Teatro al Vacio, Peek. Photo by Asoma Ricardo.

Downtown Pittsburgh Cultural District
May 12 — 15
Various times

One of the biggest events for children and families in the region is gearing up to celebrate its 30th anniversary in downtown Pittsburgh.

Air Play
Air Play

If you have a budding playwright, actor, director or set designer in your family, then don’t miss the EQT Children’s Theater Festival popping up throughout the Cultural District from May 12th through May 15th.

Bringing world-class theater to Burgh kids and families, the innovative festival is anchored by eight featured performances from around the globe—including Northern Ireland, Canada, Mexico, Peru, Scotland, and the U.S. Showcasing creative expression and cutting-edge theater designed for young audiences, performances emphasize interactive engagement while exploring a variety of cultures, perspectives and themes from around the world.

Spanning four  days, the festival is packed with 40 free hands-on activities, gallery installations, public art projects, interactive art, and free outdoor pop-up performances featuring local and regional artists. Highlights for 2016 include sensory-friendly performances, a U.S. premiere and Pittsburgh premiere that’s part of a national U.S. tour.

Corpus, The Sheep.
Corpus, The Sheep.

Ready to meet crows that talk, play in a giant string maze and much more?

Take an epic adventure during Air Play, created by famed NYC comedic duo Seth Bloom and Christina Gelsone. Equal parts whimsical circus and modern fine arts museum, the new show combines spectacular air sculptures, hilarious comedy, flying umbrellas, giant balloons, diverse global music and the biggest snow globe you’ve ever seen.

Don’t miss Red Bridge Arts’ award-winning show, Titus, which features pigs that fall in love, and then travel to a mysterious and funny universe to encounter sheep shearing, feeding in Corpus theater’s live installation recreating a surreal country scene in an urban setting.

Mermaid Theatre, The Runaway Bunny. Photo by Margo Ellen Gesser.
Mermaid Theatre, The Runaway Bunny. Photo by Margo Ellen Gesser.

Next, enjoy a unique blend of mime, dance and puppetry in Teatro Hugo e Ines’ Short Stories, and revisit the beloved rabbit characters of classic children’s literature in Mermaid Theatre’s Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny.

Be sure to participate in the festival’s special “Frog Stop Scavenger Hunt” throughout the Cultural District to win free, fun prizes. Celebrating three decades,  this year’s festival has expanded its focus to offer a variety of events for all ages ̶ from babies to teens.

EQT Children's Theater Festival outdoor activities.
EQT Children’s Theater Festival outdoor activities.
EQT Children’s Theater Festival outdoor activities.

Located in Pittsburgh’s Cultural District, the festival’s main footprint spans Seventh to Tenth Streets. Participating venues include the Byham Theater, August Wilson Center, Trust Arts Education Center, Bricolage, 707/709 Galleries, Wood Street Galleries, Future Tenant, Space Gallery, and outdoor spaces such as EQT and Katz Plazas.

Plan your visit, view a complete schedule and see festival hours and locations here.

Buy tickets online, by phone at 412-456-6666. Tickets are also sold at the Box Office at Theater Square and at featured performance theaters.

Looking for more events? Read our 11 Pittsburgh events not to miss in May and our Top 11 things for families to do in May in Pittsburgh features.

Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator of Handmade Arcade. Musically, she is in a band called The Garment District and is a founding member of Brooklyn's The Ladybug Transistor.