Thursday January 24 1:32 am

Spotlighting events along the south shore of Lake Michigan

CHICAGO CHILDREN’S THEATRE TO DEBUT X-MARKS THE SPOT, A MULTISENSORY THEATRICAL EXPERIENCE

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That’s right. Close your eyes. Because X-Marks the Spot: An X-Tra Sensory Xperience uses sounds, voices, tastes, and touchable, scented props to create an all-new multisensory theater event, ideal for children and parents to experience together.

At X-Marks the Spot, audiences enter the theater to find a magical, low-light, communal setting. The first surprise is how fast the other four senses jump to life, ready to take in the interactive fun soon to come.

Then, actors perform a spine-tingling story about a family of adventurers using a highly choreographed series of props, sounds, tastes and smells that stimulate the senses and bring the play to life.

Don’t miss X-Marks the Spot, an unforgettable new theater experience that also helps kids appreciate how people who are visually impaired might experience live performance.

X-Marks the Spot runs January 26-February 24, 2019: Saturday and Sunday at 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., January 26 and 27 and February 2 and 3; then 11:30 a.m. (only), Saturday and Sunday, February 9 and 10, February 16 and 17 and February 23 and 24.

Press are invited to any show opening weekend: Saturday, January 26 or Sunday, January 27 at 9:30 a.m. or 11:30 a.m.

Single tickets are $35. Visit chicagochildrenstheatre.org or call Chicago Children’s Theatre Guest Services, (312) 374-8835 for single tickets, subscriptions, information on school performances and group rates.

Chicago Children’s Theatre, The Station, is located at 100 S. Racine Ave. in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood. The Station is minutes from I-90 and I-290, as well as downtown and Ashland Avenue. Chicago Children’s Theatre offers free onsite parking on the south side of the building, entering from Racine Ave. Additional street parking is usually readily available nearby on weekends, or look for the Impark parking lot, 1301 W. Madison St.

Note: X-Marks the Spot is ideal for families with children ages 8 and up. The show on Sunday, February 11 is sensory-friendly, with a quiet room and family restroom available.

Listen! Smell! Touch! Taste! Behind the scenes of X-Marks the Spot

X-Marks the Spot: An X-Tra Sensory Xperience is conceived and directed by Jacqueline Russell, Co-Founder and Artistic Director, Chicago Children’s Theatre. The work was deeply informed by her semester-long residency last spring with students who are visually impaired at a CPS elementary school. It also builds on Russell’s efforts throughout her career to create theater that is inclusive of all audiences, best evidenced by her acclaimed Red Kite Project productions and camps for children on the autism spectrum.

"Creating theater that's inclusive of all of Chicago's children is core to CCT's mission," said Russell. "My drama residency work last spring with students who are visually impaired inspired me to try something brand new that would be special for them to experience, but will also be equally delightful and engaging for everyone.”

Paris Ray Dozier, son of Motown legend Lamont Dozier, who co-created the music for Chicago Children’s Theatre’s hit world premiere Last Stop on Market Street last spring, is teaming with Russell to create original music and sound for X-Marks the Spot. The production team also includes Will Bishop, scenic and costume design; Becca Jeffords, lighting design; David K. Samba, assistant sound design; and Emily Boyd, props design. Elizabeth Dauterman is stage manager.

The plot for X-Marks the Spot is loosely based on the Victorian era children’s novel Five Children & It by Edith Nesbit, which tells the clever and funny story of a family of young adventurers who discover a mischievous wishing fairy in the sand—only to learn the old adage, “be careful what you wish for.”

X-Marks the Spot: An X-Tra Sensory Xperience is funded in part by the NEA Arts Work program.

What’s Next at Chicago Children’s Theatre

After X-Marks the Spot, Chicago Children’s Theatre hosts New York’s Spellbound Theatre’s The World Inside Me, a new form of educational arts experience designed specifically for pre-K youth, February 9-March 10. This world premiere production is part art and part science, showcasing the creative abilities of our youngest children while celebrating the human body, following human development from pre-natal through age five.

Chicago Children’s Theatre’s 13th season finale is the world premiere of The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963, based on the groundbreaking, timeless young adult novel by Christopher Paul Curtis, adapted by Cheryl L. West, directed by Wardell Julius Clark. Performances are March 26-April 28. For ages 9 and up.

For tickets, subscriptions and group rates, visit www.chicagochildrenstheatre.org or call (312) 374-8835.

About Chicago Children’s Theatre

Chicago Children’s Theatre has transformed the former 12th District Police Station, located in the heart of Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood at 100 S. Racine Avenue, into its first permanent home.

The new Chicago Children’s Theatre, The Station, celebrated its grand opening in January 2017, and now serves as a beautiful, mixed-use performing arts, education and community engagement facility that welcomes all Chicago families.

Since its launch in 2005, CCT has cemented its reputation as the city’s largest professional theater company devoted exclusively to children and young families. The company evolved out of Chicago’s need for high-quality, professional children’s programming to match the quality and significance of powerhouses such as Steppenwolf, Goodman and Lookingglass.

In 2017, Chicago Children’s Theatre became the first theater for young audiences in the nation to win a National Theatre Award from the American Theatre Wing, creators of the Tony Awards.

Chicago Children’s Theatre has built its national reputation due to its focus on new work, producing 17 world premieres in the last 12 years including The Selfish Giant, The Hundred Dresses, Jackie and Me, Dot and Ziggy, The Houdini Box, The Elephant and The Whale (in association with Redmoon), Mr. Chickee’s Funny Money, Leo Lionni’s Frederick, Wonderland, Alice’s Rock & Roll Adventure, A Snowy Day with Beatrix Potter, Jabari Dreams of Freedom, Moonshot: A Race to Space, The Year I Didn’t Go To School: A Homemade Circus, My Wonderful Birthday Suit!, An Epic Tale of Scale and Last Stop on Market Street. These enjoyed successful inaugural runs in Chicago, many followed by productions at theaters across the U.S.

CCT has always believed children should be treated as the sophisticated audiences that they are, showcasing high profile and award-winning talent, inventive production values and compelling stories that challenge, educate and entertain. CCT also honors a strong commitment to low-income families and children with special needs. In partnership with Chicago Public Schools, the company offers free tickets to more than 5,000 Chicago-area low-income students each season.

In addition to presenting live shows in The Station’s intimate 149-seat Pritzker Family Studio Theatre, Chicago Children’s Theatre continues to grow its education and community programs, which are unique in Chicago for emphasizing student authorship, youth empowerment and community leadership. CCT now offers year-round education programming at The Station for ages 0 to 13, including the city’s most diverse roster of classes, specialized workshops, winter and spring break camps, and a full slate of summer camp experiences. Visit chicagochildrenstheatre.org/education, email education@chicagochildrenstheatre.org, or call CCT’s Guest Services, (312) 374-8835, to register your child for one class or many.

Chicago Children’s Theatre is led by Co-Founders, Artistic Director Jacqueline Russell and Board Chair Todd Leland, with Board President Eric Neveux. The company is supported by a dynamic Board of Directors comprised of dedicated individuals from the fields of entertainment, philanthropy and business. Chicago Children's Theatre’s season is sponsored in part by Goldman Sachs Gives and ComEd.

For more, visit www.chicagochildrenstheatre.org.