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Children were the star of the show at this weekend's seventh annual International Theatre Festival for Children held at the Annenberg Center. The festival, which ran from Wednesday to Sunday, featured a wide variety of performances and activities for children to observe and take part in. The shows catered to kids of all ages, and despite the heat, 28,000 showed up to take advantage of the entertainment. "It was excellent," said Marie Taylor, who traveled from New Jersey with her eight-year old daughter Samantha to participate in the festival. "Some things need a time limit. You don't want to rush the activities, but there are a lot of people." Samantha said she also enjoyed the shows, particularly the singing in the plays. The pair's only complaints were the heat and the long lines that were common in some of the activities. Among the numerous attractions, the act most eagerly anticipated by all spectators was The Soviet Acrobatic Review which played to the largest crowds of any of the shows. Besides the shows, the organizers of the festival also sought to educate through Playworks, a variety of arts and crafts workshops. Playworks was designed to allow the children to recreate with their hands what they had seen in the various shows, letting them apply what they had learned during the day. Bob Friedman from Medford, New Jersey, who came to the festival with his family said he liked the "variety of entertainment," adding that he keeps returning because "the kids have a good time." "It's a very nicely run festival," Friedman added. "You get very good people to come and entertain the children." Managing director Stephen Goff said he felt the festival was a huge success. "We are doing extremely well. We are playing to 95 percent capacity and so far we have sold 21 to 22 thousand tickets and are hoping to sell a total of 28 thousand." The prices of the tickets varied from three to six dollars, with depending on the number of tickets purchased. Goff said that the public received a discount "to get people to go to more than one show." The festival had played to its highest capacity during the week, he said, with attendance coming primarily from school groups. Ticket sales for the weekend were only slightly lower, he said, and mainly consisted of children who attended with their parents. Goff said he was proud that since the show, which is the first of its kind in the United States, began seven years ago, the festival has spread to five other cities in the nation. He attributed the great success this year to the weather as well as the quality of shows, saying that he would "rather have heat than rain."

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