Primary Stages




Productions: What’s Up Next?

The Mission of Primary Stages

Integrating creative drama, music, dance and visual art, the mission of Primary Stages is to inspire hearts and imaginations; help children and teens develop their creative spirit while promoting confidence in themselves and the world around us. Primary Stages programming also fosters an on-going appreciation for all art forms.

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Primary Stages Programs

Founded in 2005 as a response to the needs in the greater Reading community, Primary Stages Programs have been found year-round in schools, after-school community programs, the Greater Berks Food-Bank’s: Kids Cafés, Recreation Centers, the Libraries and in our own building.

Tied directly to the mission of Primary Stages, we also utilize The Arts to provide workshops and ongoing classes that are aligned to PA state curriculum standards in Science, Math, Social Studies, Language Arts under the umbrella of the Arts disciplines.

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Primary Stages Productions

Through School Tours, Onsite Performances, in the Libraries and other Partner Venues, Primary Stages productions have be enjoyed by tens of thousands of audience members throughout of Berks County and beyond.

Primary Stages Productions constantly look at the seemingly every day and turn it into something magical through the transformative experience of live theater. Our goal is to consistently provide excellent, quality performances that are accessible to the very young and entertaining to the entire family. From plays inspired by beloved Children’s Books, to Jazz for Kids, to Holiday inspired shows, to Opera for children (in partnership with Berks Opera Workshop), our productions employ professional and up-and-coming professional Actors, Directors, Musicians, Scenic Designers and Costumers from all over the region. And to think, two little Elves started it all!


 Up Next!

  Jingle Arrgh the Way!: A Christmas Pirate Adventure

 at the Yocum Institute for Arts Education

NOW on Saturdays through Dec. 17, 2016 at 10:00 AM | Dec. 17 at 1:00 PM | PJ Night! Dec. 20 at 6:30 PM


The countdown to the holidays is upon us and what better way to celebrate than with Santa himself and… pirates?!

That’s right! Primary Stages presents Jingle Arrgh the Way!: A Christmas Pirate Adventure. This delightful, family-friendly musical features the characters we know and love from “How I Became a Pirate,” great songs, and a trip to the North Pole to find You Know Who!

Join us Saturdays at 10 AM, November 19 – December 17. All productions will be held at Yocum Institute for Arts Education and are general admission.

All tickets are General Admission:
$10.00 at the door
$8.50 in advance
$7.00 members in advance

To purchase tickets
Sat. Dec. 3 at 10AM
Sat. Dec. 10 at 10AM
Sat. Dec. 17 at 10AM
Sat. Dec. 17 at 1PM
Tues. Dec. 20 at 6:30PM dress in PJs

We look forward to seeing ya mateys there!

For more information call 610.376.1576.

Book, Music & Lyrics by Janet Yates Vogt and Mark Friedman
Original story and characters by Melinda Long
Director: Beverly Houck
Musical Director: Lisa Speece
Stage Manager: Hunter Willow-Jones
Set Design: Nadia Perfect-Riznyk
Costumes: Ashley Pierce

Jeffrey Jones as Captain Braid Beard
Marisa Hoover as Pierre
Shawn Gable as Sharktooth
Kiera Spann as Max
Cassidy Vees at Swill
and Aidan Schlegel as Jeremy Jacob

with a special appearance by Santa Claus

2016-2017 Productions

fisherman LOGO - web (640x631)

Spring: Jazz-fest for kids!
The Fisherman and His Wife at the Miller Center for the Arts

Friday, March 24, 7:00pm
Saturday, March 25, 11:00am & 2:00pm

For Tickets: click here



Summer: A Midsummer Night’s Dream
June 23-24, 2017 at 7:00pm
in partnership with Berks County Parks at Gring’s Mill


Primary Stages Past Productions



 Duck for President* adaptation by James E. Grote, music and lyrics by George Howe, based on the book by Doreen Cronin, pictures by Betsy Lewin – library tour (Beverly Houck) springtwnshpduck

