Summer Children’s Theatre in Lake County {2017}

My oldest child, Cole, 19, has always been a “theatre kid.” I started taking him to the theatre when he was a toddler, and I’m happy that his love of theatre endured through high school and now college. The theatre helped him develop an appreciation for the arts, and when he started participating as an actor, an avenue for self-expression. Lake County is fortunate to have a thriving theatre scene, with performances year-round specifically for children. This summer, take a break from the summer sun to enjoy one of the fantastic summer children’s theatre offerings in Lake County.

summer childdren's theater in lake county

Summer Children’s Theatre in Lake County

Not all productions are right for all ages (though most are!) please click through for full details on the show and decide for yourself based on your child’s maturity and age. Little Lake County is not responsible for sold out events.

Little Shop of Horrors
Date: June 23-25
Times: 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. (Check website for specific times for selected date.)
Cost: $15
Round Lake High School
800 N. High School Dr., Round Lake | (847) 546-8558
Ticket information.

This horror rock comedy musical is about a meek and lonely flower shop worker, Seymour, who raises a man-eating plant. As he feeds the plant human flesh and blood, it begins to generate business for the previously struggling store, and Seymour revels in the power it gives him – but in the process of getting everything he has ever wanted, Seymour risks everything he has ever loved.

Seussical Jr.
Date: June 23-25
Times: Vary by date, see website
Cost: $10 each
PM&L Stage Struck Program
PM&L Theatre, 877 N. Main St., Antioch | (847) 395-3433
Buy tickets here.

Performed by children ages 8-17 in the Stage Struck program. “Oh, the thinks you can think” when Dr. Seuss’s best-loved characters collide and cavort in an unforgettable musical caper! Horton the Elephant, the Cat in the Hat and all your favorite Dr. Seuss characters spring to life in Seussical, Jr., a fantastical musical extravaganza from Tony-winners Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty. Show runs about 75 minutes.


Romeo and Juliet
Dates/Times: July 26 (dress rehearsal) and July 28-30 at 7:00 p.m. (Lake Forest Open Lands); August 4-6 at 7:00 p.m. (Brushwood Center at Ryerson Woods); August 11-13 at 7:00 p.m. (Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart)
Cost: Prices vary from $5-$15; check websites for specifics.
Set among three outdoor locations: Lake Forest Open Lands, Brushwood Center at Ryerson Woods and Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart
Learn more here.

Buy tickets:

Enjoy the tragedy about two young star-crossed lovers whose deaths ultimately reconcile their feuding families set admit beautiful outdoor nature preserves. Perfect for tweens/teens. Lawn seating available; blankets, lawn chairs, picnics and refreshments are encouraged.

Opera for the Young’s The Elixir of Love
Dates/Times: August 12, 11:00 a.m.
Cost: $10 reserved; $5 lawn
Ravinia – Martin Theatre
418 Sheridan Rd., Highland Park | (847) 266-5100 
Buy tickets here.

Opera for the Young brings live, professional opera to elementary school audiences. Each year, OFTY reaches over 75,000 elementary school children throughout the Midwest to ignite an enthusiasm for opera. All productions are fully staged, sung in English and adapted especially for kids. Opera for the Young’s adaptation of Donizetti’s “The Elixir of Love” moves the action to Lonesome Gulch, a town in the American Old West. Miss Addy, Jimmy Reno, and Bill Corey form the love triangle of the story, with Dr. Dulcamara appearing as the “snake oil” peddler who sells the love potion. Students from the REACH*TEACH*PLAY Program will perform onstage as the Justice of the Peace and the Soldier as well as the “Citizens of Lonesome Gulch.” Playful melodies and comical characters delight youngsters, while themes of bullying and substance abuse, as well as the age old wisdom of “being true to yourself,” generate thoughtful discussion. (From

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
Dates/Times: Sept. 16  at 11:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m. & 5:00 p.m.; Sept. 17 at 11:00 a.m. & 2:00 p.m.
Cost: $15
Ravinia – Bennett Gordon Hall
418 Sheridan Rd., Highland Park | (847) 266-5100 
Buy tickets here.

“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” is a musical that is based on the “coat of many colors” story from the Bible’s Book of Genesis. It tells the story of a young man whose brothers are jealous of their father’s favoritism toward him and the beautiful coat he received as a gift. He is sold into slavery, but ultimately becomes important to the Pharaoh due to his ability to interpret dreams. Music by Andrew Lloyd Weber and lyrics by Tim Rice.

Which Lake County theatre productions are on your list this summer? Leave us your recommendations in the comments section below.

About Laura Otto 26 Articles
Laura Otto is an associate professor at Mount Mary University in Milwaukee, where she teaches courses in journalism, writing for new media and creative writing. She lives in Vernon Hills with her husband, Matt, and three kids: Cole (19), Maya (7) and Shane (4). When she isn’t grading papers or scrubbing crayon off the walls, she can be found playing Downton Abbey trivia games on Facebook or doodling all over her kids’ homework.

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