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Approximate run time: 1 hour and 45 minutes including one 15-minute intermission
Run time and other details are subject to change during the rehearsal process.

A Year with Frog and Toad
Best enjoyed by everyone
Based on Arnold Lobel’s Newbery and Caldecott Honor Books
Music by Robert Reale
Lyrics and book by Willie Reale
Original Direction by David Petrarca
Directed by Peter Rothstein
Choreography by Daniel Pelzig

ASL/AD: June 2 at 7PM
ASL Only: June 4 at 5PM
Sensory Friendly: June 16 at 7PM

Waking from hibernation in the spring, the perky Frog and the worrywart Toad plant gardens, swim, rake leaves, go sledding, and learn life lessons through four, fun-filled seasons. The amphibian odd couple celebrate and rejoice in their differences that make them the best-est of friends while joined by a colorful cast of birds, mice, turtles, and that slo-o-ow snail with the mail. Nominated for three Tony Awards® including Best Musical, this unforgettable and tuneful musical is back on our stage after almost a decade! Don’t miss this exuberant story based on the treasured books by Arnold Lobel in a musical that soars like a kite and blossoms like spring.

This production was commissioned and created by Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis, MN.
Frog and Toad Calendar

Content Advisory

Language: 0 out of 5

Themes and Situations: 1 out of 5
Toad often feels nervous, anxious or sad.

Violence and Scariness: 1 out of 5
Frog tells a ghost story about Scary Frog.

Sensory Advisories: 1 out of 5
Volume level may be high during musical numbers. Toad's oven blows up at the end of the Cookies song. Smoke emerges from the oven. There is a lighting effect (similar to a strobe light) after the raking leaves scene. There are air cannons at the front of the stage that shoot snow. 

Potentially Anxious Moments: 2 out of 5
Animals make fun of Toad because he looks funny in a bathing suit. Toad feels nervous and anxious throughout.  Frog tells a ghost story about a Large and Terrible Frog. There is a large representation of the frog with light up eyes. Toad's oven blows up at the end of the Cookies song. Smoke emerges from the oven. 


Performance Description:

CTC’s A Year with Frog & Toad is a musical performance by a small cast of adults. Sets, costumes and props are elaborate. This production is based on the award winning books by Arnold Lobel and was commissioned, developed, and originally produced through our new play development lab, Threshold, here at Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis, MN. This production was featured on Broadway in 2003 and was nominated for 3 Tony Awards® including Best Musical. 
This production takes place on the UnitedHealth Group Stage. 

Approximate run time: 1 hour and 40 minutes including one 15-minute intermission 


Waking from hibernation in the spring, the perky Frog and the worrywart Toad plant gardens, swim, rake leaves, go sledding, and learn life lessons through four, fun-filled seasons. The amphibian odd couple celebrate and rejoice in their differences that make them the best-est of friends while joined by a colorful cast of birds, mice, turtles, and that slo-o-ow snail with the mail. Nominated for three Tony Awards® including Best Musical, this unforgettable and tuneful musical is back on our stage after almost a decade! Don’t miss this exuberant story based on the treasured books by Arnold Lobel in a musical that soars like a kite and blossoms like spring. 



Frog and Toad have very different personalities, but they are best friends just the same.
Their friendship gets tested and strengthened by the everyday adventures, trials and
triumphs of life.

The year begins as the two amphibians emerge from hibernation. In celebration of spring,
they plant flowers and marvel at the patience it takes to watch them grow. Yet even with
the contentment he gets from his flowers, Toad is very sad because he never, ever receives
any mail. Seeing his friend’s unhappiness, Frog secretly writes Toad a letter and sends it off
with Snail to be delivered. When the weather warms, a cool swimming hole calls, but Toad
is self-conscious in his bathing suit. His discomfort grows as he’s laughed at by the other
swimmers. Fortunately, Frog provides trusty support. It’s times like these that a good
friend really helps.

While Toad likes constant companionship, occasionally Frog wants some time alone. But
Toad is insecure and follows Frog to make sure their friendship is still intact. Reassured
that all is well, Toad bakes some delicious cookies. In fact, the cookies are so delicious they
can’t stop eating them! They enjoy a breezy day by flying a kite. Toad is rather clumsy, but
with help from Frog (and repeated tries), he finally gets his kite in the air. When autumn
comes, the two friends rake each other’s leaves. As seasons get cooler, Frog shares a ghost
frog story. But scary as it may be, it’s never too frightening with a friend and cup of tea.
Winter arrives. Frog convinces Toad to give sledding a try and he’s just starting to enjoy the
adventure when Frog is thrown into a snow bank. As the sled picks up speed with Toad
flying solo, his thrill turns to panic. Thinking Frog left him alone on a hazardous adventure,
Toad refuses to talk to his friend again. Just in time, Snail arrives carrying the letter it has
taken him nearly a year to deliver. When Toad reads the kind words from Frog, his anger
melts away.

