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.
Fairyland has enabled young people to create live theater for over 50 years. In 1956, we introduced Fairyland Personalities. In this theater 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.
2016 Children's Theatre Shows
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.
Once in Aleppo - Stories of Luck and Fate
Opening weekend: June 18 & 19 at 12:30 & 3pm
Join our heroes as they journey into the wilds to trust their luck and find their fate in a delightful musical tale of merchants, and musicians; princesses and potters, based on based on Samir Tahhan’s collection of folktales from Syria. Costumes designed by Tonya Marie and Gypsycat Studios.
Needle and Thread
Opening weekend: June 25 & 26 at 12:30 & 3pm
Folktales from around the world featuring brave tailors and wise weavers brought to life by Fairyland’s young performers. We’ve stitched together three tales in a delightful tapestry of music and dance, drawing on the traditions of Korea, Europe, and Central America. Costumes designed by Tonya Marie and Gypsycat Studios.
Opening weekend: July 9 & 10 at 12:30 & 3pm
A whimsical collection of familiar and not-so-familiar stories about America’s legendary apple-planting hero. How did he befriend a wolf? Why did he wear a pot for a hat? And what did he make of the star hidden in the middle of an apple? Fairyland’s young performers tell the story though music, dance and puppetry.