You can almost see a child’s imagination take flight once the curtain on a theatrical production goes up — and there’s nothing like watching a kid’s face light up in wonder while viewing a live performance on stage. Lucky for local families, there are an abundance of children’s theaters and stage performances in Portland geared especially for pint-size audience members. The shows put on at any of the following venues will engage kids via the dramatic arts. So cue the lights and get ready to settle into a seat at one of these entertaining shows.

Northwest Children’s Theater and School
Northwest Children’s Theater produces five shows per year for young audiences to delight in and the theater and school “has provided high-quality theater arts and education experiences to over one million children, families and students.” Currently on stage: Repunzel Uncut, and next up is the surefire hit, Richard Scarry’s Busy Town. If your kids catch the acting bug after seeing a show at Northwest Children’s Theater, enroll them in the award-winning theater camps put on by the company.

1819 NW Everett Street
Portland, Or 97209
503-222-2190
Box Office: 503-222-4480
Online: nwcts.org

Oregon Children’s Theater
Give your kids a taste of what attending a real, “grown-up” professional stage production feels like by treating them to a show at Oregon Children’s Theater. The Oregon Children’s Theater makes sure that their tickets are affordably priced for families, and kids and adults alike will be charmed by the beautiful venue, which further elevates the special occasion of attending the theater. Currently on stage at Newmark Theater through February 19th is The Magic School Bus Live: The Climate Change. Next up, Locomotion at Winningstad Theater.

Performances:
1111 SW Broadway at Main S
Portland, Or

Box Office:
1939 NE Sandy Blvd.
Portland, Or 97232
503-228-9571
Online: octc.org

Tears of Joy Puppet Theater
Tears of Joy also made our round-up of Portland’s best puppet shows for kids. Their Family Series of shows is not to be missed. More than a traditional puppet show, Tears of Joy pairs puppetry with theatrical performance, enriching viewers with an exciting, layered performance. Starting April 13th, attend the production of StellaLuna, the story of the popular baby fruit bat from the book by Jannelle Cannon, and featuring music by Portland’s gamelan orchestra, Venerable Showers of Beauty.

323 N.E. Wygant #201
Portland, Or 97211
503-248-0557 or 800-332-8692
Online: tojt.org

Imago
Performances at Imago are known to “defy classification,” while exposing families to new adventures in theater. The Imago Theater company tours internationally and also produces a season of shows at its home base in Portland. Actors in this company break the boundaries of typical theater by employing acrobatics, mime and dance to name just a few mediums these talented artists use to present magnificent stories on stage. Next up is Imago’s production of Snow , which offers this tantalizing description: “Two men and a woman find themselves in mysterious places—on the backs of giant elephants, at the helm of ancient sailboats, in medieval Europe battling 10’ giants. Imago’s creators, using their genius of theatrical illusion, build this production on a bare stage with three performers and 7,000 feet of white paper.”

17 SE 8th
Portland, Or 97214
503-231-9581
Online: imagotheatre.com

Local Middle School, High School and Community Theater Performances 
Keep abreast of your local middle school, high school and community theater’s schedules, as attending their stage performances is a wonderful way to introduce children to the dramatic arts. Further, ticket prices for productions on these scales are typically inexpensive, and you’ll be supporting young, aspiring thespians with your patronage.

– – Beth Shea