Chicago Children's Theater enjoying permanent home

October 20, 2012 (CHICAGO)

Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson is a childhood favorite for many. These children are getting to see the book come to life at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts, a place the Chicago Children's Theatre can now call home.

"It's perfect," said Jacqueline Russell, co-founder and artistic director of Chicago Children's Theatre. "A lot of people do associate theater with the building and the place so to finally have that space is i think it's great for us and it the really great for the kids."

Previously, the theatre company contracted a different venue for each new production. The artistic director says they will still try to take some of their productions on the road to allow access for more children, but they greatly value having a place on the theatre scene that children can identify as their own.

"Their movements and laughter and shouting out at moments is always completely right on," Russell said. "I was thinking this is just more like going to a rock concert or something than to a theater where you have to be quiet, and it's dark and people are saying, 'shhh.'"

The theatre company is also strengthening its scholarship program. Over the course of this season as many as 4,000 underserved cps students will receive free tickets, free study guides, and even free bus rides to see shows. Students and teachers alike say the opportunity is priceless.

"I thought the play was really cool, the band was good and the whole play was awesome," said student Phillip Hall.

"To be able to get them involved in the arts, it's easily available and the parents like to come out, as well," said teacher Janice Crowley.

Harold and the Purple Crayon runs through November 4th. Then it will go on a mini-tour to the Beverly Arts Center and the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie.

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