PITTSBURGH, PA: The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust presents the 25th anniversary of the Pittsburgh International Children’s Festival, Wednesday, May 11, through Sunday, May 15, 2011. The special anniversary programming will showcase international and local theater premieres, including two brand new interactive installations in the green spaces surrounding Schenley Plaza and the University of Pittsburgh. Giant Eagle is the lead sponsor of the 2011 Pittsburgh International Children’s Festival.
“The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is proud to carry on the legacy of presenting award-winning international, national, and local performing artists in an affordable and festive setting. As one of only four such festivals in the nation, the Children’s Festival provides young audiences the opportunity to experience enriching performances of a high caliber that will appeal to parents, teachers and caregivers, ” says J. Kevin McMahon, President and CEO, The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.
“For 25 years, the International Children’s Festival has provided Pittsburgh’s young people with opportunities to understand different cultures through fun and interactive performing arts activities. This wonderful collaboration amongst many partners, including The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and our Citiparks Department, is yet another reason why Pittsburgh is America’s ‘most livable city,’” remarks Mayor of Pittsburgh, Luke Ravenstahl.
In addition to the City of Pittsburgh and Citiparks, the Children’s International Festival is made possible through collaborative partnerships with the University of Pittsburgh School of Arts & Sciences, Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy and the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.
“This anniversary year advances the goal of providing educational opportunities in the performing and visual arts for children and families so they can experience first-hand the impactful value of the arts,” notes Pamela K. Lieberman, Executive Director, Pittsburgh International Children’s Theater & Festival, and Manager of Children’s Theater Programming, The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.
For the 25th anniversary, the Pittsburgh International Children’s Festival will extend the quality performance of a traditional theater setting to the outdoor festival grounds with two featured interactive installations: luminaria, Amococo(UK) sponsored by Equitable Gas, and Silent Disco, acollaboration with University of Pittsburgh combining electronic and music technologies.
For information and tickets, visit the Box Office at Theater Square, pghkids.orgor call 412-456-6666. In addition to the featured ticketed performances, the Festival will include over 30 free hands-on academic, cultural, and international activities, as well as performances at the free outdoor K-12 Community Stage (Thurs.-Sun.), located in Schenley Plaza and outdoors storytelling at The Story Corner located adjacent to the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. Free outdoor activities and performances are weekdays: 9:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.; Saturday: 9:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.; Sunday: 1:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Featured, ticketed performances by artists from Canada, Ireland, Mali, the United Kingdom, and the United States include:
Amococo (Architects of Air, Nottingham, UK) Cathedral of Learning Lawn, All Ages, Performances every half hour, May 11, 12 & 13: 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.; May 14: 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.; May 15: 1:00 – 5:30 p.m. This giant inflatable structure will astonish you as you walk into an incredible Luminaria sculpture. Sponsored by Equitable Gas.
Silent Disco (collaboration with University of Pittsburgh Department of Theatre Arts and The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust) Schenley Plaza, All Ages, 45 minutes, Sessions every hour, May 14: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.; May 15: 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. Enter a magical forest where special wireless technology headsets allow attendees to choose between the family-friendly tunes of two very different DJs.
Knuffle Bunny (The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, USA) Alumni Hall Theatre, Ages 2 – 8, 50 minutes, May 11, 12, & 13: 9:45 & 11:15 a.m.; May 14: 9:30 a.m. & 12:30 p.m.; May 15: 1:00 & 4:00 p.m. Just a quick trip to the Laundromat with Daddy, Trixie, and her beloved Knuffle Bunny, things go horribly, hilariously wrong during a family visit to the local Laundromat. This is a stage adaptation of Mo Willems’ beloved award-winning children’s book.
Baobab (Le Théâtre Motus and The Sô Company, Canada and Mali) Alumni Hall Theatre, Ages 5+, 50 minutes, May 11, 12 & 13: 12:45 p.m.; May 14: 4:00 p.m.; May 15: 5:30 p.m. Baobab is an incredible journey inspired by African folklore where ancient drums become lively animal puppets, masks transform into trickster spirits, and shadows dance across the sky.
Room on the Broom (Tall Stories, UK) Bellefield Hall Auditorium, Ages 4+, 55 minutes, May 11, 12 & 13: 9:45 a.m. & 12:45 p.m.; May 14: 11:00 a.m. & 2:00 p.m.; May 15: 2:30 p.m. & 5:30 p.m. Showcasing Tall Stories’ distinctive physical and visual performance style, this playful and lively musical adaptation of Julia Donaldson’s award-winning book features incredible puppets, original songs and a lot of laughs.
See Saw (Ciotóg, Ireland) Henry Heymann Theatre, Ages 18 months – 5 years, 40 minutes, May 12: 11:15 a.m. & 12:45 p.m.; May 13: 9:45 & 11:15 a.m.; May 14: 9:30 a.m. & 12:30 p.m.; May 15: 1:00 & 4:00 p.m. See Saw gently rocks the balance between looking and being looked at and breaks the boundaries of how to look and who is doing the looking.
The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a non-profit organization whose mission is the cultural and economic development of Pittsburgh’s 14-block Cultural District through public and private support. The Trust presents and encourages diverse performing and visual arts programs within the District, and is an impetus for additional development in downtown Pittsburgh. In addition to the Pittsburgh International Children’s Theater and Children’s Festival, The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust presents the PNC Broadway Across America-Pittsburgh series Pittsburgh Dance Council, Trust Presents, CD Live, JazzLive, First Night Pittsburgh, Gallery Crawl, and Three Rivers Arts Festival, among other Cultural District and arts events. www.pgharts.org
Pittsburgh International Children’s Theater, a division of The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, opens the door for children to experience professional performing arts programming for children which inspires, challenges, educates, and stimulates respect for and an understanding of all cultures in an entertaining and enlightening way. Pittsburgh International Children's Festival is one of only four international children's festivals in the nation. www.pghkids.org