Playful People Productions


We started Playful People Productions in 2010 to create a high-quality, caring environment that provides children, youth, and their families with positive experiences in all aspects of theatre. We realized there wasn’t a group that offered beginning through advanced theatre for the whole family. We also felt we had a great program to provide outreach into communities that otherwise might not have the chance to participate in such programs.

Playful People Productions grew from previous experiences with after-school programs, which soon expanded beyond the capabilities of the schools. The founders wanted to expand the program to include classes, summer stock/camps, internships, and a place for families and children ages 4 to 104 to participate in a safe and fun environment. We have always provided scholarships, trades, and assistance to people unable to pay for these theatre experiences.

Playful People Productions is run by mother-daughter team Barbara Galiotto and Katie D’Arcey, who between them have approximately 40 years experience in the musical theatre world. Both are Positive Discipline trained and worked as Early Childhood Educators. Both have worked as professional directors, producers, and teachers with children’s theatre for many years. Barb and Katie’s philosophy translates into a strong family atmosphere in our productions and programs.

Why should you get involved in family theatre? Family theatre:

  • Builds confidence
  • Creates empathy by putting yourself in someone else’s shoes
  • Teaches working with others
  • Exercises creativity and imagination
  • Enhances communication skills
  • Improves memory
  • Builds trust
  • Strengthens family bonds
  • Provides a space to experiment and not be perfect

And, of course, it’s fun!

For each project we employ professional designers, artists, choreographers and directors to guide our students. We also enlist experienced college, middle school, and high school students to work as directors, stage managers, lighting and sound techs, make-up artists, set designers, choreographers, and assistants. This allows students to gain important work experiences in all aspects of production in theatre. We also offer internships for the many aspects of theatre.

Because we’re inclusive, in most of our shows we cast everyone who wants to play, regardless of experience or ability. Because we want our players to grow as theater artists, we sometimes hold advanced workshops in which not everyone who auditions is cast.

We believe that a good theatre experience greatly improves the lives of the children, youth, and families in our community. Our goals are to:

  • Provide the communities of San Jose and the greater Bay Area with a variety of performing opportunities for children, youth, and families to experience
  • Challenge young people in the community
  • Provide a safe, caring environment based on kindness
  • Involve parents in a wholesome, well-rounded activity
  • Serve as mentors to a varied community of young people and their families
  • Provide outreach to schools and other community organizations

We offer full or partial scholarships. Email us to request an application.