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.
2017 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.
Opening weekend: June 17 & 18 at 12:30 & 3 p.m.
We offer the classic tales of Aesop told through song, dance, puppetry and circus arts. Our young performers tell both the familiar stories of the country mouse and city mouse, the tortoise and the hare, and a few lesser-known classics. Adapted by Doyle Ott with and music and lyrics by Richard Jennings and Doyle Ott. Costumes by Patti Baugh.
Opening weekend: June 24 & 25 at 12:30 & 3 p.m.
A multilingual musical story of the mariposas that migrate between California and Mexico. How does a butterfly remember the land of her grandmother even though she’s never been there? A celebration of the monarchs that call Fairyland home. Written by Doyle Ott. Costumes by Gypsycat Studios.
Opening weekend: July 8 & 9 at 12:30 & 3 p.m.
When a curious cat steals a fish, the cook steals his tail. Follow the adventures of the cleverest of silly cats to get the water to get the grain to get the milk to get the butter to get his tail back. Based on a Tunisian folktale. Adapted by Doyle Ott. Costumes by Gypsycat Studios.