A Kidsburgh exclusive: First chance at EQT Children’s Theater Festival tickets

Pittsburgh’s biggest and best kid-focused extravaganza, the EQT Children’s Theater Festival running May 14-17, offers Kidsburgh readers a sneak peek at its performance lineup and an exclusive opportunity: The first chance at tickets for featured theater shows.

Use the code BIRD when making your purchase to get early access to ticketed performances. General public ticket sales begin Feb. 14.

Those familiar with this fantastic four-day festival, hosted by Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, can testify to the excitement and fun spread throughout the Cultural District, Downtown. More than 40 free activities, including street performers, hands-on projects and music, keep kids active and engaged.

These six ticketed shows are priced at $12 each, but discounts are available when tickets for multiple shows are purchased at the same time. All shows have numerous performances throughout the festival. Purchase tickets here or visit the Theater Square Box Office. And don’t forget to use your Kidsburgh BIRD code!

‘Origami Tales’

Kuniko Theater (Japan/United States) introduces kids to the infinite world of Origami! In Japanese, “ori” means “to fold” and “gami” means “paper.” Using origami, music and audience participation, storyteller Kuniko Yamamoto provides a magical entry into Japanese culture. In her new show, “Origami Tales,” mythological character masks and puppets, intricate flowers and a dragon – all made from origami – set the stage while Kuniko shares heartfelt stories from ancient Japan. Expect boundless imagination out of simple paper folding and an uplifting world of storytelling. Best for ages 4 and older.


 Catherine Wheels Theatre Company (Scotland) offers the world of “White.” Full of birdsong and birdhouses, it gleams, dazzles and shines in the night. Two friends look after the birdhouses and make sure the eggs stay safe. The world is bright, ordered and white. But high up in the trees, color appears, first red, then yellow, then blue. “White” is a playful, highly visual show for very young kids and is a perfect first-time theater experience. Best for ages 2 to 4 years.


Akin Theatre Company (United Kingdom) gives a stunning sensory performance for babies, parents and caretakers. Unfolding in a custom-built performance tent, “Nest” takes audiences on a journey through the seasons. It uses playful poetry supported by an original score, movement, puppetry, tactile play and full engagement of the senses to awaken every baby’s curiosity and remind grownups of the wonder of being in the world for the first time. ​Best for ages 14 months and younger.

‘Doodle POP!’

 Brush Theatre (South Korea) invites kids to the mischievous and delightful doodling world. Join the duo as they experience an exciting adventure in an ocean world they imagine and create onstage. The touching and exciting screen show is presented with live sound effects, stunning animation and an abundance of theatrical imagination. A sensory-friendly performance is included in the schedule at noon on May 17. Part of Children’s Theater Series. Best for ages 3 and older.

‘Emil and The Detectives’

Slingsby Theatre Company (Australia) takes on Erich Kästner’s 1929 book, which broke ground for the independent-kids-versus-devious-adults story genre. Young Emil catches a train to visit family in the big city. Something valuable is stolen, but the thief soon discovers Emil was not such an easy target. Can a bunch of kids work together to uncover and outsmart the true criminal? In Slingsby’s signature theatrical style, “Emil and The Detectives” is told by two skilled actors immersed in smoke and mirrors, miniature worlds and a cinematic score. Part of the EQT Bridge Theater Series.  Best for ages 7 and older.

‘Dan + Claudia Zanes’

Grammy Award-winner Dan Zanes and Haitian-American jazz vocalist Claudia Eliaza perform folk and blues classics from their popular new songbook, “Dan Zanes’ House Party!: A Family Roots Music Treasury.” The audience is invited to dance and sing along in a party atmosphere with music that is homespun, joyful, sophisticated, and artful. All performances are sensory-friendly. For all ages.

‘The Way of Color’

Artist Adam Kalinowski (Poland) will create an art installation from a bright, colorful expanse of sand. The vibrant colors will mix and meld over time, becoming different from one visit to the next. This giant installation invites exploration of colors, textures, shapes and patterns. Kids can sit and watch or jump right in and play. Presented by the EQT Children’s Theater Festival and Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival. Free for all ages.