When the coronavirus shut down performing arts, Chicago Children’s Theatre was quicker than most grown-up groups to retool its programming. In late March, two weeks after suspending in-person shows, the company launched a new YouTube channel, which it’s been filling with interactive art challenges and charming puppet adaptations of beloved kid literature (if you ever wanted to hear Michael Shannon narrate Leo Lionni’s mouse tale Frederick, now you can).
A return to indoor theater is still a ways off, but CCT is offering a creative fall family outing: a drive-in screening of Beatrix Potter and Friends, running Thursdays through Sundays, October 1 to 18, at the company’s West Loop home (100 S. Racine Ave.). The video production, an adaptation of the puppet show CCT has presented annually since 2015, blends live actors and puppetry to bring Peter Rabbit and other Potter characters to life. Cellist Sonia Goldberg will play kid-friendly classical music before each screening, which will take place outdoors in the parking lot. It’s $45 a car, and families can either stay in their vehicles or bring lawn chairs for a Potter picnic.