On Christmas Eve, Toad is very worried when Frog is late coming over. He
gathers his courage and is ready to set out to rescue Frog from whatever danger he might
be in, but it turns out Frog was just delayed by wrapping Toad’s present. They enjoy a
warm and toasty holiday. Then it’s back to hibernation and dreams of the next wonderful
year to come  



  • Friendship
  • Seasons
  • Gardening
  • Kindness
  • Letter Writing
  • Celebrating Differences
  • Hibernation
  • Loyalty
  • Sharing
  • Cookies
  • Courage
  • Persistence

Suggested Reading:

A Year with Frog & Toad is based on the books by Arnold Lobel. Check out some of these other books by Arnold Lobel.

  • Frog & Toad are Friends
  • Frog & Toad Together
  • Frog & Toad All Year
  • Days with Frog & Toad
  • Owl at Home
  • Mouse Soup
  • Mouse Tales
  • Grasshopper on the Road
  • Small Pig
  • Uncle Elephant
  • Ming Lo Moves the Mountains
  • The Rose in My Garden
  • The Frogs and Toads all Sang
  • Giant John

Other Suggested Readings

  • Little Bear Series by Elsa Holmelund Minarik
  • Mr. Poppers Penguins by Richard Atwater
  • Stuart Little by EB White
  • A Wind in the Willows by David Petersen

Creative Team & Production Staff

Based on the books by Arnold Lobel
Music by Robert Reale

Book and Lyrics by Willie Reale
Original Direction by David Petrarca
Directed by Peter Rothstein †
Choreography by Daniel Pelzig †
Music Direction by Victor Zupanc ^
Scenic Designer | Adrianne Lobel‡
Costume Designer | Martin Pakledinaz‡
Lighting Designer | James F. Ingalls‡
Sound Designers | Rob Milburn‡ & Michael Bodeen‡
Associate Lighting Designer | Stephen Terry‡
Stage Manager | Stacy McIntosh•
Assistant Stage Manager | Kathryn Sam Houkom•
Stage Management Intern | Sarah Lovell
Assistant Director | Sylvie Mae Baldwin
Assistant Choreographer | Mathias Anderson
Assistant Lighting Designer | Steven Tonar
Dance Captain | Elise Benson*

Keyboard, Conductor | Victor Zupanc^
Woodwinds | Mark Henderson^ and Brian Grivna^
Trumpet | Bob Hallgrimson^
Trombone | "Kevin"^
Bass | James A. Young III^
Percussion | Paul Hill^

†denotes a member of SDC, the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, a national theatrical labor union
‡denotes a member of United Scenic Artists, Local 829
•denotes a member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States
*denotes a Performing Apprentice
^ denotes a member of the Twin Cities Musicians Union, Local 30-73, AFM

ARNOLD LOBEL (Author/Illustrator of Frog and Toad Books)
During his distinguished career, Arnold Lobel wrote and/or illustrated over 70 books for children. To his illustrating credit, he had a Caldecott Medal book -- Fables (1981) -- and two Caldecott Honor Books-his own Frog and Toad are Friends (1971) and Hildilid's Night by Cheli Duran Ryan (1972). To his writing credit, he had a Newbery Honor Book -- Frog and Toad Together (1973). However, to his greatest credit, he had a following of literally millions of young children with whom he shared the warmth and humor of his unpretentious vision of life. 

Musicals-Broadway: A Year With Frog And Toad (Tony nomination). Off-Broadway: Once Around The City (2nd Stage), Quark Victory (Williamstown Theater Festival). Music for plays: Richard Dresser’s Rounding Third (directed by John Rando) Diva, (WTF), Salvation’s Moon. Film: Ten-13, Passing Over, Wigstock, Dealers Among Dealers, The Victim, others. Television: PrimeTime, 20/20, Inside Edition, Out There (theme), Invent This (theme), Mugshots, Crime Stories, The System, The Mailman and the Pirhana, Case Closed, Beating The Rap, The Royals: Dynasty or Disaster?, others. As composer and record producer, he has worked with Julie Andrews, Mel Torme, Sid Caeser and Imogene Coca.

