Many of our kids’ theater productions go into hiatus when the weather heats up to make way for summer classes and camps. Don’t miss your chance to watch talented local thespians, puppeteers, and acrobats shine onstage with your little theater-goers with the following live performances before school’s out.

Tears of Joy When Animals Were Human

photo: courtesy of Tears of Joy Theatre

Tears of Joy Theatre: When Animals Were People
A “wise vulture and a wayward wolf” help tell the tale of When Animals Were People, a bilingual fable from Huichol Indians of Mexico. Paired with this story is The Lazy Bee, by I-Iqracio Quiroga from Argentina, where a blasé bee learns her lesson about shirking work. Kids of all ages love the artistry and magic of the puppets, but this show is recommended for ages 4 & up, especially 1st-3rd grade.

Apr. 10-19
Imago Theatre
17 SE 8th Ave.

Echo Theater Company: Rarely Pure and Never Simple
This gorgeous piece is performed by the Zig Zags, teenagers have been training with Echo Theatre, some for over ten years. They’ll hang suspended in the air, and use music, poetry, dance and aerial acrobatics to bring to life the Plato’s Allegory of the Cave (though you don’t need to know the story to appreciate the show). Kids and adults will be held in thrall with stunning visuals like a flying ladder, aerial silks, hoops, and trapeze. The show is visual and musical, with a storyline to keep things interesting. Recommended for ages 7 & up.

Apr. 18-26
Echo Theater
1515 SE 37th Ave.
503-231-1232, ext. 2

Pennys Puppets

photo: courtesy of Penny’s Puppets

Penny’s Puppets: Whiz Bang Boom Professor Gabby’s in the Room
Whiz Bang Boom! It’s time to learn about science with all sorts of puppet pals with this final show of the season from Penny’s Puppets. It’s sure to be a learning experience, with plenty of music, excitement, and (hooray) free coffee for the grownups. All ages are welcome.

Apr. 18, 10:30 a.m.
Alberta Abbey
126 NE Alberta St.

NWCT Little Mermaid

photo: copyright David Kinder courtesy of NW Children’s Theater

NW Children’s Theater: The Little Mermaid
A little bit of circus with a dash of vaudeville, this Little Mermaid is sure to make a splash with the little ones. The tale you know (with no tail, which would make things difficult on stage) is made magical with Ariel’s sisters flying high on aerial silks, suspended over the stage. This lively re-telling of a children’s favorite will get the whole family wishing they lived under the sea.  ASL-interpreted and sensory friendly shows are available. Recommended for ages 5 & up.

Apr. 25-May 25
1819 NW Everett St.

Ramona Quimby OCT

photo: Ramona Quimby by Owen Carey, courtesy of Oregon Children’s Theatre

Oregon Children’s Theatre: Ramona Quimby
Things are changing for Ramona as she enters third grade, and it isn’t always smooth sailing on Klickitat Street. Getting along with her family can be tricky, but the Quimbys depend on each other through the bumps and rough patches. Kids love Ramona because she’s so easy to relate to, with her real foibles and learning experiences, and her very tangible roots in the city we know and love. Recommended for ages 6 & up.

May 9-31
Newmark Theatre
1111 SW Broadway

What is your family planning to see this spring? Let us know in the comments!

—Kelley Gardiner