Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

ELEPHANT & PIGGIE'S WE ARE IN A PLAY! to Bring Books to Life at Children's Theatre Company

Children's Theatre Company (CTC) will present Elephant & Piggie's We Are in a Play!, based on Mo Willems' award-winning and beloved book series beginning September 13.

Willems is the prolific author of popular children's books such as the Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale, Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, and Cat the Cat. Willems has also created animated series for Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network, and was an animator for Sesame Street for nine years. His books have received many of the highest honors for literature including three Caldecott Honors, two Theodor Seuss Geisel Medals, five Theodor Seuss Geisel Honors, and three Carnegie Medals.

Willems is particularly enthusiastic about the production's journey to CTC. He states, "Elephant Gerald and Piggie were created as reflections of my favorite round headed characters when I was a kid, Charlie Brown and his pals. How wonderful that after reading my books, the John F. Kennedy Center asked me to help create a musical starring Elephant Gerald and Piggie and (more wonderful still) now it will head to Minneapolis to one of the nation's most acclaimed children's theater company."

The musical centers around the pessimistic pachyderm, Elephant Gerald and his perky pal Piggie's opposites-attract friendship and real-life questions and predicaments that people face. For example, what if you have never done something before and are afraid? What do you do if someone makes you angry? What can you do if you think your best friend is moving away forever? Joyfully sung to music with back-up singers, The Squirrelles, the pages of the littlest audience member's favorite books come to life on stage.

The show stars Christopher Michael Richardson (Commonwealth Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse, Know Theatre of Cincinnati) as Elephant Gerald and Minnesota native Shinah Brashears (Guthrie Theatre, Theater Latte Da, 7th House) as Piggie. They are joined by Jennie Lutz (Imagination Stage, Adventure Theatre MTC), Justine Icy Moral (Dallas Summer Musicals, Olney Theatre Center, Kennedy Center), and Caroline Wolfson (Kennedy Center, Signature Theatre, Keegan Theatre) as The Squirrelles. The production is a presentation of The Kennedy Center Theater for Young Audiences on Tour.

Elephant & Piggie's We Are in a Play! runs September 13-October 23, 2016 in the UnitedHealth Group Stage and is recommended for preschool and up. Tickets are on sale now starting at $15. All season subscription packages are still available. For more information, visit us online at or call the Ticket Office at 612.874.0400. Kennedy Center Theater for Young Audiences on Tour is represented by Shaw Entertainment Group, LLC. Elephant & Piggie's We Are in a Play! is proudly sponsored by Target.


Elephant & Piggie's We Are in a Play!

A Kennedy Center Commission based on the Elephant & Piggie books by Mo Willems

Script and Lyrics by Mo Willems

Music by Deborah Wicks La Puma

UnitedHealth Group Stage

September 13 through October 21

Best enjoyed by preschool+

Creative Team & Production Staff

Director: Jerry Whiddon

Music Director: George Fulginiti-Shakar

Choreographer: Jessica Hartman

Dramaturg: Megan Alrutz

Set Designer: James Kronzer

Costume Designer: Frank Labovitz

Lighting Designer: Kyle Grant

Sound Designer: Elisheba Ittoop


Christopher Michael Richardson: Elephant Gerald

Shinah Brashears: Piggie

Jennie Lutz: Squirrelle

Justine Icy Moral: Squirrelle

Caroline Wolfson: Squirrelle

Runtime: 60 minutes, no intermission

Tickets: The Ticket Office is accessible by phone two hours prior to most performances. These posted hours are subject to change.
Email: (inquiries only, no ticket processing)
Phone: 612.874.0400
Lap passes available for children newborn to three years for $5

ASL/AD Performance: October 14 at 7pm
Sensory Friendly Performance: October 21 at 7pm

Group tickets up to 25% off regular tickets for groups of ten or more

Children's Theatre Company (CTC) is the nation's largest and most acclaimed theatre for multigenerational audiences. It creates theatre experiences that educate, challenge, and inspire for more than 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 producing 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 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. For more, go to

Kennedy Center's Theater for Young Audiences on Tour brings original Kennedy Center productions for students and families into communities and performing arts centers around the country. Artistic teams consist of carefully selected professionals from all corners of the nation who possess extensive experience with both youth and adult theater. The teams strive to create shows that are delightful, educational, and provide a foundation for a life-long appreciation of the performing arts for audiences of all ages. Adding to the Theater for Young Audiences experience are Kennedy Center Cuesheet study guides, ARTSEDGE online content and post-performance question-and-answer sessions with members of the cast and company. For more information on ARTSEDGE, visit

Featured on Stage Door

Shoutouts, Classes, and More from Your Favorite Broadway Stars

Related Articles View More Minneapolis / St. Paul Stories

More Hot Stories For You