Festival: EQT Children’s Theater Festival, May 17-20, 2018





PITTSBURGH—The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust announces that the EQT Children’s Theater Festival will be held May 17-20, 2018 in the Cultural District in Downtown Pittsburgh. Fostering imagination through high-quality professional theater performances from around the world, attendees can enjoy six featured performances, hands-on activities, and a variety of family-friendly art and music at various indoor and outdoor venues. The cultural experiences offered throughout festival performances can be enjoyed by all ages. Single tickets for the featured performances go on sale to the public on Thursday, February 15th, 2018.

“Every year, the EQT Children’s Theater Festival provides the setting for new and exciting featured artists from around the world to inspire creativity through the arts,” shared Pamela Komar, Director of Theater, Music and Youth Programming and Executive Director of the Citizens Bank Children’s Theater Series and EQT Children’s Theater Festival at the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. “The heart and soul of the festival is to encourage discussion and create an opportunity for families to have meaningful conversations. The entire line-up of ticketed performances is interactive—audiences will be delighted to have opportunities to participate during the shows like never before. Everyone’s senses will be delighted as they feel like they are a direct part of the festival magic. Rain or shine, with both indoor and outdoor events, the festival is an easily accessible and rewarding way to spend your time.”

The 32nd EQT Children’s Theater Festival features performances from Italy, Scotland, Canada, the United States, and Australia. The festival offers shows and activities for the youngest theater goers from six months of age to special shows and activities for kids and teens ages 7 and up. In the festival performance of The Young King, five local performers will be selected to act alongside the internationally acclaimed Slingsby Theatre Company from Australia. Audiences will go on journeys of exploration, taking part in interactive performances that showcase authentic music and traditions from around the world.

For the fifth year, the EQT Foundation will serve as the lead and title underwriter of the Children’s Theater Festival. As the charitable affiliation of EQT Corporation, the nation’s largest producer of natural gas, the EQT Foundation provides educational opportunities for children, as well as adults, values the development of livable communities, and is committed to the preservation of natural resources. Established in 2003, the EQT Foundation prides itself on being a responsible corporate citizen and invests in programs that promote an understanding of culture and heritage.  www.eqt.com/our-communities/eqt-foundation

“The EQT Foundation is honored to return as underwriter of the EQT Children’s Theater Festival, an exceptional event that brings international performing and visual artists to the region for our children to experience first-hand,” said Charlene Petrelli, President, EQT Foundation.  “We are proud to share these outstanding arts and educational programs with our region’s youth and provide opportunities to promote awareness of global cultures, as well as local heritage.  The EQT Children’s Theater Festival never disappoints with its array of extraordinary events for the enrichment of all attendees.”

For 32 years, the EQT Children’s Theater Festival has brought the community the diversity and culture of international arts and entertainment without having to leave the Pittsburgh area. The festival has featured performing artists from around the world, spanning six continents, and is known for presenting unique, globally-inspired arts, music, one-of-a-kind installations, premiers and free hands-on activities for all ages. The festival serves as a gateway for children of all ages to experience professional performing arts programming that inspires, challenges, educates, and stimulates respect for and an understanding of other cultures in an entertaining and enlightening way. The festival is presented by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

Featured Ticked Performances

All ticketed performances will take place in the Cultural District. Single tickets for the featured performances go on sale February 15th, 2018. For tickets and information, please visit www.TrustArts.org/PGHKids, call 412-456-6666, or visit the Theater Square Box Office at 655

Penn Avenue. Groups of 10 or more, please call 412-471-6930 or visit: https://pghkids.trustarts.org/kids/groups. For a full description of each featured ticketed performance, including performance times, please visit www.TrustArts.org/PGHKids

PANDA’S HOME by Compagnia TPO


Ages 4+ | 50 Minutes

Venue: Trust Arts Education Center, 805-807 Liberty Avenue

This enchanting and interactive performance allows young audience members to take a journey to ancient China, following the footprints left by a panda. The panda’s “house” is in a forest as large as all of China.  In this imaginary journey, audience members will explore China’s stories, tradition, and culture.  Along with the panda, children discover and interact with the five elements of nature:  wood, fire, earth, metal, and water.  They’ll encounter bamboo forests, fireworks, kites, and more.  In this sensory and interactive experience, the stage comes to life with innovative projection, colorful images, and playful sound.  The performers and audience members will come together in this unique and immersive journey of imagination that extends beyond language and cultural barriers.

