Children's Theatre Company to Bring SEEDFOLKS to Cape Town, Seattle and Nine Minnesota Venues

Children's Theatre Company to Bring SEEDFOLKS to Cape Town, Seattle and Nine Minnesota Venues
Sonja Parks will perform in SEEDFOLKS
Photo credit: Dan Norman

Children's Theatre Company (CTC) will bring its production of SEEDFOLKS to the prestigious ASSITEJ International World Conference in Cape Town, South Africa from 17 - 27 May 2017. ASSITEJ is the International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People.

Prior to this international touring stop, CTC will bring SEEDFOLKS to Seattle Children's Theatre in the Unites States from 23 March - 16 April, following the recent transfer of CTC's production of THE SNOWY DAY AND OTHER STORIES by Ezra Jack Keats, which closed on 26 February.

CTC also received significant tour support from the Minnesota State Arts Board to bring SEEDFOLKS to nine theatres across Minnesota including Theatre L'Homme Dieu (Alexandria) in the summer of 2017 - from 18 - 23 July - as well as The Sheldon Center (Red Wing), Central Lakes College (Brainerd), Historic Holmes Theatre (Detroit Lakes), Reif Center (Grand Rapids), Fairmont Opera House (Fairmont) and Memorial Auditorium Performing Arts Center (Worthington) in the spring of 2018.

The CTC commissioned play was developed and premiered at CTC in 2014 and is based on the Newbery Medal-winning book by Paul Fleischman. SEEDFOLKS is about an immigrant neighbourhood in Cleveland, Ohio, that is transformed by the creation of a community garden. Actress Sonja Parks embodies the 11 distinct voices of Gibb Street in this enthralling, one-woman production. National touring of SEEDFOLKS is managed in cooperation with the Shaw Entertainment Group based in Massachusetts.

CTC's production of SEEDFOLKS - which is suitable for audiences from eight years old upwards - was selected from over 800 works worldwide and is the only production from the United States that will participate. CTC's artistic director, Peter C. Brosius, who also directs SEEDFOLKS itself, comments on the production's inclusion at the ASSITEJ International World Conference:

It is a humbling honor be selected to represent the United States at the ASSITEJ World Congress and perform our work in front of global leaders in theatre for young audiences and also to be asked to bring our productions to regions outside the Midwest. As the nation's leading producer of theatre for young audiences, it is important for us to be able to continue to expand the canon, create a higher aesthetic and bring absent narratives to the stage.

Composer Victor Zupanc, choreographer Joe Chvala and dramaturg Elissa Adams round out the creative team, along with Jorge Cousineau (set and projection design), Sonya Berlovitz (costume design), Paul Whitaker (lighting design), Sean Healey (sound design) and D'Arcy Smith (dialect coaching). Gin Hammond will understudy Sonja Parks in Seattle.

This year's ASSITEJ World Congress titled, "Cradle of Creativity," will be a celebration and exploration of inter-cultural exchange with theatre, dance and music for young audiences in Africa and the world. It is the most important meeting of all members of ASSITEJ, taking place once every three years. ASSITEJ is a global network that promotes and facilitates the growth of theatre for young audiences. This nonprofit organisation was founded in Paris in 1965 and has established membership in 100 different countries. This is also the first time that a theatre company in the United States has been invited to present a production as part of the World Congress in the organisation's 50-year history. This engagement is supported by Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation through USArtists International in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Additional support is provided by the United States Embassy in South Africa and Delta Airlines.

CTC is the largest and most acclaimed theatre for multigenerational audiences in the United States. It creates theatre experiences that educate, challenge and inspire for nearly 300 000 people annually. CTC is the only theatre focused on young audiences to win the coveted Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre and is the only theatre in Minnesota to receive three Tony nominations, for its production of A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD. CTC is committed to world-classorld class productions at the highest level and to developing new works, more than 200 to date, dramatically changing the canon of work for young audiences.

CTC's engagement and learning programs annually serve more than 85 000 students ages 2-18 through Theatre Arts Training, student matinees, bridges and early childhood arts education programs that bring students to the theatre and bring teaching artists into the classroom. The ACT One program is CTC's comprehensive platform for access, diversity and inclusion in our audiences, programs, staff, and board that strives to ensure the theatre is a home for all people, all families, reflective of our community.

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