Annenberg Center Live presents 2018 PHILADELPHIA CHILDREN'S FESTIVAL

Annenberg Center Live presents 2018 PHILADELPHIA CHILDREN'S FESTIVAL Annenberg Center Live presents the best in contemporary children's entertainment for its 33rd annual Philadelphia Children's Festival, May 17 through 19. Top artists from Philadelphia and beyond will showcase dance, theatre, music, magic, spoken word, and more over the three days of family-friendly festivities that will close the Annenberg Center's 2017-18 season. In addition to staged performances, the outdoor PlazaMania encompasses a host of interactive activities by local arts partners, face painting, balloon animals, performers, food trucks, and special guest appearances (perennial favorite, the Phillie Phanatic!).

Professional artists and ensembles include the Enchantment Theatre Company, jazz and world music artist Oran Etkin's Timbalooloo, The Mayhem Poets, Pilobolus @ Play, the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts/Give & Take Jugglers, Opera Philadelphia's Hip H'operaT-VOCE Program, Rennie Harris RHAW, illusionist Jason Bishop, and singer/songwriter Sonia De Los Santos.

Tickets to all performances are on sale now at or 215.898.3900. Prices vary by show and include most PlazaMania activities. (Additional charge for face painting and food.)


My Father's Dragon

Enchantment Theatre Company

Thursday, May 17 @ 10 AM

Friday, May 18 @ 10 AM

Saturday, May 19 @ 10 AM

Ruth Stiles Gannett's beloved Newbery Honor book about compassion, courage and friendship comes to life. Elmer goes on daring adventure to rescue Boris, a baby dragon being held captive by the ferocious animals of Wild Island. With pluck and ingenuity, Elmer outwits the wild animals and saves Boris, but can they find their way back home? Using puppets, masks, magical scenic effects and original music, Philadelphia's Enchantment Theatre Company takes you along on Elmer's marvelous quest, reminding us all that we are never too young to make a difference. Ages 4+.

Oran Etkin's Timbalooloo

Thursday, May 17 @ 10 AM and 12:30 PM

Friday, May 18 @ 10 AM

Clara Net, Big Mama Tuba and all their bandmate friends take the audience on an interactive, musical journey around the world. Renowned jazz and world music artist and Timbalooloo founder Oran Etkin brings instruments to life, each telling their story through melodies and rhythms from across the globe. Children will sing, clap, drum and even honk along at this Timbalooloo music party! Ages 5-8.

The Mayhem Poets

Thursday, May 17 @ 10 AM

Friday, May 18 @ 10 AM

Join The Mayhem Poets on an adventure, one where imagination, humor and poetry make for "an amazing ride" (New York Times). This trio of lyrical virtuosos deliver rapid-fire spoken word blending hip-hop, theatre, improv and stand-up comedy to tackle life's truths. Seen previously at Lincoln Center and Broadway's New Victory Theatre, The Mayhem Poets are on a mission to make poetry cool again. Ages 5-10.

Human Alphabet Workshop

Pilobolus @ Play

Thursday, May 17 @ 9:45 AM, 11:30 AM, and 12:45 PM

Friday, May 18 @ 9:45 AM, 11:30 AM, and 12:45 PM

Saturday, May 19 @ 10 AM, 11:15 AM, 1 PM, and 2:15 PM

The ABCs made up of you and me! The dancer-gymnasts of Pilobolus lead this playful workshop to explore their imaginative world of collective creativity and partnering movement. Attendees will take on the challenge of forming letters, producing a unique human alphabet. From A to Z, this is the perfect family activity! All ages.

Philadelphia School of Circus Arts

The Give & Take Little Circus

Thursday, May 17 @ 12:30 PM

Friday, May 18 @ 12:30 PM

Saturday, May 19 @ 2 PM

Aerial, trapeze, juggling, tight wire and more! An Annenberg Center audience favorite, the Give & Take Jugglers deliver a little circus built on the traditions of vaudeville, circus arts, and theatre, and infused with the warmth and humor for which they've been known for over 40 years. All ages.

Hip H'opera

A Teen Voices of the City Ensemble (T-VOCE) Program

Thursday, May 17 @ 12:30 PM

Hip-hop, spoken word, dance, and the classical arts come together in celebration of Philadelphia's youth. Hip H'opera legitimizes young people's voices by freeing their creativity and providing a platform for their many talents. Through music and original poetry, dance and art, the students show how our uniqueness makes us a vibrant, collective whole. Ages 5+. This event is sponsored by Art Sanctuary, Esperanza Academy Charter School, Opera Philadelphia, Play On, Philly!, Singing City and The U School.

Rennie Harris RHAW

The History of Hip Hop

Friday, May 18 @ 12:30 PM

The talented young dancers of RHAW, or Rennie Harris Awe-inspiring Works, will demonstrate the history behind those cool hip hop moves. Created by Philly native and renowned dancer/choreographer Rennie Harris, RHAW shares the history of hip hop through repertoire excerpts and spotlights on those who invented the techniques and influenced the style. With roots in African American, Afro-Brazilian, Afro-Cuban and Puerto Rican traditions since the 1960s, hip hop is a melting pot of culture that continues to shape, and be shaped by, society today. Ages 5-15.

Jason Bishop

Straight Up Magic

Saturday, May 19 @ 11:30 AM

Audiences won't believe their eyes as Jason Bishop, America's hottest illusionist, mystifies with spellbinding magic, award-winning sleight of hand and grand illusions, all set to a rock and pop soundtrack. He might read someone's mind one second or make goldfish appear out of nowhere the next. Direct from Broadway, and making his Philadelphia debut, Bishop's funny and truly magical show is guaranteed to make you ask "How'd he do that?" (New York Times). Ages 5+.

Sonia De Los Santos

Saturday, May 19 @ 11:30 AM

Sonia De Los Santos is "one of the Latin Children's music artists you should know" (Billboard). Joined by percussionist Martin Vejarano, De Los Santos performs the original songs, Latin party tunes and versions of American classics from her Parents' Choice Award-winning new album, Mi Viaje: De Nuevo León to the New York Island. This bright new voice in bilingual children's music spreads an uplifting message on the power of music to nurture community and cultural understanding. Ages 4-12.


Thursday/Friday 10:30 AM-1 PM

Saturday 10 AM-3 PM

All days: Free, interactive activities from arts partners from across the city, face painting (a small fee will be charged Saturday), balloon animals, performers

Saturday: Food trucks (for purchase), Phillie Phanatic

Schedule subject to change.

About the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

The Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts serves as a major cultural destination and crossroads connecting Penn and the greater Philadelphia region through innovative human expression in theatre, music, dance, and film, serving an annual audience of almost 50,000. The Annenberg Center also serves as a key resource for the arts at Penn, connecting master artists with Penn students in support of and as an enhancement to the arts curriculum. Student performing arts groups are also key users of the Annenberg Center's multiple performance and rehearsal spaces, while also staffing many operational roles throughout the academic year. In reflection of Penn's core values as a world-respected academic institution, the Annenberg Center emphasizes artistic and intellectual excellence, diversity, and rigor in its presentations; prioritizes broad inclusiveness in the artists, audiences, and groups it serves; manages outstanding performance, conference, and meeting facilities; and stresses comprehensive event planning, production support, and customer service. The Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts is a major provider of performing arts access for school children and actively engages a broad range of primary, secondary, and post-secondary student audiences and inclusive constituencies from the campus, community, and greater Philadelphia region.

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