WILLIE REALE (Playwright & Lyricist)
Willie is a freelance writer living in New York. He has collaborated with his brother, Robert, on the musicals Once Around The City (Second Stage Theatre in New York); Quark Victory (Williamstown Theatre Festival); and A Year with Frog and Toad (Children’s Theatre Company, New Victory Theatre, Cort Theatre). In 1981, he founded The 52nd Street Project, an organization that brings inner-city children together with professional theater artists to create theater. He served as the theater's artistic director for 18 years. Television credits include: “Homicide: Life on the Streets” and “Deadline” (NBC); “Out There” (Sesame Workshop and BBC). He has taught at New York University and the Yale School of Drama. Willie is married to producer Jenny Gersten. They have two children, Augustus and Leonardo.

Peter is thrilled to return to CTC and A Year with Frog and Toad, having directed the revival in 2007. Other CTC credits include: Peter Pan the Musical, Shrek the Musical, Annie, The Wizard of Oz and Disney's High School Musical. Other directing credits include the Guthrie Theater, Minnesota Opera, Ten Thousand Things, Seattle’s 5th Avenue, and 55 productions for Theater Latté Da, where he serves as Artistic Director. Peter was named the 2015 Minnesota Artist of the Year by the Star Tribune, and has been awarded seven Ivey Awards. He has received fellowships from the NEA, the Minnesota State Arts Board and the McKnight Foundation.

DANIEL PELZIG (Choreographer)
Daniel choreographed the original production of A Year with Frog and Toad here at CTC, before its move to Broadway. Also on Broadway: 33 Variations, starring Jane Fonda. A choreographer and director for theatre and opera, his recent credits include South Pacific and, The Winter’s Tale (Guthrie Theater); Guys and Dolls (Oregon Shakespeare Festival); Sunday in the Park with George, A Little Night Music and Candide (Huntington Theatre); Measure for Measure, Twelfth Night and As You Like It (Shakespeare Theatre); Carousel (Glimmerglass Festival); My Fair Lady (Arena Stage) and numerous operas at the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, Houston Grand Opera, Seattle Opera and Santa Fe Opera. He earned his degree in cellular biology from Columbia University.

VICTOR ZUPANC (Music Director)
Victor is credited with approximately 300 productions as Composer, Musical Director, and Sound Designer throughout the country. His music has been heard in China, Japan, South America, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada winning many awards and honors. Most recently, he received a 2016 Ivey Award for his work in CTC’s Pinocchio.  Victor has received commissions for orchestral and choral music and his music is heard regularly on NPR Radio. He has also scored several films. This is Victor’s 26th season as Music Director at CTC. His CTC composing credits include Cinderella; The Monkey King; Korczak’s Children; Iqbal; Romeo and Juliet; Balloonacy; Robin Hood; The Jungle Book; and Akeelah and the Bee, among many others. Visit

DAVID PETRARCA (Original Director)
David’s work spans decades in theatre, film and TV. He was resident director at the Goodman Theatre where he premiered over 30 new plays including: Marvin's Room; Fuddy Meers; Kimberly Akimbo; Sin; Deep In A Dream Of You and Martin Guerre. His recent TV work includes directing for HBO: Game of Thrones; Boardwalk Empire; True Blood; Big Love and Hung. Marco Polo; Jessica Jones and Hemlock Grove for Netflix, Magic City for Starz, and Man in The High Castle for Amazon. His early TV work includes Dawson's Creek, Felicity, Eli Stone and many more. Film work includes Save the Last Dance II and upcoming films Marcel, and Fuddy Meers.

ADRIANNE LOBEL (Scenic Designer)
Adrianne has designed the world premieres of Doctor Atomic (San Francisco Opera), Nixon in China (Houston Grand Opera) and An American Tragedy (Metropolitan Opera). Other career highlights include Little House on the Prairie (Guthrie Theater), The Rake’s Progress (Le Châtelet), The Magic Flute (Glyndebourne Festival), Così fan tutte and Le Nozze di Figaro (Pepsico Summerfare), Street Scene (Houston Grand Opera), Lady in the Dark (London’s National Theater), Swan Lake (Pennsylvania Ballet), An American in Paris (New York City Ballet), and Mark Morris's L’Allegro, Il Penseroso ed Il Moderato; The Hard Nut; Orfeo ed Euridice; Platée; and King Arthur. Broadway credits include Passion, The Diary of Anne Frank, On the Town, and A Year with Frog and Toad

MARTIN PAKLEDINAZ (Costume Designer)
Martin received two Tony Awards for his work on the Broadway revival of Kiss Me, Kate and the original Broadway production of Thoroughly Modern Millie and was honored with eight additional Tony nominations.His other Broadway credits include: Chaplin; Nice Work If You Can Get It (Tony nomination); The Normal Heart; Anything Goes (Tony nomination); Lend Me a Tenor (Hewes Award, Tony and Outer Critics nominations); Blithe Spirit (Tony nomination); and The Pajama Game (Tony nomination).

