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/February. 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.
2019 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 22-23 at 12:30 & 3 p.m.
There are tales the world over of people who live beneath the waves. Merfolk weaves together multiple tales of people with fishtails into a celebration of the magic of the sea. This playful production about wishes (and fishes) features songs and stories from the equator to the Arctic Circle.
Jack and the Beanstalk
Opening weekend: June 29-30 at 12:30 & 3 p.m.
How did that beanstalk grow so fast? What will Jack find if he climbs it? And what does the cow he traded for those magic beans think about the whole situation? Come find out in a new telling of the classic fairytale.
Opening weekend: July 13-14 at 12:30 & 3 p.m.
Saddle up and come on down to see some tall tales of the bold women who rode herd in the Old West. From Slue-foot Sue roping tornadoes to Sally Ann Thunder Whirlwind singing lullabies to bears, these fearless frontierswomen lived large and on their own terms. See what happens when they join forces in an original play featuring familiar tunes about wide open spaces.