Balloonacy by Barry Kornhauser, featuring Joel Gori with music by Chris Heslop – Yocum Gallery (Terri Mastrobuono)

Twas the Night Before Christmas, by Ken Ludwig – Yocum Gallery (Christine Cieplinski)

Junie B Jones, the Musical – part of the Miller Center for the Arts Family Sampler Series (Beverly Houck/ Ellen “Dash” Walter)


Miss Electricity*, by Kathryn Walat, library tour (Megan Rose)


 Romeo & Juliet, Shakespeare in the Park at Gring’s Mill (Beverly Houck)
The Bear Prince with Berks Opera Company, by Chris Heslop and Vicki Graff (Joel Gori)
This Girl Laughs, This Girl Cries, This Girl Does Nothing*, by Finnegan Kruckemeyer (Joel Gori)
IMG_1067PALS*, by David Perkins (Beverly Houck)IMG_0952
The Elves & the Shoemaker, by Margie Royal & EA Alexander (Beverly Houck)

2013 – 2014

How to think Like a Scientist*, original script by Vicki Graff, library tour (Joel Gori)
The Delicious Revenge of Princess Ruby Slippers* in the Parks (Gori/ Houck)
Jack and the Beanstalk, an operetta for children by John Davies (Houck)
Go. Dog, GO! (Matt Fotis)

Bunnicula – Miller Center (Gori)

2012 – 2013
Much Ado About Nothing-Gring’s Mill in the Park (Houck)
Library Tour*
The Bill Goats Gruff, an opera by John Davies (Gori/ Black)
Ho Ho Ho, Where’s Santa? (Houck)
How I Became a Pirate, full musical by Janet Yates Vogt & Mark Friedman -Miller Center (Reppert)

IMG_09322011 – 2012
Click Clack Moo*-Library Tour (Houck)
Twelfth Night-Grings Mill in the Park (Houck)
Cloud Pictures-Jazz Fest original composition by Chris Heslop
Pinocchio, by Joel Gori
The Boxcar Children (Houck)

IMG_38842010 – 2011

Aesop’s Fables*-Library Tour (Gori & Houck)
Three Little Pigs, an opera, by John Davies (Gori)
Elves & the Shoemaker, by Margie Royal & EA Alexander (Cieplinski)
Sideways Stories from Wayside School (Houck)

2009 – 2010IMG_8713

How I Became a Pirate* by Janet Yates Vogt & Mark Friedman-Library Tour (Houck)
Jazz Amazon-Jazz Fest for Kids original work by Joey Madia, composition by Chris Heslop (Gori)
Peter & the Wolf, Plays for Young Audiences adaptation (Cieplinski)
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing-Miller Center (Houck)

2008 – 2009

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie*-Library Tour (Houck)LyleMariaJoelMatt
Cows Don’t Fly and Other Known Facts-Jazz Fest for Kids, by Larry & Vivian Snipes, original composition by Chris Heslop (Gori)
King Midas and the Best Holiday in History by Joey Madia, (Houck)


Two Marys Five Jacks and One Very Big Shoe-Jazz Fest for Kids, by Joey Madia, original composition by Chris Heslop (Gori)
Elves  & the Shoemaker, by Margie Royal & EA Alexander (Bradbury)

2006 – 2007

DSC00266The Fisherman & His Wife-Jazz Fest for Kids, by Larry & Vivian Snipes, original composition by Chris Heslop (Gori)
The Flying Show for Kids, original work by Valentine Aprile, Jeanette Hough & Domenick Scudera
The Snow Queen, by Margie Royal & EA Alexander (Houck)


2005 – 2006

Monkey Business and Other Stories, original work<
Elves & the Shoemaker, by Margie Royal & EA Alexander (Houck)


*denotes Teen Theater Ensemble Performances, for complete list of Theater Ensemble Productions, please see Ensemble page

Highlights of Past Productions:

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