(Lighting Designer)

James has designed several productions for Children’s Theatre Company including the original Frog and Toad; Raggedy Ann and Andy; Tom Sawyer and Paddington Bear. His many productions at the Guthrie Theater include Hamlet; Richard III; The Seagull and Hang On To Me. His designs for DRUID Theatre/Galway include The Beauty Queen of Leenane; Waiting for Godot and DRUIDShakespeare, all directed by Garry Hynes. Designs for Mark Morris include The Hard Nut and L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato. His work with Peter Sellars spans thirty-seven years. He often collaborates with The Wooden Floor dancers in Santa Ana, CA.      

Rob & Michael are happy to return to Children’s Theatre Company where they designed sound for the world premiere of A Year with Frog & Toad. Broadway credits include music composition and sound for No Man’s Land & Waiting for GodotBreakfast at Tiffany’s; The Miracle Worker; and sound for SweatThe Price; Larry David’s Fish in the Dark; Of Mice and Men; This is Our YouthWho’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf; A Year with Frog & Toad; King Hedley II; The Song of Jacob Zulu  and The Grapes of Wrath.  They have created music and sound Off-Broadway, at many of America's resident theatres (often with Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre) and at several international venues.

STEPHEN TERRY (Associate Lighting Designer)

Stephen was part of the lighting design team for the original production of A Year With Frog and Toad at CTC in 2003. Some recent work includes: Papermill Playhouse:  (A Comedy of Tenors; Vanya, Sonia, Masha, and Spike; Lend Me A Tenor;) Off Broadway: My Name is Gideon at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, Titanic in Concert for Lincoln Center, Twyla Tharp Dance at The Joyce and National/International Tour. Other Regional Theatre: A Streetcar Named Desire at Virginia Stage, The Other Place at The Alley, The Roar of the Greasepaint, The Smell of the Crowd  and Guys and Dolls for Goodspeed Musicals, Chasing Rainbows at Flat Rock Playhouse (World Premiere). Other regional: Pittsburgh Public, La Jolla Playhouse, San Diego Opera. Las Vegas: Magic Reinvented Nightly starring Mat Franco, Paul Zerdin’s Mouthing Off, Frankie Moreno’s Under the Influence and Henson Alternative’s Puppet Up.

STACY MCINTOSH (Stage Manager)
Stacy is thrilled to be revisiting A Year with Frog and Toad, a production very close to her heart. She managed the original productions, CD, DVD and Broadway production. She is in her 19th season of Stage Managing at CTC. Some of her other favorite credits include: The Jungle Book; Diary of a Wimpy Kid the Musical; The Biggest Little House in the Forest; A Wrinkle in Time; A Christmas Story; Five Fingers of Funk!; Bud, Not Buddy; Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse (1999) and Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas. She has also worked in San Francisco and New York, and is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association. She would like to thank Dean and her biggest accomplishments Henry and Emmet, for their love, patience and great ideas. 

KATHRYN SAM HOUKOM (Assistant Stage Manager)
Sam celebrates her 14th season with CTC. Past shows include The Snowy Day and Other Stories, Cinderella, The Wizard of OzPeter Pan the MusicalBusytown the Musical, and Alice in Wonderland, to name a few. Sam has also stage managed for Park Square Theatre, Mixed Blood Theatre, and the Minnesota Opera. Regionally, Sam has stage managed for Steppenwolf Theatre Company and Lookingglass Theatre Company (Chicago), The Kennedy Center (Washington, D.C.), and The Pearl Theatre Company (Off Broadway). Sam loves to work at CTC where her son Lukas can enjoy seeing live theatre!

SARAH LOVELL (Stage Management Intern)

Sarah graduated from the University of Iowa in 2014 with a B.A. in theatre, and a B.A. in music, with a concentration in vocal performance. After taking some time to travel, she is extremely excited, and humbled, to be returning back into the theatre world as the stage management intern for A Year with Frog and Toad.

