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 July through October, our talented cast brings stories from around the world to life.
Our Children’s Theatre youth offer a message of peace, joy and light in its annual holiday show. It'll be a festive celebration of solstice holidays including Bodhi Day, Hanukkah, Christmas, Diwali, Kwanzaa, and the Lunar New Year.
Our Children’s Theatre season has ended for 2021, with 32 young people performing in three shows for a total of 63 performances. If you missed the summer’s performances of Ozma of Oz, Looking-glass, or El Principe Oso, (or if you saw them and want to see more) come see our Holiday Show in December. If you know a child–8 to 10 years old–who would like to join our theatre program (historically called Fairyland Personalities) for 2022, auditions are open now.
Youth Theatre participants receive over 50 hours of performing arts training with professional artists and educators, and will portray characters from folklore and children’s literature in stage productions at the park, at community events, parades, and during visits to senior centers and schools.
Cost is just $400 for the year, and full and partial scholarships are available. Meetings will begin in March. Our program is outdoors and all participants will wear masks until public health guidelines allow us to meet otherwise.
History of Children's Theatre
Since 1957, Fairyland has been encouraging children to create their own live theater in the park. Starting with teenage Storybook Hosts in ’57, and becoming the Fairyland Personalities in 1960, the program evolved into The Children’s Theater program and has been lead by Dr. Doyle Ott since 2008. In the theater program, children ages 8 - 11 portray characters from world folklore and Children’s literature in stage productions. They also make outside appearances representing the park at community events and parades. Auditions for the Children’s Theater Program are held once a year in January/February. Find out about the audition process.
More about Aesop's Playhouse
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.