POGGLE by Barrowland Ballet


Ages 6 months – 4 | 40 minutes

Venue: August Wilson Center, 980 Liberty Avenue

Vince is a boy who wants to explore the forest but is too scared to go on his own. One day, Vince meets Poggle, a friendly woodland creature, and together they go on an adventure through the forest where they discover the magical, musical tree.  This warm-hearted, sensory performance uses live music, clapping rhythms, and comedy to engage the youngest audience members in an imaginative and adventurous exploration.  

THE RAINBOW FISH by Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia, Canada

Part of the Citizens Bank Children’s Theater Series

Ages 3-8 | 50 minutes

Venue: Byham Theater, 101 Sixth Street

The Rainbow Fish will delight even the youngest child with his silver scales and heart of gold in this show based on the award-winning book about the beautiful fish who learned to share his most prized possession. From the same company who brought The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Goodnight Moon and the Runaway Bunny to Pittsburgh, Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia brings The Rainbow Fish to life with their enchanting and magical puppetry.  * A sensory-friendly performance, which will include reduced sound levels and gentle lighting, is scheduled at 2:45 p.m. on Saturday, May 19, 2018. 

THE YOUNG KING by Slingsby Theatre Company


Part of the EQT Bridge Theater Series

Ages 7+ | 70 minutes

Venue: Trust Arts Education Center, 805-807 Liberty Avenue

What kind of King would you be? A naïve boy raised in the countryside is discovered to be heir to the kingdom.  Treasures and privileges are laid at his feet, but at what cost to others?  The achingly beautiful and tender language of Oscar Wilde joins the intimate and magical world of the internationally acclaimed Slingsby Theatre Company from Adelaide, Australia.  Journey in wonder to a land of challenging choices and rich rewards. 


United States

All Ages | 50 minutes

Venue: August Wilson Center, 980 Liberty Avenue

Join two-time GRAMMY® award-winner Terrance Simien and his accomplished band for a unique and powerful musical experience informed by traditional and contemporary influences that has become the signature sound of Louisiana. Zydeco, the indigenous music of the black and multiracial French-speaking Creoles of South Louisiana, is infectious, inviting and smile-inducing.  In Terrance Simien & the Zydeco Experience, audiences will take a multicultural tour of the world with this blend of zydeco, roots, rock, New Orleans, funk, soul, world, and reggae-flavored sound.  Audience members will feel the spirit of Creole country and the joy of zydeco with this engaging and inspiring performance.  Plus, don’t miss your chance to sing along to Terrance Simien’s song “Gonna Take You There” from Disney’s The Princess and the Frog!


United States

All Ages | 60 minutes

Venue: August Wilson Center, 980 Liberty Avenue

Sunjata Kamalenya is a completely interactive show celebrating the greatest hero of West African legend, Sunjata Keita, the first mansa (king) of the ancient Empire of Mali.  This 13th century epic tale takes place in a magical world filled with sorcery and enchantment.  A wandering hunter comes to the village of Farrakoro and makes an unbelievable prediction that a boy who is crippled and his outcast mother will overcome all odds to deliver their nation from an evil sorcerer.  This beautiful tale follows their struggles and the strength they discover from their faith in each other.  Authentic music, costumes, and scenery invite you into this modern Mandé village where the jelimuso (storyteller) guides your journey as you sing, dance, and act alongside professional actors and musicians in a truly unique and immersive experience. 

Sensory-Friendly Performances Schedule
The Rainbow Fish will be the featured sensory-friendly performance during this year’s festival. This performance will take place at the Byham Theater on Saturday, May 19th at 2:45 PM.   


