Chicago Children's Theatre Debuts New Show for Children with Autism, RED KITE, BROWN BOX, 2/14-3/1

Chicago Children's Theatre Debuts New Show for Children with Autism, RED KITE, BROWN BOX, 2/14-3/1

What child doesn't love playing with brown cardboardmoving boxes? They're perfect for climbing and hiding inside, and they can morph into magical forts, homes, vehicles, even robots. With a little creativity, the possibilities are endless.

Now imagine a Live Theatre experience in which actors gently guide children on an interactive journey into a home filled with empty cardboard boxes, just waiting to be explored and ready to reveal delightful treasures inside. Such a play would be magical for any child. But for children on the autism spectrum and their families, the arrival of Chicago Children's Theatre's Red Kite, Brown Box is particularly exciting news.

Red Kite, Brown Box is the newest, one-of-a-kind live theatrical experience created for children with autism by Chicago Children's Theatre Artistic Director Jacqueline Russell, recipient of the 2013 "Hero of the Year Award" from the Chicago chapter of Autism Speaks.

Tickets are $20 per child, includes one caregiver, with additional observation seats at $10 each. Red Kite, Brown Box is appropriate for children ages 5 to 14. For more information or to reserve tickets, contact David Amaral at 773.227.0180 ext. 15, or visit


To keep Red Kite, Brown Box more intimate, focused and better tailored to the special needs of each child attending, the number of tickets sold for each performance is limited to only 10 children and accompanying adults, plus 10 observers.

After booking tickets, each child and adult is sent a detailed Social Story - a preview of Red Kite, Brown Box that walks children through the experience of attending the show, from arriving at the location to the people they'll meet, to the adventure itself. The parents' Social Story serves as a guide for prospective attendees so they can gauge the appropriateness of the experience for their children and minimize potential anxiety.

Upon arrival, visitors to Red Kite, Brown Box, inspired by the book Not a Box by Antoinette Portis, will be greeted by caring, specially trained Chicago Children's Theatre staff and artists whose mission is to make each child feel comfortable, safe and welcome. Every performance of Red Kite, Brown Boxis tailored to the unique needs of children affected by autism in each audience, and offers a multi-sensory adventure that encourages children to move, laugh, talk, sing and interact with the artists - not sit still and keep quiet. Plenty of inviting and stimulating experiences await all children, no matter how they want to participate.

At Red Kite, Brown Box, children will first meet Papa Tim, a loving father who has just moved his family into their brand new home. Trouble is, Papa Tim's kids are having a hard time going to sleep, because they would rather explore and find treasures in the empty moving boxes still strewn around the house. A series of sensory events follows, each bracketed by Papa Tim trying to get the children to sleep, all created with textures, sound and lights, including a pillow fight, a dance party, playing with flashlights in a tent, and a car wash. Red Kite, Brown Box culminates with a relaxing lullaby and the whole theatre space filling with stars - points of light gently moving outward to create a calm, dream-state event that fills everyone with wonder.

Andrea K., a parent of a child who previously attended Red Kite Round Up, confirmed"There are really not words to describe our experience at Red Kite! I was brought to tears watching my son experience camping, singing, make believe and humor in a way he would find magical. Usually, the world is too loud, too bright and just plain hard to maneuver. So to have this experience where I could just sit back and watch him smile, participate and enjoy drama and pretend play was magical."

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