children's theater Pittsburgh

37th Annual EQT Children’s Theater Festival brings international shows & free activities to the Cultural District

Photo above by Renee Rosensteel courtesy of the EQT Children’s Theater Festival.

This May, spring into fun with eight extraordinary shows from around the world! From Madagascar’s hilarious clowning extravaganza Sakasaka to the technicolor hiccup investigation of Hiccup (Australia), there’s a show for everyone in this three-day celebration of youth theater happening May 19-21!

Save more when you see more! Tickets to a single show begin at just $12, but you can catch two shows for $11 each, and three or more shows for just $10 per ticket!  

Customize your festival experience by enjoying newly-announced FREE activities in the Cultural District before and after your show that will stretch your imagination, move your body and create lifelong memories with your family. Select highlights include the Andy Warhol Museum, Steel City LUG, PGH Park Rangers and Citiparks – the only thing missing is you!

pittsburgh children's. theater
Photo by Renee Rosensteel courtesy of the EQT Children’s Theater Festival.

See below for a full lineup of featured performances, and find out more information about festival fun by visiting!


A Letter for Elena (Quebec/France) at Pittsburgh Playhouse – Highmark Theatre

At the crossroads of theater and dance, this tale of three friends unfolds itself like a treasure hunt as the path of mourning is slowly drawn, and words take form to say goodbye.

*Content warning: This show contains bright lights, moments of darkness, and themes of loss of loved one and friendship. Due to the content of this show, tickets may not be purchased for children under the age of 7. 

Buoyant SEA! (USA) at Trust Arts Education Center

In Buoyant SEA, babies and young children sing and splash together along with their grown-ups through misty rivers & the icy arctic in a “water table play” about the joy of togetherness through all states of being.

Hiccup (Australia) at Pittsburgh Playhouse – PNC Theatre 

In the Australian outback, three friends eat, sing, and invent their way to a cure in this hilarious musical extravaganza about working together, finding friendship, and how to – once and for all – stop the hiccups.

It’s Okay to Be Different (Nova Scotia) at Byham Theater

Innovative puppetry and playful music combine to create colorful, wonderful fun in these stories about being kind to others, the world around us, and ourselves! Based on the books by Todd Parr. *Sensory-Friendly Performance Available! 

Mr. Messado’s School of Magic for the Young and Young at Heart (USA) at Liberty Magic

Forget everything you know about magicians pulling rabbits out of top hats. Superstar magician Mr. Messado stuns audiences in this spectacular show of magic words, interactive tricks, and heartfelt memories. 

Origami Tales (Japan) at Outdoor Lot at 7th & Penn

Mythological masks, puppets and a six-foot-long dragon – all made from origami – set the stage while storyteller Kuniko shares heartfelt stories from ancient Japan. 

Sakasaka (Madagascar) at Outdoor Lot at 7th & Penn

Laugh out loud and learn important lessons of water conservation as the three clowns of Sakasaka (meaning “thirsty” in Malagasy) take you through a journey of dance, music, splashes, and joy!

The Gruffalo (UK) at Byham Theater

Join Mouse on a daring adventure through the deep, dark wood in this magical, musical adaptation of the classic picture book by Julie Donaldson and Axel Scheffler.

pittsburgh children's theater