U.S. Premiere of THE LORAX and More Set for Children's Theatre Company in 2017-18

U.S. Premiere of THE LORAX and More Set for Children's Theatre Company in 2017-18

Children's Theatre Company has announced its 2017-2018 season, which includes four musicals, two world premieres, one preschool production and partnerships with other leading theatres such as The Old Vic (London, UK), The Civilians (New York, NY) and Penumbra Theatre (Saint Paul, MN). The season also celebrates Artistic Director Peter C. Brosius' 20th Anniversary with CTC.

The season begins in September with the world premiere of the Minnesota hockey musical, The Abominables. The production is produced in association with the acclaimed New York ensemble theatre company, The Civilians and will be directed by Steve Cosson. It was created through the Civilian's unique and thorough process of interviewing over 75 hockey players, parents, coaches and siblings at ice arenas, hockey tournaments and practices across Minnesota. Next is a reprise of a CTC original production specially designed for preschoolers, Balloonacy in October, directed by Peter C. Brosius and stars Robert Dorfman. The holidays wouldn't be the same without the return of our favorite Christmas villain in Dr. Seuss's How the Grinch Stole Christmas beginning in November, also directed by Peter C. Brosius and stars Acting Company member Reed Sigmund as the Grinch. 2018 begins with a co-production of The Wiz with Penumbra Theatre beginning in January, directed by Lou Bellamy and starring Paris Bennett as Dorothy. Springtime brings a world premiere adaptation by Barry Kornhauser of the classic children's book Corduroy, starring Acting Company members Dean Holt and Reed Sigmund. Rounding out the season is the U.S. premiere of Dr. Seuss's The Lorax, originally produced at The Old Vic Theatre in London. The production will be directed by the original director, Max Webster and includes puppet design by Finn Caldwell and Nick Barnes famous for their Tony Award-winning War Horse puppetry design.

"Next season will be truly remarkable for many reasons," said Artistic Director, Peter C. Brosius. "It is exciting to introduce our audience to works created in partnership with extraordinary theatres such as The Civilians, Penumbra and The Old Vic. It is important that we are continuing our dedication to early childhood works for the stage with Balloonacy and to bringing back audience favorites like The Grinch. It is also a year of not only continuing, but expanding our Theatre Arts Training program, growing our inclusion work through our ACT One program initiatives, and adding a greater diversity of culturally significant, but often unheard voices to the canon of theatre for multigenerational audiences through our new play development lab, Threshold. I strongly believe this season exemplifies the exceptional reputation of CTC as the nation's leading theatre for multigenerational audiences."

"Children's Theatre Company has tremendously impacted our community, our nation, and our world over the last 20 years because of the visionary leadership of Peter C. Brosius," said Managing Director Kimberly Motes. "Peter has transformed this institution in remarkable ways. The creation of Threshold, anew play development program has resulted in 63 commissioned and developed new works that advance the canon of theatre for multigenerational audiences. His commitment to arts education has resulted in the nationally recognized and internationally replicated Neighborhood Bridges program, our vibrant Theatre Arts Training program and innovative early childhood programs. Peter's desire to be a theatre for all families and all people led to our ACT One initiative which places diversity and inclusion firmly within the institution's values and has been lauded by other artistic and community partners. Peter has brought some of the brightest artists and smartest partners working in theatre today to CTC and has brought CTC out to the world through national tours and presentations. Because of his vision and tireless devotion to the field and community, Minnesota can claim to be the home of the national leader and flagship for multigenerational theatre."

Season subscriptions are on sale now at childrenstheatre.org/tickets/subscribe. Subscription packages include full season options to flexible packaging and value priced preview and opening weekend packages.


CHILDREN'S THEATRE COMPANY'S 2017-2018 SEASON:

The Abominables

Produced in association with The Civilians

Written by Steve Cosson

Music and Lyrics by Michael Friedman

Directed by Steve Cosson

Choreographed by Joe Chvala

A Children's Theatre Company Commissioned World Premiere

Best enjoyed by age 8+

UnitedHealth Group Stage

September 12 through October 15, 2017

Rink rats, hockey moms, tournament weekends and the quest to play your best - It's tryout season in the Great State of Hockey! Mitch has always played on the A team for the Prairie Lake Blizzards - these are his guys - they've played together forever. But he hasn't hit his growth spurt yet, and he's worried this could be the year he gets sent down to the B team. When a new "kid" appears at Bantam tryouts, things go from bad to worse. From the land of ice and nice comes the first Minnesota hockey musical! Will you love it? You betcha! Supported by the National Endowment for the Arts

"The Abominables began when Michael and I were invited by CTC to immerse ourselves in the world of Minnesota youth hockey to see if we might be inspired to create a musical," states playwright Steve Cosson. "I always embrace the opportunity to jump into something without knowing where it might lead. During our research period, our team met lots of hockey kids, parents and coaches; we traveled to tournaments and spoke to everyone we could. Luckily for us, Minnesotans are indeed super friendly and happy to talk. Armed with some real life material we then opened up our imaginations, and once the notion of a young hockey-playing yeti showed up, we knew we were onto something."

