updated 4/27/2011 12:17:07 PM ET 2011-04-27T16:17:07

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., April 27, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The BankAtlantic Foundation, the philanthropic entity of BankAtlantic, announced today that it will co-sponsor an entire weekend of free theatre fun for the whole family at the 16th Annual National Children's Theatre Festival Kids Fest.

The Kids Fest, with free admission sponsored by BankAtlantic Foundation and the William J. & Tina Rosenberg Foundation, will feature a full schedule of cultural entertainment, hands-on activities, and free theatre fun for the whole family. The Kids Fest will be held at the Miracle Theatre in Coral Gables on Saturday and Sunday, April 30 & May 1 from noon to 5 p.m.

The festival will showcase performances of the children's musical Emperor's New Clothes, chosen as the winner of the 16th Annual National Children's Theatre Festival Competition, which will also be presented at the Miracle Theatre through May 28 on weekends and weekdays as part of the annual children's theatre season. Adapted by Lani Brockman, founder of the StoryBook Theater in Kirkland, Washington, with music and lyrics by Susan Bardsley, the company's co-founder, this classic Hans Christian Anderson tale takes yet another musical twist as the Empress decides to take matters into her own hands and uncover the Emperor's eyes to the real truth ... much to everyone's surprise she ends up uncovering that and more!

"We are proud of our Children's Theatre Festival, which presents our audiences with new musical theatre works for young people, many of which are new adaptations of familiar children's stories. The competition also fosters opportunities for playwrights and composers to have their works mounted for the first time," says Barbara S. Stein, Executive Producing Director.

Kids Fest gives Actors' Playhouse the opportunity to share the new musical with the community and also integrate exciting cultural experiences for young people. Highlighting the Kids Fest this year will be a series of activity stations in which attendees can explore the creative arts in the following interactive stations: Puppet Passion, Mask Mania, Costume Creations, and Video "Dress Up" Studio. Attendees will also have the chance to enjoy magic, juggling, circus acts, comedy and inflatable batting cages provided by the Florida Marlins, as well as special performances of Monsters on Broadway!, featuring songs and dances from the hit Broadway musicals Shrek, Young Frankenstein, Little Shop of Horrors and more, performed by Actors' Playhouse's acclaimed youth performing troupe, The Musical Miracles. Characters like Billy the Marlin, The Mad Hatter, Alice in Wonderland, Dorothy, Madeline and more will appear on the scene to take photos with guests. Guests will also be delighted with performances by Actors' Playhouse Young Talent Big Dreams talent contest winners in an "American Idol" style showcase concert featuring youth talent in song, dance, spoken word, and musical instrument.

"Kids Fest is a special treat for all the senses!" says Earl Maulding, Director of Musical Theatre for Young Audiences. "From one minute to the next, children can watch a fantastic show and then travel throughout the theatre to create costumes and props that they can use to produce their own artistic piece."

Baptist Children's Hospital is the presenting sponsor of Actors' Playhouse's Musical Theatre For Young Audiences Season with the two day FREE Kids Fest sponsored by BankAtlantic Foundation and the William J. & Tina Rosenberg Foundation. Additional sponsors of the Kids Fest are BAC Florida Bank, Peacock Foundation, Inc., Publix Supermarket Charities, Miami Family Magazine, Colliers International South Florida, Hotel St. Michel, Club Med, Waste Management, AirBerlin, Young Talent Big Dreams, Miami-Dade County, City of Coral Gables, Lady Suzanna P. Tweed & Carleton Tweed Charitable Foundation, The Thomas B. Jelke Foundation and The Jack Gersh Charitable Trust. This event is made possible with the support of Miami-Dade County with the support of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, The Cultural Affairs Council, The Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners, and with Support of the City of Coral Gables.

Kids Fest weekend of all day cultural fun for the family will take place at the Miracle Theatre on Saturday and Sunday April 30 and May 1 from noon to 5 p.m. Admission is FREE each day. Emperor's New Clothes will play at the Miracle Theatre through May 28, 2011.

To reserve a space for Kids Fest, call the Box Office at 305-444-9293. 

About Actors' Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre: Actors' Playhouse is the nonprofit resident theatre company and managing agent of the historic Miracle Theatre on Miracle Mile in Coral Gables. Actors' Playhouse, which has brought home 63 regional Carbonell Awards for artistic excellence, is a Florida Presenting Cultural Organization and one of 22 major cultural institutions in Miami-Dade County. In addition to its Mainstage season, Actors' Playhouse offers a year-round season of Musical Theatre for Young Audiences, a National Children's Theatre Festival, a Theatre Conservatory and Summer Camp Program, as well as educational arts outreach programs for underserved youth, and has initiated a Young Talent Big Dreams contest for children in partnership with The Children's Trust.

NEWS RELEASE CONTACT: Brooke Noble, Public Relations Manager, 305-444-9293 ext. 604, pr@actorsplayhouse.org

About BankAtlantic Foundation:

Through the BankAtlantic Foundation, founded in 1994, BankAtlantic has helped support children in need, helped families obtain affordable housing, provided arts and cultural exposure to the broader community and is deeply committed to education. BankAtlantic is particularly proud of its employees who each year contribute thousands of volunteer hours to a wide scope of charitable causes in support of our community. To learn more about the BankAtlantic Foundation, visit www.BankAtlantic.com .

About BankAtlantic:

BankAtlantic, Florida's Most Convenient Bank, is one of the largest financial institutions headquartered in Florida. Via its broad network of community branches and conveniently located ATMs, BankAtlantic provides a full line of personal, small business and commercial banking products and services. BankAtlantic is open 7 days a week and offers extended weekday hours, Online Banking & Bill Pay, a 7-Day Customer Service Center, Change Exchange coin counters, as well as retail and business checking accounts. Member FDIC.

BankAtlantic Bancorp (NYSE:BBX) is a bank holding company and the parent company of BankAtlantic. For further information, please visit: www.BankAtlanticBancorp.com

The BankAtlantic logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=8906

Except for historical information contained herein, the matters discussed in this press release contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the "Securities Act"), and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the "Exchange Act"), that involve substantial risks and uncertainties. Actual results could differ materially from those contemplated, expressed, or implied by the forward-looking statements contained herein. The Company cautions that the foregoing factors are not exclusive.

CONTACT: BankAtlantic Contact Info:
         Sharon Lyn, V.P. Media Relations:
         Email: CorpComm@BankAtlanticBancorp.com
         BankAtlantic Bancorp, Inc. Contact Info:
         Leo Hinkley, Investor and Media Relations Officer
         (954) 940-5300
         Email: InvestorRelations@BankAtlanticBancorp.com

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