‘Red Kite, Brown Box’ offers a special theater experience for kids with special needs

Give a child a present and they’ll likely play with the box it came in.

On Feb. 28, the Chicago Children’s Theatre builds on that fact with a unique live theater experience for children with autism and sensory issues with “Red Kite, Brown Box,” which debuted in 2014 and has toured nationally.

Created and directed by Artistic Director Jacqueline Russell, who has dedicated her career to creating theater experiences for children with special needs, the show uses kids’ imaginations to transform cardboard boxes into a magical world.

This adventure encourages kids and their families to move, laugh, talk, sing and interact during the show if they want to. Specially trained teaching artists guide children to use the cardboard moving boxes and create forts, homes, cars and robots.

“Red Kite experiences allow children to explore each performance however they like,” Russell says in a news release. “One child may touch and play with all the props, while another sits quietly, reluctant to participate and a third child joins right in with all of the songs and dances, and that’s all OK.” 

The show is limited to 10 children, each with a caregiver or parent. Families also are sent a Social Story to prepare for the adventure ahead of time so that kids get the most out of the fu experience.

If you go

Red Kite, Brown Box

Chicago Children’s Theatre, The Station, 100 S. Racine Ave., Chicago

Saturdays at noon and 1:30 p.m., February 28-March 21

Tickets are $10, free parking adjacent to the theater

Recommended for 5 and up

Find more information at chicagochildrenstheatre.org.

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