St. Louis Shakespeare was initially founded as a summer festival that showcased Shakespearean plays and other classics. Today the company presents three Shakespeare plays and one non-Shakespeare play per season, and, since 1995, has toured kid-friendly adaptations of its shows to children and adults who hate big words.
Since its founding in 2009, Missouri Ballet Theatre has tackled some of the most beloved compositions—from the A Midsummer Night's Dream to Cinderella. Its founder and artistic director, Adam Sage, has seen more than 20 years of stage performance on four continents, including stints with the Hong Kong Ballet, Ballet Philippines, and California Ballet. Today Sage uses his choreographic prowess and master-teacher status to expand the horizons of youth, leading classes and guiding youngsters onstage with professionals during yearly performances of The Nutcracker.
The classically focused Alexandra Ballet entertains audiences with a well-rounded dance diet ranging from contemporary original pieces to traditional masterworks. The company’s agile dancers have pirouetted their way to uproarious applause in past performances that include The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, and Peter and the Wolf. Since 2003, the company has enriched the community through its educational-outreach programs, which provide youngsters with free learning materials and ballet performances throughout the school year.
A group of gals celebrating a bachelorette party rambunctiously capers into Consuming Kinetics Dance Company’s studio. They’re here to learn some steamy moves in the Sexy Fit class, one of the many classes that promises to put its attendees’ energy to work, as required by the Human Energy Labor Law Act of 1999. The carefully choreographed patterns, transitions, and movements come from the minds of a talented team of seasoned dancers—which features a choreologist and a repetiteur, among others. They meticulously craft each class routine, whether getting bodies moving in Zumba, Modern, Hip Hop/Breaking, Pop Ballet, or Contemporary Jazz classes. In addition to these fun and challenging adult classes, the troupe also stages kids and teen classes at the Center of Clayton.
No Name Comix was founded in late 2012 by Marquise Moore, Jack Merrywell, H.D. Reeves, and Ben Flug––a quartet of local comedians looking for a new outlet to spread good cheer and bad puns. No Name Comix directs the limelight at neighborhood talent during open mics on every Thursday night, as well as weekend shows that typically feature headliners from right around the corner. Bespeaking the founders’ can-do attitude, the club is furnished with an array of up-cycled materials, including car seats repurposed into normal chairs.
St. Louis County Parks and Recreation awakens the active side in community members with a bevy of sites and facilities dedicated to sports, outdoor exploration, and kid-friendly fun. Families splash away the summer heat with trips to the pool at the Kennedy Recreation Complex or the St. Vincent Community Center water park, where adults can swim laps in two 25-yard lanes while tykes descend an open water slide and practice their manners at underwater tea parties. The six recreation complexes serve as hubs for everything from fitness classes to ice-skating, and offer a diverse blend of indoor and outdoor activities. For more relaxing amusement, the stewards of the parks and recreation department maintain multiple museums and historic sites as well as outdoor trails, where voyagers can get in touch with nature and add to their collection of acorns that resemble former presidents.