Balloonacy

By Barry Kornhauser

Directed by Peter C. Brosius

A Children's Theatre Company Original Production

Best enjoyed by preschoolers

Cargill Stage

October 3 through November 12, 2017

Imagine a single balloon changing one person's life forever. It starts so simply: A balloon drifts through the window of a lonely old man's home on his birthday. Then something surprising happens-then something silly, wonderful and so blissfully fun that you barely notice you've learned something special about friendship along the way. Perfectly designed with the preschooler in mind, rediscover play in this back by popular demand production!

Dr. Amy Sussman-Stillman, Researcher for the Center for Early Education and Development at the University of Minnesota is particularly thrilled about CTC's commitment to creating plays for the very young. "CTC, with the incredible vision and foresight of Peter Brosius, is to be commended for its innovative integration of theatre arts and early childhood education. CTC had been impressively thoughtful about using theory and evidence to continually ensure that their work is developmentally appropriate, engaging and effective. Through its now regularly-occurring preschool productions such as Balloonacy, Early Bridges and Theatre Arts Training programs, CTC is on the forefront of using theatre arts to creatively advance school readiness for all preschoolers."

Dr. Seuss's How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Based on the book How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. Seuss

Book and lyrics by Timothy Mason

Music by Mel Marvin

Directed by Peter C. Brosius

Choreographed by Linda Talcott Lee

A Children's Theatre Company Original Production

Best enjoyed by all ages

UnitedHealth Group Stage

November 7, 2017 through January 7, 2018

Whoville is experiencing a seemingly unstoppable crime wave-and who, oh who will save Christmas? CTC's all-time audience favorite musical brings alive the songs, the story and the Seuss in mega-doses of spirited storytelling and fanciful rhymes. Come boo the most loathed Christmas villain-and woo-hoo! for a beloved holiday tradition guaranteed to grow anyone's heart three sizes.

"CTC has long been attracted to the work of Dr. Seuss not only because of its brilliant imagery and delightful wordplay but also because of his timeless messages. His stories motivate us to be our best selves, to be generous, to be tolerant, and to celebrate the hugeness of the human heart," says Director Peter Brosius.

A Children's Theatre Company and Penumbra Theatre Production of

The Wiz

Adapted from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

Book by William F. Brown

Additional material by Tina Tippit

Music and lyrics by Charlie Smalls

Directed by Lou Bellamy

Choreographed by Patdro Harris

Best enjoyed by all ages

UnitedHealth Group Stage

January 23 through March 18, 2018

Ease on down the road with Dorothy and her friends in this dazzling mixture of rock, gospel and soul music. Embark on this Oz-some adventure through a magic land where you will meet funky monkeys, winkies, Addeperle and Evilene. You don't need a wizard - just believe in yourself to find home and feel that brand-new day!

"The Wiz is a cherished favorite for diverse audiences, but it is particularly special for African Americans," states Lou Bellamy, Penumbra Theatre Founder and Artistic Director Emeritus. "Many of us remember Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, and Nipsey Russell in the original film with great fondness. We're certain that you will remember this production, too! This partnership is also very special, bringing together the leading theatre companies for young audiences and black theatre, each offering what we do best in order to give the Twin Cities a unique musical theatre experience. Penumbra is proud to partner with Children's Theatre Company on this production and we look forward to a long and exciting partnership ahead."

Corduroy

Based on the Corduroy and A Pocket for Corduroy books by Don Freeman

Licensed by CBS Consumer Products

Adapted for the stage by Barry Kornhauser

Directed by Peter C. Brosius

A Children's Theatre Company Commissioned World Premiere

Best enjoyed by preschool+

Cargill Stage

March 6 through May 13, 2018

Join Corduroy on his delightfully destructive chase through every section of the department store in search of his missing button. Will the night watchman find him and return him to his shelf before he can find this important button? Will Lisa ever convince her mother to let her give the bear a home? The tender, enduring story about true friendship stirs up the stage with a bustling rumpus of action! Don't miss it!

