Children's Theatre Company Presents PINOCCHIO, 1/15-2/24

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Children's Theatre Company Presents PINOCCHIO, 1/15-2/24

Greg Banks has created many highly-acclaimed adaptations for Children's Theatre Company (CTC) audiences, including Robin Hood, Huck Finn, and Romeo and Juliet. Banks returns to CTC to reimagine Carlo Collodi's classic Italian folk tale Pinocchio in what has potential to be the most invigorating theatrical event of the season. Banks' Pinocchio will feature four of the Twin Cities' most celebrated actors playing multiple roles. CTC's production of Pinocchio, like Collodi's story, will explore the magical moments when make-believe becomes real.

From the moment Geppetto creates him from a stick of wood, Pinocchio dreams of being a real boy. But will the all-too-tempting delights of puppet shows and Playland be too much for Pinocchio? When Geppetto is swallowed by a whale, it is up to this little puppet to show his courage and prove his love for his Papa is real. Greg Banks' fast-pace reimagining will feature the four actors as painters that have shown up to paint the walls of the empty theatre, only to find an audience eagerly anticipating a production of Pinocchio. The four playfully scramble with the tools of their trade (paint brushes, ladders, mops, scaffolding, etc.) to tell the story of Pinocchio, eagerly asking for help from the audience to propel the story forward.

Director Greg Banks is eager to look at the classic through a new lens. According to Banks, "Although this is a children's story, it's not a fairy tale. Pinocchio is a great story about growing up. It's about discovering the world and being excited by what you find. It explores that fabulous time of innocence when everything is new from discovering your legs and finding out that they work, that they run and jump and do whatever you want, to figuring out that sometimes being alive is not just about you. It's a fantastic reminder of what it's like to see with fresh eyes, to be curious about your surroundings and at the same time it's a lesson in what to look out for, what to be wary of."

Greg Banks' work as a director, writer, and actor has taken him all over the world. He is known for creating work for young audiences that is mesmerizing and physically daring. The interactive and imaginative Pinocchio is no exception. Banks says, "I am always keen that the people on stage have a direct relationship with the audience. I also like that the audience gets to see the process of 'making something up,' of not having the right props on hand, of the actors having to use the objects that are lying about on the stage to create the elements of the story. The audience gets to enjoy the process of telling the story, not just the telling of it."

Ivey Award-winning actor Bradley Greenwald is involved in multiple projects throughout the Twin Cities year-round. When asked what he is most anticipating with this production, Greenwald answered, "I'm looking forward to working with Greg Banks for the first time. I've enjoyed his previous projects at CTC. His setting of PINOCCHIO lights a fire under me. It's what all theater began as - story-telling, and children understand without any question a storyteller and a story."

Banks believes that the real story is about being true and avoiding deception and tricks. Banks concludes, "In the end it isn't magic that saves Pinocchio and his papa. It is Pinocchio himself who saves the day." Pinocchio runs January 15 - February 24, 2013 on the UnitedHealth Group Stage. As part of CTC's commitment to programming for ages two through eighteen, Pinocchio is recommended for grades K+. Tickets are on sale now starting at $10. Affordable ticket packages are also still available. For more information visit us online at childrenstheatre.org or call the Ticket Office at 612.874.0400.

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