Back for its fifth year, kids of all ages are encouraged to dress in their holiday finest, or just come as they are, to this incredibly charming, meticulously designed puppet show starring Peter Rabbit and his favorite animal friends.
Chicago Children’s Theatre’s Beatrix Potter Holiday Tea Party has become a popular way for Chicago families to kick off their holiday season. Just ask the Chicago Reader who called it “dazzling, brisk at under an hour, and sweet as can be.”
Ray Rehberg, Kay Kron and Lara Carling star in The Beatrix Potter Holiday Tea Party, returning for its fifth season, December 7-29 at Chicago Children's Theatre, The Station.
Kids, and parents, are always amazed as three multi-talented actors unspool four adorable Beatrix Potter stories, while operating ingenious mechanical “suitcase sculptures, each packed with delightful 3D puppetry.
This year, The Beatrix Potter Holiday Tea Party boasts four enchanting stories – The Tale of Peter Rabbit, The Tale of Jeremy Fisher, The Tailor of Gloucester and The Tale of Mrs. Tittlemouse.
But The Beatrix Potter Holiday Tea Party is much more then a sit-and-watch show. After the stories, the audience is invited on stage to pull levers and turn cranks that reveal magical 3D images of surprise and delight.
After photos with the cast, families meander to a Victorian-style dining hall, adorned with beautiful holiday decor and communal tables pre-set with cookies, warm cocoa and coloring activities.
The Beatrix Potter Holiday Tea Party is presented as a limited engagement, weekends only, December 7-29, at Chicago Children’s Theatre, The Station, 100 S. Racine Ave. in Chicago’s West Loop. Show times are Saturday and Sunday at 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Press are invited to attend either show on Saturday, December 7.
Additional holiday week performances are Monday, December 23 at 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m., and Christmas Eve performances Tuesday, December 24 at 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Run time is 60 minutes with no intermission.
Don’t wait, reserve now as performances do sell out. Single tickets are $45-$55 including fees. Even better, give your family the gift of live theater by including The Beatrix Potter Holiday Tea Party in a 2019-20 Chicago Children’s Theatre subscription package. For tickets, subscriptions and discounted rates for groups of 8 or more, visit chicagochildrenstheatre.org or call Chicago Children’s Theatre Guest Services, (312) 374-8835.
Chicago Children’s Theatre is a “no shushing” theater. The company’s home, The Station, is centrally located in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood, minutes from I-90 and I-290, as well as downtown and Ashland Avenue. Chicago Children’s Theatre offers free onsite parking at The Station on the south side of the building, enter from Racine Ave. Nearby street parking is available on weekends, or try the Impark parking lot, 1301 W. Madison St.
Click here for these and many more photos of The Beatrix Potter Holiday Tea Party.
Access Weekend for The Beatrix Potter Holiday Tea Party is December 14 and 15
CCT continues to grow its commitment to all Chicago children at The Station by expanding services for patrons with disabilities. Access Weekend is December 14 and 15. Services include:
- ASL interpretation and Open Captioning: Saturday, December 14, 11:30 a.m.
- Tour Tour: Saturday, December 14, 1 p.m., before the 2 p.m. show
- Sensory Friendly: Sunday, December 15, 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Behind the Scenes of The Beatrix Potter Holiday Tea Party
Chicago Children’s Theatre’s Beatrix Potter series is devised by Will Bishop, Lara Carling, Kay Kron, Grace Needlman and Ray Rehberg.
Prinicipal performers are Lara Carling, Kay Kron, with Ray Rehberg on violin and other instruments.
Director is Will Bishop. Designer is Grace Needlman. Music is written and performed by Ray Rehberg. Lighting designer is Becca Jeffords. Sound designer is David K. Samba. Jay Epps is stage manager.
This current production is fresh off a sold-out summer tour to the 9th Annual China Children's Theatre Festival in Beijing and Jinan.
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, beatrixpottersociety.org.uk.
Chicago Children’s Theatre’s 2019-20 Season: A Season to Celebrate
In addition to The Beatrix Potter Holiday Tea Party, Chicago Children’s Theatre just announced a one-month extension of its smash hit season opener, The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show, playing now through December 1.
