Children's Theatre Company to Present THE SCARECROW AND HIS SERVANT, 3/11-4/6
Children's Theatre Company's upcoming world premiere brings together an impressive team of 2013 Ivey Award winners. Peter C. Brosius directs lauded actor Dean Holt who will bring his comedic physical prowess, for which he won a 2013 Ivey Award, to the title role in The Scarecrow and His Servant by Philip Pullman, adapted for the stage by Jeffrey Hatcher, recipient of the 2013 Ivey Award for Lifetime Achievement. Brosius received the 2013 Ivey Award for his direction of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, also featuring Dean Holt. This fast-paced, physically adept world premiere runs on the UnitedHealth Group Stage March 11 through April 6 after years of development, including workshops at the Kennedy Center's New Visions/New Voices festival.
Playwright Jeffrey Hatcher has taken Pullman's novel and created a timely, powerful play about the secrets of your past holding the keys to your future. Lightning zaps consciousness into the pea-brained but fearless Scarecrow, and it's up to him and his sharp-witted servant boy to save their kingdom from certain ruin. Hatcher says, "The story takes a familiar premise (what would happen if the inanimate became animated?) and unfurls it in unexpected ways to create a funny, clever, very moving story about friendship, war, loss and identity."
The 2004 novel was written by award-winning author Philip Pullman, acclaimed for his unyielding belief in children's intelligence, humor and imagination. Brosius describes, "It's an eco-fable with muscle and great humor. It tells a picaresque story and feels like a madly comic version of Don Quixote. At its heart it shows us the transformation of a master/servant relationship into a friendship. It can have you laughing hysterically even as it makes your blood boil at injustice." Brosius delights in embracing the challenges the story presents when putting it on stage, laughing, "The scarecrow has a turnip for a head, a sign post and an umbrella for arms and is continually falling to pieces. Just how do you make that work?"
Philip Pullman shares, "Of all my books I think this was the one where I had the theatre in mind most vividly as I wrote it - the semi-improvised, farcical, knockabout humour of the commedia dell'arte. The kind of adventures that Jack and the Scarecrow get into are the kind that could go on forever as they wander about the world, but a book must have a destination, and this one is making its way to Spring Valley, where everything is happy. I'm delighted that it will be performed on the stage, and I hope both the actors and audience will enjoy it as much as I did when I was writing it."
The artistic team includes G.W. (Skip) Mercier as set and costume designer. His previous collaborations with Brosius were Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy in 2012 and last season's lush Alice in Wonderland (2013). All five of CTC's Resident Acting Company members, Gerald Drake, Dean Holt, Reed Sigmund, Autumn Ness and new Company member Traci Allen, will be featured playing multiple roles.
The Scarecrow and His Servant runs on the UnitedHealth Group Stage for a limited run March 11 through April 6, 2014. As part of CTC's commitment to programming for ages two through eighteen, The Scarecrow and His Servant is recommended for grades three and up. Tickets start at $10. For more information visit childrenstheatre.org or call the Ticket Office at 612.874.0400.
Children's Theatre Company (CTC) is the only theatre for young people to win the coveted Tony® Award for Outstanding Regional Theater (2003). Founded in 1965, CTC serves 250,000 people annually and is one of the 20 largest regional theater companies in the nation. The company is noted for defining worldwide standards for youth theatre with an innovative mix of classic tales, celebrated international productions and challenging new work. In 2015/16 CTC will celebrate its 50th season!