Children's Theatre Workshop (CTW) is a class offered in the Department of Communication, Media and Theatre designed to cover all aspects of production and culminating in a performance for elementary, middle school, or high school students. CTW productions are the creation of two courses:

  • CMTT 350: CTW for Elementary School
  • CMTT 351: CTW for Middle and High School

Each semester students enrolled in CTW mount a play for young audiences. NEIU students work on all aspects of the production: performance, design and management. For more than 25 years, thousands of local students have attended performances every year. 

CTW play choices are subject to change in order to meet the needs of NEIU students enrolled in the courses.

SPRING 2020 - CMTT 350: CTW for Elementary School

"The Magic Fish" by Lila Rose Kaplan

10 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays March 26-April 23

This play is part of the National New Play Network's New Play Exchange. Playwright Lila Rose Kaplan writes heartfelt comedies, bittersweet dramas and musicals for young people. Her plays include "Home of the Brave," "Jesus Girls," "The Magician’s Daughter," "1 2 3," a play about abandonment and ballroom dancing, "We All Fall Down," "Wildflower," "Bureau of Missing Persons," and "Biography of a Constellation." Her musicals for young people include "The Light Princess," "The Pirate Princess," and "The Magic Fish." Productions include A.R.T., South Coast Rep, Merrimack Repertory Theatre, New Victory Theatre, Second Stage, San Francisco Playhouse, Neighborhood Productions, Know Theatre, and Perishable Theatre. Development includes Huntington Theatre, Arena Stage, Kennedy Center, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Center Theatre Group, Theatreworks, PlayPenn, and The Lark. Awards include National Science Award in Playwriting and The International Women's Playwriting Award. Fellowships include Huntington Playwriting Fellowship, Playwrights’ Realm Writing Fellow, Old Vic/New Voices Exchange, and the Shank Fellowship. Residencies include New Rep Next Voices, Harvard Business School, and the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics. B.A. with honors: Brown University. M.F.A. in Playwriting: UC San Diego. Lila Rose currently lives in Cambridge with her marine biologist husband and her curious daughter. 

The story: "The Magic Fish" is a new physical theater play with puppets and original music, a sensory nautical adventure into a magical ocean, based on the Grimm fairytale of "The Fisherman and His Wife." It is a story of unbridled ambition, helpless devotion, and divine wrath ... what MORE would YOU wish for?


  • $5 per student
  • Teachers and chaperones: up to three are free; any additional are $3 per chaperone.

For more information about how to make reservations, please contact Adam Goldstein at