Muny Magic Meets Magic House in New Immersive Theatre Exhibit

KIRKWOOD, Mo. — When visitors step inside the newest exhibit at The Magic House, St. Louis Children’s Museum, the vibrant space may spark memories of another magical St. Louis institution. A portion of “Story Time Magic,” designed to spur a love of reading and language by immersing young people in a world of favorite fictional tales, is inspired by The Muny. 

The 5,000-square-foot permanent installation, which replaces the museum’s longtime Oval Office exhibit, provides a playful learning environment in which children can use their imaginations to connect with stories in meaningful and memorable ways. 

Magic House partnership

“Story Time Magic” opens May 24 and is made possible by a generous lead gift from the Crawford Taylor Foundation, which also funds education initiatives at The Muny.

“This partnership is a celebration of beloved family traditions within the St. Louis community,” said Sara Saul, director of strategic partnerships at The Muny. “We’re excited to collaborate with The Magic House and spread Muny magic with Story Time Theater.” 

The installation, designed and fabricated by The Magic House, is made up of three themed spaces. 

Inside Story Time Theater, children can bring their own stories to life onstage. From the iconic chandelier and columns to the digital backdrop and oak trees flanking the stage, Muny staff members helped to guide the development of this space that will inspire future directors, actors and designers. 

The stage can depict an underwater scene, a cityscape, a castle and other settings. Children can select sound and lighting effects, creating a one-of-a-kind production for families and friends. 

Ben Crawford in the 2023 Muny production of Disney's Beauty and the Beast

A selection of Muny costumes and props on loan from previous family productions also will be featured in the space:

  • Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (2023): Beast’s enchanted rose encased in glass
  • Little Shop of Horrors (2023): Little Audrey II puppets
  • Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s Mary Poppins (2022): Mary’s parrot umbrella and Bert’s chimney sweep brush
  • Camelot (2022): “Excalibur” sword
  • The Sound of Music (2021): Kids’ lederhosen
  • Matilda (2019): A rolling/dancing desk and a school uniform jumper
  • Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella (2019): A mouse puppet and a magical transformation dress
  • Meet Me in St. Louis (2018): “Votes for Women” sash
  • The Wiz (2018): Glinda costume
  • Newsies (2017): Newspapers, newsboy bag and Crutchie’s crutch with riot sign
  • Disney’s The Little Mermaid (2017): Ariel’s wedding cake
  • The Wizard of Oz (2016): Scarecrow’s diploma, Tin Man’s heart, Lion’s medal of courage, the legs of the Wicked Witch of the East and Dorothy’s ruby slippers
  • The Music Man (2016): Harold Hill’s suitcase and a piccolo trombone
  • Billy Elliot (2014): A riot shield and boxing gloves
  • Seussical (2014): A Truffula tree, Horton’s egg with elephant puppet and the Cat’s hat
  • Disney’s Aladdin (2012): Magic lamp and turbans
Company of Mary Poppins_PC- Julie A. Merkle -6488
Jeanna de Waal and Corbin Bleu in the 2022 Muny production of Disney and Cameron Mackintosh's Mary Poppins

“For 106 years, young people from all walks of life have had their first experience with live theatre at The Muny, and that’s a responsibility we don’t take lightly,” said Muny President & CEO Kwofe Coleman. “We’re thrilled to partner with The Magic House to create this interactive space where children can explore their creativity and discover the magic and possibilities of the stage.” 

Also inside “Story Time Magic,” the Backstage Magic space allows young performers to step into a "green room," decorated with colorful posters from past Muny productions, and transform into favorite characters using costumes and props on a rehearsal stage. And in Once Upon a Time, classic childhood stories are brought to life in an environment that encourages imagination and exploration. 

Story Time Theater and Backstage Magic are sponsored by Nance Frost, and Once Upon a Time is sponsored by the Henry A. Jubel Foundation.

“We are thrilled to offer a brand-new interactive, literacy-based experience that encourages children to love reading and reminds parents of the importance of reading with their children each day,” said Magic House President Beth Fitzgerald. “Nothing has a greater impact on school success!”

The Magic House is located at 516 S. Kirkwood Road in Kirkwood. Hours are 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Learn more and buy tickets at  

Inside Backstage Magic, part of "Story Time Magic" at The Magic House, young performers can transform into favorite characters and rehearse their own production. Courtesy of The Magic House

About The Muny

The Muny’s mission is to enrich lives by producing exceptional musical theatre, accessible to all, while continuing its remarkable tradition in Forest Park. As the nation’s oldest, largest outdoor musical theatre, we welcome more than 350,000 theatregoers each summer for seven world-class productions. Now celebrating 106 seasons in St. Louis, The Muny remains one of the premier institutions in musical theatre. For more information, visit

About The Magic House, St. Louis Children’s Museum 

The Magic House is a not-for-profit participatory museum that provides hands-on learning experiences that spark imagination, pique curiosity, enhance creativity and develop problem-solving skills within a place of beauty, wonder, joy and magic. Serving more than 550,000 visitors annually, the museum has 55,000 square feet of hands-on exhibits designed for children ages 2-11 years. In 2019, the museum opened a 7,000-square-foot satellite location in the city of St. Louis, MADE for Kids, that contains a Makers Space, Art Studio, Design Lab and Entrepreneur Marketplace geared for children 4-14 years.

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