Seeing a beloved children's classic story come to life on the stage is an experience that families can enjoy together. We eagerly came to The Laguna Playhouse in anticipation of seeing one of our kid's favorites books - "The Boxcar Children." The play opened with a solo number by a student actress singing about the hard times of the depression and I was struck with the realization that I didn't remember that the story was set in that decade. The four children in the story were played by four children in the Youth Company as well as most of the other roles, save for a few adults who were professional stage actors. The set design, props, musical numbers, and acting were superb and enjoyable to watch.
The Laguna Playhouse is an historic theatre playing host to a year-round season of dramas, comedies, musicals, and family-friendly programming. The Youth Theatre produces three plays a year, one of them by "Theatre for a New Generation" aimed to high schoolers. Attending a play by Youth Theatre is a perfect way to introduce kids to the theatre and the unique quality of a live performance. Productions are typically based on well-known children's novels or stories. School groups love attending the matinees as they are held during morning hours with group pricing.
The Boxcar Children - November 11-20, 2017
The Wizard of Oz - March 31 - April 9, 2017
One of the plays each year is produced by "Theatre for a New Generation" which chooses mature themes to discuss issues such as teen dating, school gun violence, and bullying. These are designed for high school students and mature tweens with parental guidance. This May, the story of "Hana's Suitcase" will be performed May 19-21, 2017. This true life story follows a Japanese teacher who seeks to find out the history of "Hana Brady," who was killed at Auschwitz during the holocaust, in order to help her students learn about this difficult history.
Hana's Suitcase - May 19-21, 2017
Families can expect to have a great time at a Youth Theatre production. Typically, there are children in the company selling tickets, collecting tickets, and ushering. During our visit, there was a raffle entry to win prizes such as a large electric train set from "The Polar Express." At another table, small trinkets and treats were on sale for about $2-3 such as journals, special pens, toy trains, and lollipops. Concessions were open before the production and at intermission selling drinks and small treats, each costing $2. The theatre itself is a mid-sized room with drop seats and solid armrests. Each seat has a good view of the stage; however sitting in balcony may not be best for small kids because of the high solid railing. Come early to the show to take pictures together, buy a few treats, use the restroom, and to find your seat before the lights go out. Enjoy the show!