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Oregon Children's Theatre Announces 2022-2023 Season, "Be the Hero of Your Story"

The season features five Mainstage productions and three teen shows.

Oregon Children's Theatre Announces 2022-2023 Season,

Oregon Children's Theatre (OCT) is excited to announce Be the Hero of Your Story, the theatre's 2022-2023 performance season. This season OCT returns to a complete line-up of performances, featuring five Mainstage productions and three shows produced by its acclaimed teen company, the Young Professionals Company.

Oregon Children's Theatre's 2022-2023 Season At-A-Glance:

Dog Man: the Musical, Oct. 23-Nov. 20, 2022, Newmark Theatre*

Pestilence:Wow! Oct. 28-Nov. 13, 2022, Cerimon House**

Dragons Love Tacos, Jan. 22-Feb. 19, 2023, Newmark Theatre

The Mad Ones, Feb. 10-Feb. 26, 2023, CoHo Theatre**

Carmela Full of Wishes, Mar. 5-Apr. 8, 2023, Winningstad Theatre

Locomotion, Apr. 16-May 21, 2023, Winningstad Theatre

Impulse: Sweet 16, Apr. 21-May 7, 2023, Brunish Theatre**

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, Apr. 30-May 28, 2023, Newmark Theatre

*Produced by TheaterWorks USA and presented by OCT.

**These productions will be performed by OCT's award-winning Young Professionals Company.

In addition to public performances, OCT will welcome schools back for a full season of field trips: daytime performances of all five Mainstage productions, as well as Impulse: Sweet 16, will be offered.

"This season's selection of stories is inspired by heart and tenacity," says Artistic Director Marcella Crowson. "Young people have the unique ability to look at a situation with a kind of fearlessness and imagination that can sometimes elude grown-ups. When many adults say, 'We can't,' children will say, 'Why not?' The young characters on our stages this season become the heroes of their stories by asking these questions and tackling problems using teamwork, bravery and determination. We hope that these acts of heroism can translate into the everyday lives of children and families long after they leave our theatres and classrooms."

Crowson has announced that she will be stepping down from her role in the coming months. She was hired as Artistic Director in February 2020, but has been serving the organization as a crucial, beloved part of its Artistic, Education, and Leadership teams for almost 17 years. In her time at OCT, she directed more than 20 productions, including The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and Jason and the Argonauts, and the development and direction of new plays commissioned by Oregon Children's Theatre, including: The Storm in the Barn, Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made, and Zombie in Love - for which she won a Drammy Award for Best Director of a Musical. The Board of Directors will be launching a nationwide search for her replacement and details of that process will be released soon.

"I will cherish my years at Oregon Children's Theatre more than I can say; from the staff and artists I've had an opportunity to collaborate with, the young people and their families who I've gotten to know and learned from, and the friendship and mentorship from both Stan Foote and Ross McKeen. Though broken by loss, my heart is full of gratitude. Theatre is not frivolous. Art is not an indulgence. If we're going to build a better world, the boldness, creativity, curiosity, empathy, joy and laughter that the arts inspire will be essential ingredients."

Under Crowson's leadership, OCT was able to navigate the ever-changing challenges surrounding the closures caused by COVID-19, successfully shifting the company's work to an online platform, including virtual classes, conversations with artists, and performances. In the winter of 2021, the organization resumed in-person programming and has been careful to adjust adhering to COVID-19 safety guidelines, while always prioritizing the safety of its artists and patrons. This next season marks the first full season OCT has produced since 2018-2019.

About the Productions

Opening the 2022-2023 Season is Dog Man: the Musical, produced by TheaterWorks USA and presented by Oregon Children's Theatre. Based on the wildly popular and bestselling book series by Dav Pilkey, Dog Man: the Musical was written by Kevin Del Aguila and Brad Alexander, who collaborated on thea??Emmy-winning seriesa??Peg + Cata??on PBS, TheaterWorksUSA'sa??Click, Clack, Moo, anda??Clifford The Big Red Doga??on PBS and Amazon. Dog Man: the Musical debuted Off-Broadway and has toured the US and Canada, and follows the chronicles of Dog Man who, with the head of a dog and the body of a policeman, loves to fight crime. While trying his best to be a good boy, can he save the city from Flippy the cyborg fish and his army of Beasty Buildings? Can he catch Petey, the world's most evil cat, who has cloned himself to exact revenge on the doggy do-gooder? This hilarious and heartwarming production is recommended for ages 6 and up, and is sure to be a family-favorite this season.

