Production History

World Premiere!

The Blue House

by José Cruz González
Directed by Tom Arvetis

APRIL 5 – MAY 3, 2008  


"A production that never talks down to its audience, as is often the case with some children's theater plays. For those not familiar with this creative Chicago theater company for young audiences, The Blue House is highly recommended as an introduction to The Adventure Stage."


Acclaimed playwright and Childsplay (AZ) Associate Artist José Cruz González premiered a thrilling new work on our Adventure Stage. Co-commissioned by Adventure Stage Chicago and the Chicago Children’s Humanities Festival, The Blue House is the story of thirteen-year-old Maricela, who lives in a vibrant Chicago neighborhood with a rich and sad history. Haunting dreams of strangers from another time lead Maricela to an abandoned lot where the mysterious Blue House once stood. Told in English and Spanish, this World Premiere work set during the 1919 Race Riots and present day celebrates the power of courage, love and forgiveness.
The Blue House benefited from a community-based development process beginning in April 2007 that involved children and adults from Chicago and Evanston in the creation of the story. Led by specialist Betsy Quinn, children were guided through creative drama exercises (structured dramatic play) that informed the playwright of the stories, myths and legends important to the audience for whom he was writing.

The Blue House was funded in part by a 2008 grant from the National Endowment of the Arts and was co-commissioned by the Children's Humanities Festival - a program of the Chicago Humanities Festival, which creates year-round opportunities for people of all ages, backgrounds and circumstances to explore and enjoy the arts and humanities. The Children's Humanities Festival celebrates children's powers of self-expression and their desire to communicate their life experiences with each other and adults.

Learning Guide

Our Education Department produces a Learning Guide for all of our productions. This text is FULL of fun background information about the show, pre-show and post-show discussion questions, as well as art and language activites. While we primarily make it for our educators, we think parents should check it out as well. Click here to join the fun!


Click here to visit our Adventure Page and read all blog posts about The Blue House!

Photos by Johnny Knight.