"It's no surprise that Don Freeman's Corduroy is one of our most enduring and beloved picture books, as it speaks to a child's love for a favorite toy and of the ways such a toy can take on a life of its own (at least in a child's imagination)," states playwright Barry Kornhauser. "Perhaps my very favorite thing about this story is that for Lisa, the toy she falls in love with is a plush bear that happens to be a bit broken. At the end of the book she sews a new button on Corduroy's shoulder strap so he'll feel more comfortable, but first she assures him: "I like you the way you are." That's a lovely lesson about true friendship."

Children's Theatre Company in partnership with The Old Vic

Present

Dr. Seuss's The Lorax

Based on the book The Lorax by Dr. Seuss

Adapted for the stage by David Greig

Music and lyrics by Charlie Fink

Directed by Max Webster

Choreographed by Drew McOnie

A U.S. Premiere by Children's Theatre Company

Best enjoyed by all ages

UnitedHealth Group Stage

April 17 through June 10, 2018

The silky soft tufts of the Truffula trees, are the perfect stuffs to knit the perfect Thneeds. But the first chop, chop of the perilous ax, begins the powerful tale of The Lorax. When the last tree of the forest falls, was it worth losing paradise for nothing at all? The most beloved environmental tale of all time, The Lorax will have you singing in Seussian rhymes!

"It is wonderful that on the precipice of opening the world premiere of Dr. Seuss's The Sneetches The Musical, we are announcing that our other most recent work, The Lorax, will make its U.S. debut at Children's Theatre Company," stated Susan Brandt, President of Dr. Seuss Enterprises. "Dr. Seuss Enterprises places a high value on the long-standing relationship with CTC to bring works to the stage that respect and honor our young people's intelligence. This work is important, and we are thrilled to have great partnerships with CTC and The Old Vic in London who share this vision."


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 275,000 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. www.childrenstheatre.org

The Civilians is a company that creates new theater from creative investigations into the most vital questions of the present.

Through a number of artistic programs, The Civilians advances theater as an engine of artistic innovation and strengthens the connections between theater and society. An artist-led company, The Civilians creates and produces new theater and pursues our artistic mission through programs serving artists and the public. The company's work is grounded in investigative theater, an artistic practice rooted in the process of creative inquiry. Investigative theater brings artists into dynamic engagement with the subject of their work; the artists look outward in pursuit of pressing questions, often engaging with individuals and communities in order to listen, make discoveries, and challenge habitual ways of knowing. The ethos of investigative theater extends into production, inviting audiences to be active participants in the inquiry before, during and after the performance. Believing that a culture of ongoing innovation and vitality is fed by having artists be a central part of our organization, we sustain a multidisciplinary community of Associate Artists as a core component of the company.

The Old Vic under Artistic Director Matthew Warchus is a place that encourages a new love of theatre, as well as offering a refreshing experience to those who keep coming back for more. It is a theatre steeped in tradition yet still innovating and making history today through a huge variety of output on and off stage which grabs the imagination of the broadest range of people.

The Old Vic programme encompasses: invigorating new writing; works that engage with a wide social conversation; nurturing new musicals, mounting passionate revivals and famous old plays; experimentation with quirky, eye-opening and challenging pieces; and family shows and pantomimes.

In addition, The Old Vic works with over 10,000 people each year of all ages and backgrounds to unlock creative intelligence through school projects, employability schemes and community engagement. All of this is achieved whilst operating as a not-for-profit organisation without a regular subsidy, in an almost 200 year old building with a touch of magic about it.

Penumbra Theatre was founded in 1976 by Lou Bellamy to create a forum for African American voices in the Twin Cities theatre community. Through its commitment to providing realistic, inspirational works that redefine the consciousness of its audience, Penumbra quickly garnered praise and a loyal following.

Over the years, Penumbra Theatre has lived up to its mission of presenting artistically excellent productions that depict emotional, relevant and valuable experiences from an African American perspective. It has achieved national recognition for its quality productions and role in launching the career of many respected playwrights, including two-time Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson.

Today, Penumbra Theatre is Minnesota's only professional African American theatre, and it is one of only three professional African American theatres in the nation that offer a full season of performances.

Photo Credit: Manuel Harlan

What Do You Think? Tell Us In The Comments!


Related Articles

Minneapolis THEATER Stories | Shows  Follow BWW Minneapolis


From This Author BWW News Desk

Before you go...