After the new year, Chicago Children’s Theatre will debut a new “mom & tot” show Wake Up, Brother Bear!, January 21 – February 16, 2020; a new Red Kite, Brown Box production for children on the autism spectrum, February 28-March 21, 2020; and the Chicago premiere of Me…Jane: The Dreams & Adventures of a Young Jane Goodall, March 31-April 26, 2020.
Chicago Children’s Theatre 2019-20 Subscription Packages are on sale now, starting at just $80 for three shows. Subscribers save up to 30% on single tickets and fees and received many other perks including 15 percent off all camps, and 10 percent off classes and birthday party rental fees. Visit chicagochildrenstheatre.org or call Chicago Children’s Theatre Guest Services, (312) 374-8835, to subscribe.
About Chicago Children’s Theatre
Led by Founding Artistic Director, Jacqueline Russell, Chicago Children’s Theatre was founded in 2005 with a big idea: Chicago is the greatest theater city in the world, and it deserves a great children’s theater.
Fourteen years later, CCT is Chicago’s largest professional theater company devoted exclusively to children and young families. It has established a national reputation for the production of first-rate children’s theater, with professional writing, performing, and directorial talent and high-quality design and production expertise.
Chicago Children’s Theatre remains dedicated to creating awe-inspiring theatrical productions and programs through inclusion and accessibility, and inspiring young people and families to lead lives of adventure, courage and curiosity. Since its founding, Chicago Children’s Theatre has produced 20 world premieres including The Selfish Giant, The Hundred Dresses, Jackie and Me, The Houdini Box, Mr. Chickee’s Funny Money, Leo Lionni’s Frederick, Wonderland, Alice’s Rock & Roll Adventure, Jabari Dreams of Freedom, The Year I Didn’t Go To School: A Homemade Circus, Manual Cinema’s Magic City, My Wonderful Birthday Suit!, Last Stop on Market Street, X Marks the Spot, The World Inside Me (with New York’s Spellbound Theatre) and The Watsons Go To Birmingham - 1963. These productions enjoyed successful inaugural runs in Chicago, many followed by productions at theaters across the U.S.
Earlier this year, Chicago Children’s Theatre won the 2019 National TYA Artistic Innovation Award from Theatre of Young Audiences/USA, the national service organization supporting, connecting and advocating for the field of theater for young audiences. In addition, Chicago Children’s Theatre has garnered six NEA Art Works grants, and in 2017, became the first theater for young audiences in the U.S. to win a National Theatre Award from the American Theatre Wing, creators of the Tony Awards.
In January 2017, the company celebrated the opening of its new, permanent home, Chicago Children’s Theatre, The Station, located at 100 S. Racine Avenue in Chicago’s West Loop community. The building, formerly the Chicago Police Station for the 12th District, was repurposed into a beautiful, LEED Gold-certified, mixed-use performing arts, education and community engagement facility that now welcomes all Chicago families.
CCT offers free tickets to more than 5,000 low-income students each season in partnership with Chicago Public Schools. CCT also continues to grow its performing arts and STEAM education programs, offering classes, workshops, winter and spring break camps, and summer camps for ages 0 to 13.
In addition to leading the company’s new play development, mainstage and education programs, Jacqueline Russell is the creator of Chicago Children’s Theatre’s Red Kite Project, a multi-sensory interactive theatre program tailored specifically to children with special needs. Last season, Russell created and directed X Marks the Spot, a multi-sensory experience inspired by her work with children with visual impairments, which will tour Chicago area schools this fall. In 2010, she was appointed by the U.S. State Department to serve as Cultural Envoy to Canada, was awarded the 2013 “Hero of the Year Award” from the Chicago chapter of Autism Speaks, and was honored as one of 20 Chicago women who have shaped arts and culture featured on Kerry James Marshall's mural “Rushmore” on the west façade of the Chicago Culture Center.
Chicago Children’s Theatre is led by Co-Founders, Artistic Director Jacqueline Russell and Board Chair Todd Leland, with Board President Armando Chacon.
For more, visit chicagochildrenstheatre.org.