The seventh annual Chevron Family Theatre Festival will bring a wide range of inexpensive entertainment to families on Saturday, July 20, in Walnut Creek. The Festival, running from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., will host low-cost theater, dance and musical performances as well as visual arts activities, many for free.
The event is being produced by the Diablo Regional Arts Association and the Lesher Center for the Arts and is sponsored by Chevron along with several other community partners.
"The arts make a community a better place to live and enrich our lives," said Linda Padon, Chevron's manager for Global Corporate Public Policy. "At Chevron, we believe in benefiting communities where we have a significant presence."
The Festival will be introducing new shows by groups such as Aga-Boom, the three-person clown troupe headlining the event. Dimitri Bogatriev, a former Cirque de Soleil performer, is the creator and director of the troupe.
Another new performer is Alex Ramon, a young magician who grew up locally in Richmond. Throughout his career, Ramon has performed around the world for Disney and worked for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus as the second youngest ringmaster in their history.
The Festival will also bring back favorite performers from past years, such as Sesame Street puppeteer Leslie Carrara-Rudolph and Fantasy Forum Actors Ensemble, a group that produces an interactive musical version of Robinhood. The Emmy-nominated Pushcart Players will be performing Stone Soup and Other Stories, a multicultural blend of folk tales.
There will be free performances by the San Jose Taiko Drummers and the Na Mamo No'eau Polynesian dancers. Kids can also participate in free activities by walking in the Prince and Princess Parade, making sock puppets, having their faces painted, meeting costumed characters, and listening to Mother Goose storytelling.
"The whole idea is to expose kids not only to the different types of arts but also to different cultures because it transports you to a different place," said Kimeri Opacic of Diablo Regional Arts. "A kid may not get to go to Japan, but there are costumes and music that transport you there."
Ticketed shows are $5 each. Call the Lesher Center for the Arts ticket office at 943-7469 or visit the Lesher Center website. A complete schedule can also be found on the site. All-day parking at the North Locust Street Garage next to the center is $3.