Two world premieres and a double-dose of Seuss -- including an American debut -- are on the docket for the 2012-13 season of the Children's Theatre Company.
"We want work that uses theatrical vitality and verve to tell a story," says Peter Brosius, CTC's artistic director. "We have pieces that are creating works for the early learners, some new versions of classic stories, and some real gorgeous plays."
Some of the work comes out of CTC's new-play program, Threshold. This includes season opener Buccaneers!
"What we look for are pieces that are surprisingly different; that have a vocabulary for the artists and the audiences that have new ways of seeing and have new theatrical adventures," Brosius says.
That piece, created by Liz Duffy Adams and Ellen Maddow, "is a wonderful, girl-power story that features original songs inspired by Irish, Spanish, and African music," Brosius says.
Greg Banks, who has thrilled audiences with the likes of Romeo and Juliet and Robin Hood in recent seasons, returns with Pinocchio, where a small cast -- with some help from the audience -- will bring the story to life.
Marion McClinton will direct an adaptation of Jackie and Me, about a young, modern-day boy who travels back in time to the 1940s and gets to experience the integration of baseball first hand with Jackie Robinson and the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Jason Bellweber of Four Humors gets to dig into one of the iconic works of children's literature when he helms CTC's production of The Cat in the Hat. The adaptation originates from the National Theatre in London. "It's a wonderfully smart and elegant version of the tale," Brosius says.
That contrasts with How the Grinch Stole Christmas, which comes for the holidays in a more Broadway-style musical version, he adds.
The season also includes The Biggest Little House in the Forest, which is aimed at two- to five-year-old audiences, and the closing Alice in Wonderland. The version is inspired somewhat by an essay by Salman Rushdie, which examines Alice's role as a girl who demands order out of the madness.
All of the pieces work together to continue CTC's goal of reaching the newest of audiences. "We feel that it is both an opportunity and a responsibility that we may be the first theater somebody sees," Brosius says. "We can excite them to this incredible art form and, if we do it well, we set them on a path for life. If we bore them or don't engage them, you can shut a door."
Doing that includes embracing the unique properties of a live production. "We're always looking for what is uniquely theatrical about the show," Brosius says. "We are theater folks and we love this art form. We are looking for pieces that challenge and excite us because of their unique theatricality, and also have a story to tell that can inspire or challenge or move our audience, and through that deeply entertain them."
The 2012-13 Children's Theatre Company season
Sept. 11 - Oct. 21
Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat
Sept. 25 - Dec. 2
Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Nov. 6 - Dec. 30
Jan. 15 - Feb. 24
The Biggest Little House in the Forest
Jan, 24 - March 17, 2013
Jackie and Me
March 12 - April 14, 2013
Alice in Wonderland
April 30 - June 15, 2013
For information, call 612.874.0400 or visit online.
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