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Best Theatre For Kids And Young Adults In Chicago

While many theatre Chicago companies produce family-friendly shows throughout their seasons, there are also a handful of companies throughout the city devoted to creating theatre geared for kids and young adults. - Bob Bullen

Emerald City Theatre

Apollo Theater
2540 North Lincoln Avenue
Chicago IL 60614
(773) 935-6100

Emerald City Theatre's shows are as pure, ambitious and hopeful as their vision: "To imagine a day when participating in the arts will be considered as critical to a child's development as reading, writing or math." (Oh, and they're a lot of fun, too!) The group has a strong following in the city, and has increasingly ramped up the frequency and quality of their productions, making them one of the premier children's theatre companies in the nation.


Adventure Stage Chicago

1012 North Noble Street
Chicago, IL 60642
(773) 342-4141

Adventure Stage produces children's shows that are every bit as smart, daring and emotionally engaging as some of the best "adult" theatre in the city. This is because they respect the intelligence and creativity of children, rather than playing down to it. All shows conclude with a discussion, so your little one can continue actively analyzing what they just saw.


Steppenwolf for Young Adults

1650 North Halsted Street
Chicago, IL 60614
(312) 335-1650

Steppenwolf offers a compelling option for tweens and teens with their Steppenwolf for Young Adults programming. Created with a mature young audience in mind, their high-quality and emotionally complex productions are what you'd expect from a world-class company like Steppenwolf. Their current production is an adaptation of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird.


Chicago Children's Theatre

1464 North Milwaukee Avenue, 2nd floor
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 227-0180

Known for their awe-inspiring productions, Chicago Children's Theatre is a professional theatre company devoted to delivering visually stunning children's shows. Their upcoming show is a remount of their hit production, The Hundred Dresses, at The North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie.


Free Street Theatre

1419 West Blackhawk
Chicago, IL 60642
(773) 772-7248

Founded in 1969, the revolutionary Free Street was established to bring theatre to communities that wouldn't necessarily go to the theatre. Over the years, the group has shifted its focus to inspiring youths through education and mentoring to create and perform original theatre pieces. If you see a Free Street show, you'll be amazed at the maturity, depth and creativity of these young performers.

Bob Bullen is a writer and long-time fan of Chicago's vibrant theatre scene, which he captures on his blog, Chicago Theatre Addict.

Emerald City Theatre

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