PrimaryStages Productions constantly looks at the seemingly every day and turns it into something magical through the transformative experience of live theater.
Our goal is to consistently provide a variety of 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.
Through school tours, onsite performances, and performances in libraries and other partnering venues, PrimaryStages Productions have been enjoyed by tens of thousands of audience members throughout Berks County and beyond.
Hansel & Gretel, a Fairytale Opera
Produced in partnership with Berks Opera Company
This concert version with live music a colorful set is loosely based on Grimm’s fairytale, a tale of mischievous children who stumble upon a not-so-nice witch in a candy cottage.
Saturday, September 28th at 2 PM and 7 PM
Sunday, September 29th at 2 PM
Poe’s Unhappy Hour,
Interactive storytelling of the works of Edgar Alan Poe
This interactive theatrical event includes the audience in the experience as esteemed guests who witness a performance of heightened storytelling of many famous short stories and poems of Edgar Allan Poe. The works include Poe’s short stories: “The Tell-Tale Heart” & “The Cask of Amontillado” along with some of his poems including “Annabel Lee” and “The Raven”. Additionally the audience is provided with an opportunity to interact with Mr. Poe, his wife Virginia, his Aunt Maria, and his harshest critic, Rufus Griswold.
Available to school audiences October 22 and 23
Friday, October 25 at 7:00 PM
Carnival of the Animals, a Celebration in Poetry and Music
Produced in partnership with Reading Philharmonic Orchestra
Poetry by Ogden Nash and Children of Berks County
This musical delight takes the audience face to face with the animal kingdom. Puppetry and Poetry combine for family audiences. 60 minute concert featuring selections from Carnival of the Animals performed by the Reading Philharmonic Orchestra
Saturday, October 26th at the Reading Public Library Main Branch. Contact library for details.
Saturday, November 2nd at the Yocum Institute at 1:00 PM
Rainbow Fish, the Musical
Book, Music & Lyrics by Austin Zumbro
Everybody loves the international bestseller and award-winning book, The Rainbow Fish, with its wonderful message of friendship and belonging. Join us in a magical, colorful world of the deep blue sea brought to life by our young performers onstage! When Rainbow Fish refuses to share their vibrant, shimmering scales, the whole ocean seems to turn against the vain creature. Unhappy that no one adores him anymore, the Rainbow Fish seeks out the wise Octopus, whose tentacles can also be played by separate actors. Octopus helps the young fish learn that it’s far better to be admired for being kind than for being beautiful.
Thursday, November 14 at 7 PM
Saturday, November 16 at 11 AM and 2 PM
A Christmas Carol
Based on the work of Charles Dickens
Reimagined and Directed by Jody Reppert
This classic tale of humor, kindness and the Christmas spirit features live music and a cast ranging from ages 7-70. It is sure to be a holiday treat for the entire family.
Thursday, December 12th at 7:00 PM
Friday, December 13th at 8:00 PM
Saturday, December 14th at 2:00 PM and 8:00 PM
Ticket link: yocumartsevents.ticketleap.com/a-christmas-carol/
Play Me a Story: Click, Clack, Moo, Cows that Type
Saturday, January 11th at 10:00 AM
Play Me a Story: Goodnight Moon
Saturday, February 8th at 10:00 AM
No Good Things Dwell in the Flesh
By Christina Masciotti
Director Alice Reagan
Set in a tailor shop in Queens, NO GOOD THINGS DWELL IN THE FLESH is a new play about a Russian master tailor whose skill and perfectionism have amassed a clientele she can no longer sustain on her own. She enlists the help of a protégé who is talented, but also conflicted about putting her personal ambition ahead of settling down to start a family. The tailor staggers through this uncertainty, embellishing her sewing lessons with political conviction, striving to not only pass on a dying art, but also ensure the next generation is not as hampered by oppressive cultural expectations as she was. The re-emergence of her own deranged, former suitor further threatens her plans and forces her to confront the kinds of limits she’s faced her entire life and shrewdly turned to her advantage by sheer strength of will. *For Adult audiences A Celebration of Women in the Arts Event.
Friday, March 6 at 8:00 PM
Saturday, March 7 at 3:00 PM
Saturday, March 7 at 8:00 PM
Play Me a Story: Dragons Love Tacos
Saturday, March 14th at 10:00 AM
Ticket link: yocumartsevents.ticketleap.com/dragons-love-tacos/
What do kids (baby goats) and kids (not-so-baby people) have in common? Animal Dance will answer these questions with the help of some curious goats and their animal buddies. It’s a story of the similarities we share with our animal friends in the quest for self-expression and ultimately, understanding. So stomp your hooves, clap your paws and expect the unexpected.
Saturday, April 4th at 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM
Sunday, April 5th at 2:00 PM
Saturday, April 11th at 2:00 PM
Ticket link: yocumartsevents.ticketleap.com/animal-dance/
Choose Your Own OZ
The Wizard of Oz meets Choose Your Own Adventure in this fresh and fast-paced retelling of the L. Frank Baum classic in which the audience plays playwright and gets the chance to change everything from Dorothy’s footwear (silver slippers or ruby red…clown shoes?) to Toto’s species (lion, tiger or octopus?—oh my!) to the Witch’s flying footmen. A delight for children of all ages, Choose Your Own Oz reminds us all that at the end of the day, there really is no place like home.
Friday, June 5th at 7:00 PM
Saturday, June 6th at 11:00 AM & 2:00 PM
Primary Stages Past Productions
2018 - 2019
2017 - 2018
2016 - 2017
2015 - 2016
2014 - 2015
2013 – 2014
2012 – 2013
2011 – 2012
2010 – 2011
2009 – 2010
2008 – 2009
2007 - 2008
2006 – 2007
2005 – 2006
*denotes Teen Theater Ensemble Performances
Past Productions Supported by:
- Reading Musical Foundation
- Yocum Trust
- Rural Arts Programs
- Donald B and Dorthy L Stabler Foundation
- Pennsylvania Council on the Arts
- Diversity Alliance Endowment Fund of the Berks County Community Foundation