Chicago Children’s Theatre’s Newest Live Theatre Adventure for Children with Autism

Photo Credit: Liam Fitzgerald

Photo Credit: Liam Fitzgerald

Chicago, Chicago Children’s Theatre’snewest live theatre adventure for children with autism – Red Kite, Brown Box – To take flight with national representation via kmp artists

Chicago Children’s Theatre (CCT) has teamed with internationally respected theater management firm KMP Artists to send Red Kite, Brown Box – the company’s live theatrical adventure created exclusively for children on the autism spectrum – on a national tour in 2015-2016.

Red Kite, Brown Box is a nationally unique, live theater experience that leads children with autism and their families on an imaginative journey where simple cardboard boxes transform into a magical world full of treasures and joy.

Conceived by CCT Artistic Director Jacqueline Russell, Red Kite, Brown Box marks the first autism-friendly offering represented by KMP Artists, a top management firm and production company for the live performing arts since 2004. KMP offers theatrical productions, jazz headliners, cabaret artists, circus, international dance, classical concerts, visual arts and residency programs.

Russel said:

“Red Kite, Brown Box is a transformative educational experience created for what is currently an underserved audience, and Chicago Children’s Theatre is eager to work with KMP Artists to introduce the world of Red Kite to audiences all over the country,”

Kristopher McDowell, Founding Partner and President, KMP Artists said:

“We are proud and excited to add Red Kite, Brown Box to our roster for the 2015-2016 season,”

Further adding that;

“Our new linkage with Chicago Children’s Theatre is right in line with KMP’s commitment to cultural exchange by touring exceptional projects found around the globe that stimulate conversation and encourage mutual understanding.”

Photo Credit: Liam Fitzgerald

Photo Credit: Liam Fitzgerald

Tailored to the unique needs of children on the autism spectrum, Red Kite, Brown Box is a multi-sensory adventure that encourages its audience members to move, laugh, talk, sing and interact with the artists – not sit still and keep quiet. Specially trained teaching artists gently guide children into a home filled with empty cardboard moving boxes, ideal for climbing and hiding inside, that also morph into magical forts, homes, vehicles, even robots. Each showing is limited to an audience of just 10 children (each with a caregiver or parent) so that each child receives plenty of individual attention.

“Red Kite allows children to experience each performance however they like,” added Russell. “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 okay.”

Andrea K., a parent who brought her child to an earlier Red Kite adventure, Red Kite Round Up, confirmed,

“There are really not words to describe our experience at Red Kite! Usually, the world is too loud, too bright and just plain hard to maneuver. So to have this experience where I could just sit back and watch him smile, participate and enjoy drama and pretend play was magical.”

Photo Credit: Liam Fitzgerald

Photo Credit: Liam Fitzgerald

Inspired by the book Not a Box by Antoinette Portis, Red Kite, Brown Box is the sixth Red Kite installation created by Russell, recipient of the 2013 “Hero of the Year Award” from the Chicago chapter of Autism Speaks, and a former U.S. State Department Cultural Envoy to Canada due to her work with children with autism.

Russell devised Red Kite, Brown Box in association with Theatre Direct, Toronto in November 2013, before debuting it in the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago’s Millennium Park. In addition to overseeing all programming at Chicago Children’s Theatre, Russell leads professional development workshops for educators and artists, works in classrooms with students with ASD and other behavioral disorders, and gives lectures and demonstrations for medical specialists, parents, and educators. Before founding CCT, Russell worked for 14 years as an artist in residence at Agassiz Elementary School teaching drama to two autism-specific classrooms.

Performing arts centers interested in learning how to bring Red Kite, Brown Box to their city should visit, email or call (888) 489-5989.

For more information about the Red Kite Project, Chicago Children’s Theatre’s upcoming 2014-15 mainstage season, the company’s roster of theater classes and camps for kids and other education programs, visit