Children's Theatre Company Announces Updates to 2020—2021 Season

By: Jul. 01, 2020
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Children's Theatre Company Announces Updates to 2020—2021 Season

Children's Theatre Company announced today updates to the 2020-2021 Season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. CTC will begin stage productions in March 2021 with its original production, Seedfolks, which will run for six weeks on the Cargill Stage from March 2 - April 11, 2021. Seedfolks was developed and premiered in 2014 and has since toured to South Africa, New York's New Victory Theatre, Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles, and nine Greater Minnesota theatres. Seedfolks was originally scheduled for performances this fall. The season will conclude with the much anticipated, postponed production of Annie which will run April 27, 2021 - June 27, 2021. Annie was originally scheduled to open in April of 2020, but was postponed due to the pandemic. Season ticket holders for the 2020-2021 Season will be moved to the 2021-2022 Season-with a full list of titles to be announced later this year, and season tickets will be honored for the spring production of Seedfolks. Annie single tickets from this past spring will be honored for the 2021 production.

CTC also announced that they will present two productions digitally that were critically acclaimed from past seasons-Last Stop on Market Street and Corduroy to be available in the fall with specific dates to be announced. Additionally, CTC will announce next week an exciting streaming partnership with multiple theatres across the country occurring in August.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on CTC, as we had to suspend and postpone over 160 performances this past spring and summer," stated Artistic Director Peter C. Brosius. "As we have been making decisions about next season, the safety of our staff, artists, and audiences has been our guiding principle and highest priority. We've made our plans with a commitment to ensuring the highest safety standards when we resume productions on our stages.

"We will continue our work in new play development to make sure we have new plays and musicals ready for our stages when we return to producing and are pleased to have active commissions with artists such as Ifa Bayeza (co-commission with Penumbra Theatre), Lloyd Suh, and Larissa Fasthorse, among others. This will also be a time where we will think critically about the disparities in our community and how we can have maximum impact of our mission to educate, challenge, and inspire through theatre. We are engaging our partners and examining how our work in the community and with schools should move forward to meet the needs of students and create better outcomes that address the profound challenges emotionally, mentally, and educationally of our young people coming out of the multiple traumas of the past several months.

"While we have been committed to equity, diversity, and inclusion for years, and more recently through our dedicated ACT One efforts, we know incremental change is not enough. As we begin our planning process for a new strategic plan this fall, we will examine how we can deepen and redouble our efforts in justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion to produce real, measurable impact and address the most critical needs in our community with the populations we strive to serve: our BIPOC communities, LGBTQIAP+ community, people with disabilities, and people who are socioeconomically challenged."

One of CTC's premiere education programs, Theatre Arts Training, began a new, online incarnation this summer through Virtual Academy to ensure the safety of students and artists. Over 40 classes are being offered and has included students from 27 different states across the United States. Additionally, the program will launch a series of master classes with industry professionals in July, including actors Laura Osnes, Don Darryl Rivera, and H. Adam Harris, and costume designer Helen Huang. CTC will continue to offer Virtual Academy throughout the entire school year, shifting its traditional classes to the online format for the school year. Full information on class offerings will be announced later this summer.

CTC will also be moving its annual gala fundraising event, The Curtain Call Ball to a virtual format. The Ball will take place on September 12, 2020 and, in a change from past events, it will be free for all attendees. The event will focus on the Healing and Transformative Power of Theatre through performances from CTC artists and features that highlight the impact of the theatre's education and engagement programming. More information to come on this inspiring event.

Through the continued commitment to various programs such as ACT One, CTC@Home, Virtual Academy, New Play Development, theatrical productions both virtually and in the theatre, CTC continues its commitment to eliminate barriers to participation in theatre for our communities and families.

CTC's Budget and Operations Affected by Season Changes

Also announced today, as a result of these changes, CTC's annual budget for the 2020-2021 Season will be reduced by 50%, from $13 million to $6.5 million, which will have a series of staffing implications including position eliminations, furloughs, and pay reductions. CTC will be eliminating 15 full-time positions, furloughing 27 full-time positions, as well as nearly all part-time positions, and instituting a two-week furlough for the remaining 28 staff members. Managing Director Kimberly Motes and Artistic Director Peter C. Brosius will each be taking a 24% reduction in compensation.

"Our highest priority and guiding principle has been safety," stated Managing Director Kimberly Motes. "And yet, it is devastating and heartbreaking that we have to reduce our staff due to the loss of live programming on our stages and in classrooms as well as the loss of revenue as a result of the pandemic. As we have tried for months to figure out what is possible next season, we have confronted the brutal reality of this virus and its impact on young people and families. Producing theatre at the scale we do is especially challenging with this virus. Our standards and the requirements mean that a 25% or 50% audience capacity does not work economically for us. This pandemic is making our work, the work of theatre, especially challenging and that reality has confronted us at every point over the past three and a half months as we considered how we can move forward. I am pleased that we can utilize digital formats until we can produce on our stages and work in classrooms around the State."

Children's Theatre Company (CTC) is the nation's largest and most acclaimed theatre for young people and serves a multigenerational audience. It creates theatre experiences that educate, challenge, and inspire more than 250,000 people annually. CTC is the only theatre focused on young audiences to win the coveted Tony Award® for 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 creating world-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 93,000 young people and their communities through Theatre Arts Training, student matinees, Neighborhood Bridges, and early childhood arts education programs. ACT One 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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