Where to Take Kids to See Live Theatre in Indy

Live theatre is an enriching experience — for kids and adults alike. Taking children to live productions is not only fun, but the experience can also develop critical thinking, imagination and empathy, as kids put themselves in the characters’ shoes and consider what they may or may not do in similar situations. 

As theatre companies reopen, consider buying tickets to some of the many plays and theatre productions happening all over Indianapolis, and giving your child the gift of live productions. 

Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre

This popular venue treats guests to dinner and a show, with several performances throughout the year geared toward young audiences. Each holiday season, two different productions — “A Beef and Boards Christmas” and “A Christmas Carol” — help end the year with holiday fun. If the kiddos aren’t quite ready for a full-length show, Beef & Boards typically offers two children’s theatre productions, ranging from “Cinderella” to “Charlottes’ Web”. Check the website for specific productions and times.

Actors Theatre of Indiana

Actors Theatre of Indiana was co-founded in 2005 by Cynthia Collins, Don Farrell and Judy Fitzgerald with a mission to celebrate the power of theater and contribute to the quality of life in central Indiana by offering high-quality professional theater performances and programs that engage, inspire, educate and entertain. Their 2021-22 Broadway Season kicks off Sept. 10, 2021 with “Always…Patsy Cline.”

Hilbert Circle Theatre

Home to the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra (ISO), the Hilbert Circle Theatre offers a variety of series to enjoy. On Oct. 30 and 31, the orchestra will be playing music from “The Nightmare Before Christmas”. The full-feature length film will be projected onto the big screen and the ISO will perform live music to accompany the movie. The annual Yuletide Celebration, featuring tap dancing Santa Claus and classic music, is also a family tradition during the holidays. 

Indiana Repertory Theatre

The Indiana Repertory Theatre (IRT) is the largest professional not-for-profit theatre in the state of Indiana. Live theatre is back at the IRT, and families can enjoy “Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol” around the holidays.

Broadway Across America

The Broadway Across America series performs Broadway shows across the country, and makes a stop in Indianapolis for the many of the performances. “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” will arrive Oct. 19-24 and “Mean Girls” will arrive March 29-April 3, 2022. 

The Biz Musical Academy

The Biz offers family-friendly shows, such as “Footloose” and “The Jungle Book,” which played over the summer. Check out “The Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon” on Sept. 10, 11 and 12 . The Biz also has programming and events for kids with special needs, including the My Time to Shine program, which invites children with disabilities to perform several times per year. 

Hendricks Civic Theatre

The Hendricks Civic Theatre offers theatre performances for adults and children throughout the year. Re-opening for their first performance in more than 15 months, the cast will perform “I Hate Hamlet” in October, and “Radium Girls” in March of 2022. 

Footlite Musicals

Footlite will perform “Crazy for You” throughout the month of August, and later this year, “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.” The community theatre has been performing since 1955 with a new show every six weeks or so. In the past, audiences have enjoyed performances such as “Elf Jr.,” “High School Musical Jr.” and “Sister Act.” 

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