Bay Area Children’s Theatre
We founded BACT in 2004 to enrich children’s lives, inspire their imagination, and introduce them to lifelong enjoyment of theatre. Today, we serve more than 90,000 children and adults each year with:
- Professional productions specially designed to engage young audiences
- Theatre education for students in more than 10 East Bay communities
Our goal in all we do is to bring high-quality artistic experiences to the families of the Bay Area.
Main Stage Productions
We introduce children to the joy of live theatre as audience members at our main stage productions in Berkeley, Oakland, San Francisco and San Ramon. Seeing stories onstage inspires children to explore their own creativity, encourages them to think analytically, fosters empathy, and broadens their understanding of the world.
Our productions have a special secret for enriching the experience of our young audiences: we bring great children’s books to life onstage! Most of our work—from dramas to musicals—is inspired by the magic of wonderful children’s authors like Annie Barrows (Ivy + Bean, the Musical), Roald Dahl (James and the Giant Peach), Kate DiCamillo (The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane), and Dr. Seuss (The Cat in the Hat).
We want our work to be meaningful and accessible to children and families of all backgrounds.
New work: We are known for creating new plays that introduce young audiences to heroes and heroines in imaginary worlds and different cultures—plays like our award-winning musical adaptation of Grace Lin’s Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. Developing new work enables us to respond to the varied interests of the communities we serve and to enrich the canon of plays written for young audiences.
Access: To introduce disadvantaged children to live theatre, we offer weekday matinees for school groups in Berkeley and San Francisco with reduced price tickets and scholarship aid. We also offer a school tour in partnership with Alameda County Safe Routes that takes our original musical, Rock the Block, to low-income Alameda County schools with a message of bike and walking safety.
Parents tell us that the children in their life play inventive games inspired by our shows for weeks after the performance. That’s the kind of creative impact theatre has!
Our theatre education program teaches the art of live performance to thousands of students throughout the East Bay—from Pittsburg to Pleasanton. Our specialty is “triple threat” musical theatre—singing, dancing and acting. We believe, and we tell parents, that theatre education prepares students for success in the world ahead.
Our after-school classes and summer camps for students aged 5 – 15 range from introductory theatre experiences to full-scale productions. BACT students gain the skills and the confidence to stand tall, speak up and sing out. They learn what it takes to create an entire show. And—just as in sports—they participate in defining and achieving goals as a member of a well-trained, well-prepared team.
BACT teaching artists are highly regarded for their professional skills, their rapport with students of all backgrounds, and their emphasis on goal-setting, self-discipline, teamwork—and fun!
We offer our own BACT classes in Piedmont and Alameda, and we provide theatre education programs for cities that support the performing arts for children (e.g., Pleasanton and San Ramon), for civic organizations (e.g., Contra Costa Civic Theatre), and for individual elementary and middle schools in which academic leaders and parent-teacher associations want to enrich their curricula by providing after-school instruction in the theatre arts.