SteppingStone Theatre is a children's theatre in Saint Paul with three program areas: performances, education and outreach. They offer acting classes for kids ages 2 to 18 and produce plays and musicals each year. They also offer camps each summer and during school holidays.
In November of 2019 Steppingstone began the process that ultimately led to their move from the historic but aging theatre where it had been located for years to its current home at Park Square Theatre. Performance programs, workshops, and rehearsal halls are all located at Park Square’s current facility in the Hamm Building.
Stage Productions at SteppingStone Theatre
The Theatre produces family-friendly stage performances throughout the year. Their productions tend to be shows that promote diversity, cultural awareness and tolerance. In the past, I have found their plays a bit too challenging for younger children, and have chosen to take my middle grader. However, they have begun adding productions geared toward smaller children as well.
Upcoming Shows at SteppingStone:
We keep an updated calendar of kid-friendly shows on our Performing Arts Calendar. Find SteppingStone shows there.
SteppingStone offers a Pay-What-You-Are-Able Performance for most performances (usually the first Sunday of the production). The suggested minimum is $5, but they want people to feel welcome no matter what price they feel able to pay. These tickets are first come, first serve and it is recommended that audience members arrive 30-45 minutes ahead. While I have made this my rule of thumb, sometimes I've sat in a mostly empty theatre until 10-15 minutes before the start time. If you are running late, and feeling adventurous, show up a little later and see what happens.
Classes and Camps at SteppingStone
Both semester-long classes and summer camps are available for children 3 ½ to 16. Classes and camps can be found at their website. During the school year, look for Theatre Explorer Drop-In. Sign up for the whole program or just drop in for $17/family. Also, note that all SteppingStone programs are pay as you are able. While they list a registration fee that represents the cost of creating the program, families are welcome no matter what amount they feel they can afford - whether that is a less or more than the registration fee.
SteppingStone's mission statement focuses on developing the whole child through educational theater programs and fully staged productions. It strives to offer a non-competitive environment to help build self-esteem and confidence within a community that celebrates diversity.
History of SteppingStone Theatre
In 2016, Gianna interviewed Michelle Pett, the Interim Executive Director at for Youth Development at Steppingstone at the time and asked her:
What is the history of Steppingstone Theater?"SteppingStone is 29 years old this year (that means next year we hit the big 3-0!) We began our organizational life by providing in-school theatre residencies to St. Paul schools. We started producing plays with all-youth casts shortly thereafter. We moved from the Landmark Center to our own building on Victoria Street in 2007. SteppingStone lives in a 110 year old Methodist church that has been renovated into a 426 seat theatre with a proscenium stage; plus studio and classroom space on the lower level." - Michelle Pett