Children's Theater presents two shows a year, in the spring and fall.

Our Fall 2017 Children's show was Comic Book Artist, presented Sept. 8-10.

Please check back here later for information on our Spring 2018 Children's show.

How to audition:

Kids in grades 3-8 who live in the Vermilion County area are eligible to audition for Red Mask Children's Theater.  Auditions are held for two evenings at the Kathryn Randolph Theater.  Dates and times will be posted on this site and also listed in the Danville Commercial News and on our voice mail (217-442-5858).  Play scripts are available (for in-library reading only) at area libraries. Check the individual show page for more information.

At auditions, each child fills out an audition sheet and is called onstage to read scenes from the script.  No memorization is needed for auditions.  In filling roles, the casting committee looks for volume, expression, and sometimes the correct physicality.  At the end of the second evening of auditions, parts are cast. 

A crucial part of Children's Theater is parent participation.  Children's Theater is designed to be a family experience, and each child is expected to have a parent actively involved in some aspect of the production (cast sitter, costumes, box office, makeup, etc.).

Jean Lewis, daughter of Red Mask legend Kathryn Randolph, directed every Red Mask Children’s Theater production during the group’s first 25 years (her last show being “Daniel Boone” in 1987). In recognition of her many contributions to Red Mask, the Board of Directors instituted the Jean Lewis Scholarship in 1977.

Children’s Theater was started by the newlyformed Red Mask Guild in 1961. The Guild’s purpose was to promote interest in theater and, with the hoped-for acquisition of our own facility, to have the building in use more of the time.

Our first production of “The Clown Who Ran Away” was at St. James Methodist Church in June of 1962. Since the Community Room there was rented for $25 per session, we rehearsed at my home.

When the Guild became inactive a few years later, the Red Mask board of directors continued Children’s Theater under its auspices.

Our spring plays are a most successful part of Children’s Theater. The first, “Rebels and Red Coats,” by Danville playwright Mary Jean Lowenstein, was about Paul Revere’s children. Two years later, we gave her play, “Bully, My Boys,” which told the story of Teddy Roosevelt’s family while they lived in the White House. Each of our spring productions must have historical value or be adapted from a literary classic. We give five matinees and one evening performance every spring.

The fall Children’s Theater production is always a fairy tale. Every child who auditions becomes a part of the cast. The pre-schoolers are usually birds, frogs or even rocks; the older children who do not have speaking parts are knights, ladies-in-waiting, or townspeople. The fall plays generally have casts of 75 to 125. There are three performances — Friday night, Saturday morning and Saturday afternoon.

My continuing interest in Children’s Theater remains as it was 25 years ago. As a child, I had the opportunity to participate in many plays. The school system of the 1960s — like even some schools today — did not offer youngsters that option. I was well aware of the great contribution such participation made to my self-concept. Such valuable traits as ease in communication (enunciation, diction, phonetics, clear delivery) and thinking while speaking are the obvious gains. But other assets, perhaps more subtle, are to be acquired from such exposure. When I see painfully shy children realize that they have the ability to work with others — and work successfully as a team toward a common goal — I see children who have learned that perseverance, determination, honesty and growth in self-esteem will produce most rewarding results for them and for others. The rewards then become great for us all!