It is never too early to expose your munchkins to the arts, but if the idea of convincing your little one to sit quietly in a packed house for two full acts makes you squirm, then these are the theatre experiences for you.  Interactive children’s theatre gets kids in on the action, encouraging them to play pretend right along with the actors.  But if your kiddo is a bit of a wallflower, don’t worry.  There’s no pressure to participate and plenty of encouragement to observe.

Story Pirates, Westwood
Working through the Geffen, the Story Pirates do something truly amazing.  They have created children’s theatre from the stories of children.  With in-school workshops in Los Angeles and New York, these pirates have cobbled together an action-packed romp through the imaginations of kids.  Through song, dance, puppetry and play, this talented troupe presents a raucous, action packed show sure to get the grownups giggling as much as the kiddos.  Every show features one new story authored by a child in attendance.  For information on how to submit your child’s story, check their webpage.

10920 Kinross Avenue
Los Angeles, Ca 90024

Saturdays at 2:00pm
Tickets $15

Glendale Centre Theatre, Glendale
With fresh takes on classic fairy tales, the Glendale Centre’s children’s shows are just the right combination of whimsy and fun.  With most productions, the spirited casts pulls kids from the audience to share the spotlight on stage during the large musical numbers. An intimate theatre in the round, it’s hard to not feel like you and your family are part of the action.

324 North Orange Street
Glendale, Ca 91203

Saturdays at 11:00am
Adults $13
Children $12

The West Valley Playhouse, Canoga Park
An innovative young team has taken over the children’s shows at the West Valley Playhouse.  With minimal props and set, they transform the stage into a canvas for delightful re-imaginings of fables and tall tales.  Engaging the audience with silliness and heart, these are great shows for even the tiniest tots.

7242 Owensmouth Avenue
Canoga Park, Ca 91303

Saturdays at 10:00am and 1:00pm
Adults $12
Children $8

Joy Theatre, North Hollywood
Have a tiny who loves to laugh, but is too little for the antics of Saturday Night Live? Then you should check out the Joy Theatre’s for kids, by kids improv and sketch shows. With a host of age appropriate shows and classes you are sure to find something to tickle your budding comedian’s funny bone. If they are feeling brave, they may even get a chance to join the fun.  Check the website for a complete schedule of shows and dates.

5233 Lankershim Boulevard North
Hollywood, Ca 91601

Theatre West’s Storybook Theatre, Universal City
Home to one of Los Angeles’s oldest continuously operating theatre companies, Theatre West puts on non-threatening, interactive, musical productions, perfect for kids 3-9.  Funny, fast paced, and fantastic, these are shows the whole family is sure to love.  A lovely space, there is not a bad seat in the house.  Storybook Theatre is great at taking a family favorite, and making it feel new again.

3333 Cahuenga Boulevard West
Los Angeles, Ca 90068

Saturdays at 1:00pm
Adults $12
Children $10

Let us know in the comment section below your fave place for children’s theater.

— Kate Felton

photo courtesy of the Glendale Centre Theatre