Children's Theatre Company Presents SPAMTOWN, USA
Children's Theatre Company (CTC) has announced the world premiere production of Spamtown, USA, running February 16, 2020 through April 5, 2020, written by Philip Dawkins and directed by Will Davis. The playwright met with and interviewed 25 people who were children in the city of Austin, Minnesota during the P-9 Strike against Hormel in the 1980s to gather their stories and perspectives. The play explores how pivotal events that occurred during the strike affected relationships inside and between three families. While five kids dream of space camp, tennis teams, and out-of-state college, they find their families and community suddenly divided by picket lines and opposing agendas. This is the story of having the strength to stand up for what you believe in, the challenge that comes in disagreeing with those you love, and the humor that helps keep friendships alive.
"My wish is for our audiences to leave the theatre inspired to collaborate with their neighbors for the good of their communities," stated Spamtown, USA Director Will Davis.
As previously announced, the cast includes Malia Berg (Carol Bolton), Marcelo Mena (Scott Olsen), Arden Michalec (Amy Bolton), Isabella Spiess (Jude Olsen), Zachary Sullivan (Travis Olsen), CTC Acting Company members Dean Holt (Mr. Bolton), Autumn Ness (Mrs. Bolton), and Reed Sigmund (Scott's Dad), along with Dan Hopman (Mr. Olsen), Maureen Sherman-Mendez (Scott's Mom), and Sandra Struthers (Miss Berg). The full cast list including external understudies and creative team bios are listed below and headshots are visible here.
Spamtown, USA is the 57th world premiere developed and commissioned by Children's Theatre Company since Peter C. Brosius began as Artistic Director in 1997. Through its new play development work, CTC envisions a future of theatre for young audiences by inviting leading theatre artists to create new plays drawn from a wide range of source materials that expand and explode the repertoire and reflect our current global community. 95% of the plays commissioned and developed by CTC have their world premiere on CTC's stage. In most cases, the works are then licensed through the organization's licensing house, Plays for Young Audiences.
"As the nation's leading theatre for multigenerational audiences, Children's Theatre Company makes work that is local, national, and international," states CTC Artistic Director Peter C. Brosius. "One of our priorities is to tell stories that spring from the Midwest. The events in Austin, Minnesota were a critical part of Minnesota's history and became a national story. However, what was never fully told was the story of the lives of the young people who lived in Austin during that time. At CTC, we are extremely interested in examining the world through the lens of young people. We love to tell stories about the agency, the resiliency of young people, and the ways in which they navigate the complex world we live in. Our playwright interviewed around 25 people who were children living in Austin at the time of the events and five others who were adults during that time. Our goal is not a documentary but to look at the reality of these young people as they face a situation that is so new, so difficult, and so surprising. The characters are composites drawn from the interviews-all names of those who speak in the play are invented-but the stories, challenges, and spirit of the characters is drawn from the extraordinary people who spoke to us, and were so open, generous, and forthcoming about their lives and this moment in their history."
Spamtown, USA runs February 16 through April 5, 2020 on the Cargill Stage and is recommended for everyone ages 9 and up. Ticket prices range from $15 through $71 (subject to change) with ACT Pass tickets for $5. For more information, visit us online at childrenstheatre.org or call the ticket office at 612.874.0400.