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Best Children's Theater 

Metro Theater Company

The very phrase "children's theater" often conjures images of condescension — of actors overacting as they sell an underdeveloped story to captive youngsters. If that's your definition, then for the last three decades Metro Theater Company has been St. Louis' best anti-children's theater. During Carol North's 33 years as Metro's artistic director, she has come to believe that young people have receptive minds, eager to be challenged. North's approach to theater is always thoughtful and sometimes provocative. This year's offering, Jackie and Me, a happy collaboration with the Edison Theatre, told baseball legend Jackie Robinson's story in a manner that was emotionally stirring to audiences of all ages. North has announced that she is leaving Metro at the end of the 2013-14 season. Sad as that is, we can take satisfaction knowing that she's leaving us with an organization whose influence on young theatergoers has been incalculable. Not a bad legacy, that.

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