Children's Theatre

The most colorful place in the East Bay to enjoy children’s community theater is at Aesop’s Playhouse, Fairyland’s exciting main stage. From June through October, our talented cast brings stories from around the world to life—check the calendar for showtimes.

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Our Fairyland Personalities play for laughs.

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Let us entertain you!

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The cast brings to life stories from around the world.

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The view from a seat in Aesop’s Playhouse.

Fairyland has enabled young people to create live theatre for over 50 years. In 1956, we introduced Fairyland Personalities. In this theatre program, children ages 8 to 10 portray characters from folklore and children’s literature in stage productions, at community events, and during visits to senior centers and schools. Auditions for our Children’s Theatre program are held once a year in January. Find out about the audition process.

Aesop’s Playhouse accommodates over 200 people in festival seating and was funded entirely by Oakland’s Measure DD, a $198.25 million bond measure passed by voters in 2002. Oakland-based Ace Architects designed the structure; Scientific Art Studio of Richmond created the fanciful sculptures of Aesop and his characters.

In addition to our own children’s theater, our playhouse has hosted the Bay Area Children’s Theatre, Oakland School for the Arts, the Pacific Boychoir, the Oakland Ballet Company, popular characters from KQED, and a host of young performers from local schools and community arts groups.

Upcoming performances

On weekends from June through October, Aesop’s Playhouse presents three plays in rotation—one each weekend. These original productions are written and directed by our Children’s Theatre director and feature our lively Children’s Theatre troupe. Professional designers and other members of the Bay Area theater community create our costumes, sets, and props, with added help from parents, staff, and volunteers.

 

“Cowgirls!”

The (partly) true story about the girls who won the West. Follow Ruby on her quest to find her beloved cowgirl hat and ride Blue Meany, the orneriest bull that ever bucked a buckaroo. On her way, Ruby meets a host of cowgirls from American legend and history, from Sluefoot Sue to Calamity Jane to Stagecoach Mary. Join us for a rip-roaring celebration of cowgirl culture featuring traditional western songs and stories.

 

"The Dragon in the Cloth”

When an orphan boy brings a fish home to keep for good luck, he gets way more than he bargained for. The fish is a dragon princess who leads him on a journey below the waves and up to the moon and back. Will he learn to be happy with his lot, or will an old toad’s advice lead him astray? Come let our young performers stitch your family into the cloth of this Hmong fairytale!

 

“Nesruddin’s Donkey”

From Turkey to China to Africa to America, people tell stories of the Mullah Nesruddin, or Nesruddin Hoja, as he is commonly known. A wise fool who triumphantly bumbles his way through life, Nesruddin stands with other tricky heroes from Anansi to Coyote to the Baal Shem Tov. In our story, he has all sorts of adventures and misadventures on his way to the market, and his donkey more often than not has the last laugh.