Even as audiences are enjoying the productions currently onstage, CTC is working with playwrights across the country and around the world to create brand new plays that will premiere on our stages in upcoming seasons. A major developer of new plays for young audiences, CTC has commissioned and produced over 35 new plays in the last 15 years. How do we do it? We search the globe for playwrights whose work thrills and excites us. We hire them to write an original play or to adapt a classic story or contemporary children’s book. We hold readings and workshops to test the plays and, finally, we produce them in the beautiful, adventurous style that CTC is known for!
Plays developed and premiered at CTC include: A Year with Frog and Toad, Cinderella, Esperanza Rising, Robin Hood , Buccaneers!, Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy, Iqbal, Iron Ring and The Biggest Little House in the Forest. Special thanks to The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust for supporting new play development at Children’s Theatre Company.
Artists Under Commission:
Greg Banks, Jocelyn Clark, Steve Cosson and Michael Friedman, Philip Dawkins, Larissa Fasthorse, Paul Fleischman, Madeleine George, Jerome Hairston, Jeffrey Hatcher, Naomi Iizuka, Kevin Kling, Barry Kornhauser, Taylor Mac, David Mallamud, Qui Nguyen, Shane Rettig, Lloyd Suh, Ryan Underbakke and Nick Ryan, Cheryl West
Plays in Development:
Dr. Seuss’ The Sneetches
Based on the book by Dr. Seuss
Book and Lyrics by Philip Dawkins
Music and Additional Lyrics by David Mallamud
On Sneetch Beach, there’s a line in the sand—Star Bellies on one side, Plain Bellies on the other. That’s the way it is, was, and will be. At least until the sneaky and greedy Sylvester Monkey McBean comes to town with his Star On machine. Suddenly, the difference between the haves and the have nots—those with stars and those without—isn’t so clear. What will the Sneetches do now? In this rousing and inventive musical adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ powerful parable about the surface things that divide us, it will take a courageous friendship between an unlikely pair of Sneetches to find the answers. This work is supported by a Theatre Commissioning and Production Initiative grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.
The Abominables: The Minnesota Hockey Musical
Book by Steve Cosson
Music and Lyrics by Michael Friedman
A production partnership between CTC and The Civilians
Rink Rats and Hockey Moms, pond hockey, tournament weekends and the quest to play your best—welcome to the high stakes world of youth hockey in America. It’s tryouts for the Bantam Boys’ Hockey A Team. Mitch has always played on the A Team—these are his guys—they’ve played together forever. But nothing in this world comes with a guarantee--he’s worried this could be the year he gets sent down to the B team. Sure, Mitch has an expensive new hockey stick, his love of the game and over-bearing parental obsession on his side, but will that be enough—will anything ever be enough??!?--to secure his spot on the ice?
By Taylor Mac
Directed by Niegel Smith
Pristine (or perhaps just prissy) Hero longs to escape to a cleaner, more elevated world where people read books and understand Voltaire. But first, he must cross the Mud Pit—the hang-out of Frankie, a Dude-like guy who just likes to relax- and The Fre—Frankie’s posse of thoroughly modern American teens. When Hero slips and falls, Frankie rescues him and decides not to let him go. Will Hero insist on leaving or discover that it’s better to change the world you’re in than to try to escape it? Performance Artist Taylor Mac’s theatrical extravaganza for teen audiences is an exploration of Radical Empathy and a celebration of getting down and dirty.
Based on the book by Don Freeman
Adapted by Barry Kornhauser
Discovering a missing button on his overalls, a curious little bear goes in search of a new one. His tender, comic adventures eventually lead him into the arms of a little girl eager to give him a real home.
Adapted from the work of E.C Segar
By Bill Johnson
The adventures of the beloved spinach-loving sailor and his pals are brought vividly to life in this adaptation of the classic comic strip.
The Houdini Box
Based on the novel by Brian Selznick
Music by Daniel Moises Schrier
Book and Lyrics by Brian Selznick
Co-Commissioned with La Jolla Playhouse
Based on the book by acclaimed author/illustrator Brian Selznick (The Invention of Hugo Cabret, The Marvels), this is the story of a young boy who yearns to meet his hero--the great magician, Harry Houdini.
The Wild Child
By Madeleine George
Inspired by Francois Truffaut's classic film and reset in the raw landscape of a Midwestern prairie, George's compassionate, poetic exploration of the havoc wreaked on the lives of a naturalist and his young daughter when they take in a child who has grown up beyond the reaches of civilization.
Adapted and Directed by Greg Banks
The classic fairy tale gets writer/director Greg Banks' highly theatrical, physically lively spin as three actors simultaneously bring to life and call into question the story of Snow White, the Evil Queen and the seven smallish men who offer her sanctuary.
Based on the graphic novel by Shaun Tan
Conceived and Created by Peter C. Brosius and Jocelyn Clarke
Music by Judd Greenstein
Shaun Tan’s lauded graphic novel is the inspiration for this potent, poetic exploration of the immigrant experience. Told entirely through movement, music and visual projections, the story follows a man who leaves his family to build a new life for them in a new world.
The Best Summer Ever!
By Kevin Kling
Music by Victor Zupanc
It’s summertime in Minnesota! Head up North! Stay up late! Ride your bike, swim in the lake, build a fort, eat ice cream until you’re ready to burst! Who cares if there’s mosquitoes in the outhouse, your dad burns the burgers, the girl you have a crush on won’t give you the time of day and you’re not sure you’ll ever make it off the end of the high dive? Even when things go wrong, if it’s summer in Minnesota, it’s gonna be the best summer ever! Storyteller Kevin Kling brings his whacky, whimsical, totally hometown style to a new musical sure to charm Minnesotans young and old.
By Larissa Fasthorse
Can a girl like Lara, born on the Rosebud Reservation and growing up in Pierre, South Dakota ever succeed in the cutthroat world of professional ballet? Based on the life experiences of playwright and professional ballerina, Larissa Fasthorse, this extraordinary story will strike a chord with anyone who has dreamed an impossible dream and found the will to achieve it.