Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Announces 35th Annual EQT Children’s Theater Festival

An interactive virtual event fostering wonder, growth, and creativity!
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May 1-16 | Online Platform.  TrustArts.org/PGHKids

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is excited to announce the featured programming lineup and ticketing information for the 2021 EQT Children’s Theater Festival. In order to prioritize the health of patrons, staff, vendors, and artists, the festival will once again be presented in a virtual platform – the 2021 EQT Children’s Theater Festival @ Home. Now in its 35th year, this Festival fosters imagination through high-quality professional theater performances from around the world, including performers from the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland, Canada, and the United States. Highlights of the 2021 Festival includes four featured international programs:
We Cover the Universe from the United Kingdom, MacHomer from Canada, Aesop Bops! From the United States, and University of Wonder and Imagination from Northern Ireland. In addition to the featured programming, additional free activities and workshops will provide creative outlets for festival
participants to get involved virtually. This additional festival programming will be announced on May 1, 2021.
“We are excited to present the EQT Children’s Theater Festival @ Home to give families and classrooms an amazing chance to engage with the arts and spend time together in a safe way. You can enjoy full-length performance streams, workshops with artists, a Frog Stop Scavenger Hunt sponsored by the Milkshake Factory and more!” says Pamela Komar, Director of Theater, Music, and Youth Programming for the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. “We are thrilled to bring extraordinary and unique experiences to young people and continuing the tradition of theater for your children and teens.”
The EQT Foundation, which was established by EQT Corporation, the nation’s largest producer of natural gas, returns in 2021 for an eighth year as the Festival’s lead and title underwriter, connecting the Pittsburgh community to international arts, entertainment, and culture. Through focused giving, the EQT Foundation provides educational opportunities for all ages, values the development of livable communities, and is committed to the preservation of natural resources in our region.
“The EQT Foundation is honored to once again provide underwriting support for the EQT Children’s Theater Festival,” said Ellen Rossi, President, EQT Foundation. “While we would all appreciate seeing live theater, we are thankful and so impressed by the multitude of organizations who have reformed their art to be enjoyed by a wider audience from the comfort of home. It’s the innovation in the arts, and of this festival, that keep drawing attendees year after year.”
In addition to the EQT Foundation, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust thanks its sponsors, Giant Eagle, Inc., The Fine Foundation, Gateway Health, the Maranne P. Welch Family Endowment, Allegheny Regional Asset District, The Grable Foundation, and The Buhl Foundation. Special thanks to collaborators Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, City of Pittsburgh, Citiparks, Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, and Alco Parking Corporation, Milkshake Factory, and media partners KDKA-TV and Kidsburgh.
Later in 2021, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust plans to present in-person activities via the EQT Children’s Theater Festival, pending disease dynamics and the health and safety guidance of our government officials. More details will be available later this summer about in-person Festival activities.

Featured performances

We Cover the Universe

by Akin Theatre | United Kingdom
Age Recommendation: Ages 5 and under and their families | 30 minutes
May 8 and May 15, 2021
10am, 11am, and 2:30pm EST
$15 per device
Live Performance
Awaken your imagination with this interactive, sensory and wondrous online show for under fives, their parents/carers and families. Poetry, drawing and gentle play combine to broaden your horizons.

The University of Wonder and Imagination

by Cahoots NI | Northern Ireland
Age Recommendation: Ages 7+ | 60 minutes
May 13-16, 2021
Sensory Friendly Performance: May 15, 2021 4:30pm EST
11am, 11:30am, 12pm, 12:30pm, 1pm, 3pm, 3:30pm, 4pm, 4:30pm, 5pm EST
$15 per device
Live Performance
The University of Wonder & Imagination is now enrolling students of all ages and magical abilities…and there’s a place with your name on it! This fun, interactive experience takes place live in your own home or classroom and is suitable for all the family to enjoy via the magic of digital technology. You will interact with the liveliest of lecturers, choose your subjects of study, enter themed rooms and encounter all kinds of problems and puzzles, unlocking your magical powers as you go.


by Kidoons | Canada
Age Recommendation: Ages 12 – Adult | 70 minutes
May 1-16, 2021
$15 per device, free for schools
On Demand Viewing/ Q&A with the Artist
Rick Miller’s international hit show MacHomer is back! This one-man vocal spectacular features impressions of over 50 voices from TV’s The Simpsons in a hilarious performance of Shakespeare’s Macbeth! With a script that remains 85% Shakespeare, MacHomer will leave you “exhausted with laughter” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette). In its 17 years of touring, Miller played MacHomer to capacity crowds and rave reviews in over 175 cities around the world, including almost every state in America.

Aesop Bops!

by David Gonzalez | United States
Age Recommendation: Ages 4-8 | 30 minutes
May 1-16, 2021
30 minutes
$15 per device, free for schools
On Demand
Fast-paced, funny, and packed with audience participation, Aesop Bops! features Aesop’s classic stories including The Lion and the Mouse, The Fisherman and His Wife, and The Turtle’s Shell. This feast of funky, physical storytelling leaves young audiences feeling like they had just performed the show too! Aesop Bops! rocks, and rolls out the red carpet – inviting kids to join in the fun.

A Kid’s Play About Racism

by Bay Area Children’s Theatre, Alliance Theatre, and Seattle Children’s Theatre |Seattle, WA, U.S.
Age Recommendation: Ages 5+ | 30 minutes
Only Available for Pittsburgh Schools
May 1-16, 2021
Free for schools | Not available to the public
On Demand
A groundbreaking online performance for families that explains what racism is, how to know it when you see and experience it, and ideas for what you can do about it. Forty-one producing TYA theaters are proud to bring this world premiere, online theatrical experience to children and families in communities across the country. Lead Producers Bay Area Children’s Theatre, Alliance Theatre, and Seattle Children’s Theatre.


Featured performance tickets are $15 per device. Some performances will sell out in advance. To avoid disappointment, plan ahead. For tickets and information visit TrustArts.org/PGHKids .

Free virtual field trips

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust will offer free access to three of the featured performances to schools in the Pittsburgh region: A Kids Play About RacismMacHomer , and Aesop Bops.

Support the Festival – Become a Pittsburgh Cultural Trust member!

Families and Pittsburgh Cultural Trust members help the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust to continually present affordable, high quality theater productions. Giving at the $50 Partners membership level or above includes benefits for a full year! Visit TrustArts.org/SupportKids or call 412-471-3518 for more details.
Traditionally, the EQT Children’s Theater Festival happens for 4 days in May in Downtown Pittsburgh’s Cultural District, bringing extraordinary and unique experiences to young people and continuing the tradition of theater for children. The spread of the COVID-19 pandemic has changed life as we know it for families and children across the world. Classrooms have become laptop screens, and embracing the child-like imagination that we once all possessed has become more important than ever. To prioritize the health of our patrons, staff, vendors, and artists the festival remains on a virtual platform – the EQT Children’s Theater Festival @ Home.
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 Trust stands as a national model of urban redevelopment through the arts.
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