Next, the Young Professionals Company at OCT makes their season debut with Pestilence:Wow!, a deeply dark comedy about the Bubonic Plague, written by Savannah Reich. Part reality television, part psychedelic fever dream, this is a play about humans and the way we deal with real, actual tragedy: totally inadequately. When selecting this work as part of their season, The YPs at OCT recognized the timeliness of the subject matter and chose to take it on this season.

In January 2023 OCT will bring back its bestselling production of Dragons Love Tacos, returning to the Newmark Theatre with its bevy of very hungry dragons. Adapted from the book by Adam Rubin with illustrations by Daniel Salmieri, Dragons Love Tacos tells the story of a young boy who encounters a quartet of dancing dragons and learns why you never give a dragon spicy salsa. Recommended for all ages, this production is equal parts ridiculous and delicious, and has all the ingredients for a fantastic time.

The Young Professionals take the stage again in February with The Mad Ones, a musical which debuted Off-Broadway in 2017. The musical tells the story of a young woman on the verge of her adult life, facing the choice of following in her mother's footsteps or venturing out to chart her own path. This contemporary and compelling score is written by Kait Kerrigan and Brian Lowdermilk, one of NYC's most exciting new songwriting teams.

In March OCT will present Carmela Full of Wishes, based on the award-winning book by Matt de la Peña with illustrations by Christian Robinson. This will be the second adaptation of de la Peña's works, following OCT's production of Last Stop on Market Street in May 2022. The story focuses on a young girl's birthday wishes: wishing for a candy machine, going to the laundromat with her older brother, and-even more poignant-wishing for her father to "get his papers fixed" so he can come home. The production will include a Sensory-Friendly performance, as well as performances for the public and schools in Spanish. Recommended for ages 6 and up.

Also in March, OCT will present Locomotion, a stage play based on the book by Jacqueline Woodson, which tells the touching story of how poetry, language and relationships strengthen and uplift a young boy to help him overcome tragedy. The show will be in partnership with PassinArt Theatre Company and is geared toward a slightly older audience, recommended for ages 9 and up. With beautiful language inspired by Woodson's poetry, Locomotion will inspire audiences to find the joy and beauty around us.

The YPs at OCT will close their season with their acclaimed improv troupe's sixteenth annual production of Impulse, directed by OCT's Education Director and former YP Blake Wales. The award-winning troupe will perform at the Brunish Theatre for three weekends, including the return of their popular "late night" performance on May 6, 2023.

Closing out the 2022-2023 Season is Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, a musical adaptation of the Newbery award-winning book written and illustrated by Grace Lin. Produced in partnership with MediaRites and directed by Dmae Lo Roberts, the story tells the fantastical tale of Min Li, who embarks on a journey to find the Old Man on the Moon and change her family's fortune. The production was originally commissioned in 2014 by the Bay Area Children's Theatre in Berkeley, CA, where it won three Bay Area Theatre Awards.

Continuing its commitment to accessibility, OCT will be offering livestreaming and Video On-Demand options for some performances in the coming season (as rights permit) in addition to presenting Sensory-Friendly, ASL-interpreted and Spanish language performances of some of the shows.

Single tickets for the 2022-2023 Season will be available beginning August 15, 2022. In addition, OCT is bringing back its popular ticket subscription plans this season, which are on sale now. Subscriptions and tickets can be purchased on OCT's website at http://www.octc.org, or by calling the box office at (503) 228-9571.

About Oregon Children's Theatre

Founded in 1988, Oregon Children's Theatre (OCT) has served well over two million children, teachers, and families. Its mission is to create exceptional theater experiences that transform lives. OCT is Oregon's largest non-profit professional theater for young audiences and a resident company of Portland'5 Centers for the Arts. Performances are held weekdays for school audiences and on weekends for family audiences. OCT offers numerous school services including study guides, teacher professional development opportunities, in-school workshops, and an extensive outreach program. OCT's year-round Acting Academy offers theater classes for children ages 3-18 and the Young Professionals Company, a year-round mentoring program for teens that includes professional level training, education, and public performances.

Funding for Oregon Children's Theatre's 2022-2023 season is provided in part by the National Endowment of the Arts, Shubert Foundation, the Regional Arts & Culture Council, the James F. & Marion L. Miller Foundation, and the Oregon Arts Commission.



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