For Kids: Create a 5-Minute Video for Chicago Children’s Theatre Play@Home Contest

Chicago Children’s Theatre has launched a Play@Home Contest for school children stuck at home to get creative and make their own 5-minute videos and enter them in CCT’s contest. The top three staff picks will be featured on CCT’s YouTube page and the winner will receive a Family Four Pack to the theater’s 2020-21 season or one free performing arts class session. The contest deadline is April 20.

The contest encourages young artists (12 and under) to create video stories by using their imaginations, found objects and family members, pets and stuffed animals. Kids can write their own scripts, find props and costumes around the house, and perform their original work on video.

The theater says nothing is really off limits. You can “make new artwork for scenery, use your favorite stuffed animal as a sidekick, enlist your cat to play a superhero, or create puppets with spoons. Maybe even cast a parent as your nemesis. Or build a blanket fort for your laboratory.” Ask someone to take photos while you’re working on your video so you have “on the set” photos to share.

CCT film making group. Photo by Pierce Cruz.

Here are the rules for the Play@Home Contest.

— Your play must include a mythical creature of your choice, an evil villain, and one of your family members.

— Your video should be 5 minutes or less.

— You must be 12 years old or younger to enter.

— The deadline is Monday, April 20.

— Send the video (get an adult to help) via Dropbox, Google Drive or WeTransfer to

— Ask a parent or guardian to help you get extra points by sharing portions of your video and on-the-set photos on FaceTime and instagram. Use the hashtag #PlayAtHomeContest.

If you have questions, you can email Dexter Ellis, director of education and community programs, at Dexter and the CCT teaching artists can help families by email or set up a FaceTime or Google Duo session.

Nancy S Bishop
Nancy S Bishop

Nancy S. Bishop is publisher and Stages editor of Third Coast Review. She’s a member of the American Theatre Critics Association and a 2014 Fellow of the National Critics Institute at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. You can read her personal writing on pop culture at, and follow her on Twitter @nsbishop. She also writes about film, books, art, architecture and design.