at the park.
Our 2023 shows are:
Jack and the Bean Stock
By Marilee Jackson
Fee Fi Fo Fum! I smell…bean soup? Join our returning Children’s Theatre performers for this hilarious retelling of “Jack and the Beanstalk”. Jack Be Nimble stumbles into the wrong fairytale, and while there, decides to make some changes to the story…Come help Jack change the play and get your heaping helping of full belly laughter at the same time! Performed with permission of Plays Magazine, Inc.
Performance Days: June 10, June 17, July 15-16, August 5-6, August 26-27 and September 23
Sharing is caring, but not in this village! Come join three traveling strangers as they teach the villagers of Glen that a little kindness goes a long way and can feed a few empty tummies, too. Based on the classic folk tale and written by our Fairyland playwrights.
Performance Days: June 10-11, July 8-9, July 29-30, August 19-20 and September 16-17
by Cris Harding
Yo ho ho ho, a pirate’s life for me! Come join two rival pirate bands as they follow a treasure map across Children’s Fairyland! Will our pirates discover that sharing silver and gold—new friends and old—is better than feuding? If ye be brave enough, come find out for ye-self! Performed with permission of Plays Magazine, Inc.
Performance Days: June 10, June 24-25, July 22-23, August 12-13 and September 9-10
Why these plays?
For our 2023 season, our Stories Committee gave our theatre team the challenge of crafting a season of plays surrounding the theme of “belonging”. Each play was chosen with this theme in mind, and, for the liveliness and theatricality that each production can offer to our Children’s Fairyland community. The performances are intended to be engaging learning opportunities full of enjoyment for you and your little ones! Expressions of kindness, love, sharing, and friendship are key for fostering belonging in any community and we hope that you feel each one of these through our productions.
History of Children's Theatre
Since 1957, Fairyland has been encouraging children to create their own live theater in the park. Starting with teenage Storybook Hosts in ’57, and becoming the Fairyland Personalities in 1960, the program evolved into The Children’s Theater program and has been lead by Dr. Doyle Ott since 2008. In the theater program, children ages 8 - 11 portray characters from world folklore and Children’s literature in stage productions. They also make outside appearances representing the park at community events and parades. Auditions for the Children’s Theater Program are held once a year in January/February. Find out about the audition process.
More about Aesop's Playhouse
Aesop’s Playhouse accommodates over 200 people in festival seating and was funded entirely by Oakland’s Measure DD, a $198.25 million bond measure passed by voters in 2002. Oakland-based Ace Architects designed the structure; Scientific Art Studio of Richmond created the fanciful sculptures of Aesop and his characters.
In addition to our own children’s theater, our playhouse has hosted the Bay Area Children’s Theatre, Oakland School for the Arts, the Pacific Boychoir, the Oakland Ballet Company, popular characters from KQED, and a host of young performers from local schools and community arts groups.