Fun for all at Philadelphia International Children’s Festival

Apollo 11

Nitin Vadukul

British actor Andrew Dawson will bring his "Space Panorama," a sparkling re-creation of the Apollo 11 moon landing, to the Philadelphia International Children’s Festival.

Ladies and gentlemen, children of all ages, step right up for the 28th Annual Philadelphia International Children’s Festival, a three-day extravaganza filled with theater, music, and dance. 

From May 3-5 at the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, the Children’s Festival presents interactive programs designed for audiences that are young and young-at-heart.

Attendees can chat with students from the Curtis Institute of Music, learn how musical instruments make their signature sounds, and discover how groups of musicians work together to create beautiful, complementary harmonies.

In collaboration with WXPN, Penn’s public radio station, two of “Kids Corner’s” favorite acts—“Pasta! A Pop Ups Puppet Musical” and John Hadfield’s “Monkeys in the House”—will be performing.

British actor Andrew Dawson will bring his “Space Panorama,” a sparkling re-creation of the Apollo 11 moon landing to the festival. Dawson documents this “giant leap” using only his hands, arms, and upper torso.

Festivalgoers can also make craft items connected to the themes of the shows.

Children's Festival

Aaron Epstein

Take a magical undersea adventure through John Tartaglia’s glow-in-the-dark musical puppet show, "ImaginOcean."

“After seeing ‘Pasta! A Pop Ups Puppet Musical,’ they’ll make pasta people to get the connection,” explains Madison Cario, director of operations and special artistic projects at the Annenberg Center.

On Thursday, May 3, fans of WXPN’s “Kids Corner” can participate in a live broadcast of the radio show at 7 p.m. in the Zellerbach Theatre. 

The Children’s Festival is a popular fête for elementary and middle school students from across the region, with busloads of students coming to Penn for the programs.

“Because of budget cuts [in some school districts], this may be the first time some young people are experiencing the arts,” Cario says.

Founded in 1985, the Festival provides local families with an easy and affordable way to experience international performance and visual arts. More than 15,000 children and their families attend the Festival each year.

Tickets are $10 per show. For more information or to order tickets, visit the Annenberg Center website.

Originally published on April 26, 2012