The festival grounds and featured performance venues are fully handicap accessible. ASL interpreters are provided for featured performances upon request when requests are made at least 10 business days in advance. For information and questions, please call (412) 456-6666.

Other accessibility offerings include:

  • ADA-compliant cable covers are used throughout the outdoor pop-up spaces, where applicable.
  • Guide animals are welcome in all festival locations.
  • Large-print programs are available at information booths.
  • Sensory-friendly performances.For more on accessibility, please visit
  • https://trustarts.org/accessibility

Festival Logistics
The festival grounds will include a variety of food options and vendors, visual art programming at local galleries, free hands-on activities, and free outdoor performances. Festival hours are 10:00 AM-2:00 PM on Thursday, May 17 and 10:00AM-5:00 PM on Friday, May 18 – Sunday, May 20, 2018.

Information booths will be open during festival hours providing information, tickets and merchandise. Each featured performance venue will have staff on-site 60 minutes prior to show times.

Tickets and Information
Tickets are $9 for featured performances. Multi-show packs are available and offered for as low as $6 per show! Flex Vouchers from the Citizens Bank Children’s Theater Series and EQT Bridge Theater Series are honored for all ticketed events taking place during the festival, but must be redeemed in advance of the performance. Visit www.TrustArts.org/PGHKids, call (416) 456-6666, or pick up tickets in person at Theater Square Box Office, 655 Penn Avenue. For groups of 10+ call (412) 471-6930, or visit GroupSales@TrustArts.org.

Parking and Transportation
Reserve parking vouchers in the heart of the Cultural District at Theater Square Parking Garage. A limited number of vouchers will be held for festival visitors each day. To reserve your parking voucher, call 412-456-6666 or visit the Box Office at Theater Square.

There are plenty of ways to make travel to the festival as convenient and comfortable as possible. For information about parking lots and garages in the Cultural District, visit www.ParkPGH.org. This site shows real-time parking availability in over 20 downtown parking lots with parking inventory updates every 30 seconds.

The Cultural District is serviced by public transportation options through the Port Authority of Allegheny County. For more information, visit https://trustarts.org/pct_home/visit/public-transportation.

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust gratefully acknowledges the following organizations for their participation and support of the 2017 EQT Children’s Theater Festival. 

Special Thanks To

EQT Foundation

Giant Eagle, Inc.

Citizens Bank

Gateway Health

The Maranne P. Welch Family Endowment

The Fine Foundation

Allegheny Regional Asset District

The Grable Foundation

The Buhl Foundation

The Pennsylvania Council of the Arts


Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership

City of Pittsburgh


Western Pennsylvania Conservancy

Alco Parking Corporation

Roving Art Cart 

Media Partners



Trib Total Media

91.3 WYEP

Families and Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Partners help the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust to continually present affordable, high quality theater productions. Giving at the $100 membership level grants access to reserved seating at the Citizens Bank Children’s Theater Series, EQT Bridge Theater Series and EQT Children’s Theater Festival. As a Partner, you’ll also receive many other terrific benefits for a full year! Visit TrustArts.org/SupportKids or call 412-471-3518 for more details.

Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has overseen one of Pittsburgh’s most historic transformations: turning a seedy red-light district into a magnet destination for arts lovers, residents, visitors, and business owners. Founded in 1984, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a non-profit arts organization whose mission is the cultural and economic revitalization of a 14-block arts and entertainment/residential neighborhood called the Cultural District. The District is one of the country’s largest land masses “curated” by a single nonprofit arts organization. A major catalytic force in the city, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a unique model of how public-private partnerships can reinvent a city with authenticity, innovation and creativity. Using the arts as an economic catalyst, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has holistically created a world-renowned Cultural District that is revitalizing the city, improving the regional economy and enhancing Pittsburgh’s quality of life. Thanks to the support of foundations, corporations, government agencies and thousands of private citizens, the Cultural Trust stands as a national model of urban redevelopment through the arts. For more information, visit TrustArts.org.

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