Northwest Indiana is known for its strong theater community. Within the mix, the Region also has several organizations dedicated to help children improve their craft as they entertain audiences.

This fall is no exception, with several groups gearing up for this season’s productions, as well as planning educational sessions that allow youth to collaborate and express creativity.

Theatre at the Center

Theatre at the Center offers several options for younger viewers, including a holiday favorite.

On Dec. 5 to16, the center will present “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,” an original musical adaptation inspired by the famous poem by Clement Moore.

From Jan. 22 to 26, 2018, “I Have a Dream” chronicles the impact of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., inspiring students to be inspired by his dream.

Later in the spring, Theatre at the Center will present “Beauty and the Beast” on April 9 through 15, 2018.

Theatre at the Center also offers several workshops that cover a wide variety of topics, from musical theater to stage combat.

Towle Theater

Are you in, or are you out? That question continues to take center stage as Towle Youth Theater Ensemble presents “Heathers, the Musical - High School Edition.”

The production continues Friday through Sunday.

“The production team, cast and crew is comprised of students from eight different school systems and two home school associations from all over Northwest Indiana and Chicagoland,” said Jeff Casey, Towle Theater’s managing director.

The Towle Youth Theater Ensemble (TYTE) offers membership and participation into the Ensemble. Of the talent selected, TYTE casts the show, including behind-the-scenes work in areas such as marketing and administrative.

The overall goal is to build a team of theater artists and leaders, Casey said.

The Drama Group

Children will enjoy the classic tale of “Little Red Riding Hood” this spring as The Drama Group presents the show March 21 to 25, 2018.

Theater-goers will join Little Red on her journey to Grandma’s house in this original musical comedy adaptation of the classic story.

For those kids interested in learning more about theater, The Drama Group will hold a Kids Camp next summer on June 11 to 29. Participants then will present “Peter Pan Jr.” on June 29 and 30.

The camp, for children in grades 1-8, is held at The Drama Group Milord Studio Theatre in Chicago Heights.

Chicago Street Theatre

Chicago Street Theatre’s classroom focuses on the importance of creative expression and collaboration, while teaching the fundamentals of theater. With offerings for ages 5 to 18, the theater works to enhance the performance skills of youth, as well as improve other areas such as self-esteem, discipline and basic problem solving.

This winter, the theater will offer camps that run four weeks, beginning in January. In February, Chicago Street Theatre begins its spring semester that will run 13 weeks.

For those who want to catch some of the actors’ work and get into the holiday spirit, the theater will present “It’s A Wonderful Life,” which runs Nov. 24 through Dec. 16.

“After that, we have ‘Sideways Stories from Wayside School,’ based on the popular children’s book series by Louis Sachar running March 2 to 17,” said Eric Brant, marketing director.

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