SYLVIE MAE BALDWIN (Assistant Director)

Sylvie is a theatre maker and storyteller. A Year with Frog and Toad is her first production with CTC and she could not me more thrilled! As a director and choreographer, Sylvie has worked with Book It Repertory Theatre (WA), Kitsap Forest Theater (WA), and The Young Americans’ Theatre Company (WA). She is also an actress and the creator of skinny crazy small – a solo performance about her struggle with anorexia nervosa. For more information check out: • @sylviemmcb

MATHIAS ANDERSON (Assistant Choreographer)

Mathias is grateful to be part of this great theater community. He has performed in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, starring the Rockettes. Other works include the Broadway workshop of Empire the Musical, The Guthrie Theater (South Pacific; Music Man and Little House on the Prairie), Chanhassen Dinner Theaters (Sister Act; Camelot; Hello Dolly and The Little Mermaid), Second Fiddle, Minnesota Repertory Theater, Tokyo Disney, Marriott Theater-Chicago, Pioneer Theater Company, Denver Center, The Public Theater, North Carolina Theater, Weston Playhouse and Stages St. Louis. Thank you Danny and Peter for the opportunity. 

STEVE TONAR (Assistant Lighting Designer)
Steve is a senior at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities graduating with a B.A. in Theatre Arts and Design with an emphasis in lighting. His past production credits include University of Minnesota Theatre Arts & Dance (
Anthem For a Collective Body; Polaroid Stories; Henry VI: Ascension & Contention; and World Without End). He has also designed for the Weisman Art Museum's Big WAM Bash and the UofM’s Eye Candy Fashion Show.


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BRADLEY GREENWALD (Frog) Bradley played in Dr. Seuss's The Sneetches (McBean), The Wizard of Oz (Tin Man), Pinocchio, Buccaneers!, A Christmas StoryDr. Seuss’s The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins (King Derwin), Bert & Ernie, Goodnight! (Bert)and The Snow Queen (Crow) on the CTC stage. He has performed with Jungle Theater, Theater Latté Da, 10,000 Things, Nautilus Music-Theater, Minnesota Dance Theatre, VocalEssence, Frank Theatre, A Prairie Home Companion, Theatre de la Jeune Lune, Guthrie Theater, and Skylark Opera.  He wrote the libretto for Libby Larsen’s opera A Wrinkle in Time and C., a musical adaptation of Cyrano de Bergerac for Theater Latté Da.

REED SIGMUND (Toad) Reed is excited to return to this classic story and share it with you! This is Reed's 17th season at CTC; you may have also seen Reed in: Dr. Seuss’s The Sneetches The Musical, Cinderella, Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Shrek the Musical, Huck Finn, Peter Pan the Musical, The Wizard of Oz, Diary of a Wimpy Kid the Musical and Pinocchio. Outside CTC, Reed and his darling wife Autumn can be found merrily bounding through life with their little fellas, Sawyer and Sullivan.

TRACI ALLEN SHANNON (Bird, Mouse, Squirrel, Young Frog, Mole) Traci is a member of CTC’s resident Acting Company. Favorite CTC shows include Cinderella; Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy; Five Fingers of Funk; Bud, Not Buddy; and Fashion 47. You may have also seen Traci at a number of theatres around the Twin Cities. Outside of Minnesota, Traci's work has been seen at theatres in Chicago, Washington D.C., and in the national tour of The Color Purple. Traci is a graduate of Howard University. All her love to Daniel and to precious Ella. Peace and blessings to all!

AUTUMN NESS (Bird, Turtle, Squirrel, Mother Frog, Mole) Autumn is so proud to be celebrating her 17th season as a member of the CTC Acting Company! Some favorite roles include; The Stepmother in Cinderella, Bagheera in Jungle Book, Mom in Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Fiona in Shrek, Peter Pan, Betsy Bear in Busytown, The Queen of Hearts in Alice in WonderlandThe Biggest Little House in the Forest, Mrs. Cobb in Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy, A Wrinkle in Time, Lily St. Regis in Annie, Mother in A Christmas Story, Nurse in Romeo and Juliet, White Witch in The Lion, the Witch, and the WardrobePROM, and Mississippi Panorama. When she's not performing, Autumn can be found out in the sunshine with her Company Member husband Reed Sigmund, their two boys, and one pug.

MATTHEW RUBBELKE (Snail, Bird, Lizard, Father Frog, Mole; U/S Frog) Matthew is overjoyed to be returning to the CTC stage, previously seen in PinocchioPeter Pan the Musical, Huck Finn, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and Busytown the Musical. Matthew has performed with several Twin Cities theatre companies, including The Ordway Center for Performing Arts (Sound of Music, Pirates of Penzance), Theater Latté Da (Sweeney Todd...Gypsy), the History Theatre (Teen Idol: the Bobby Vee Story),  and Yellow Tree Theatre (Violet). Matthew is a proud graduate of the American University in Washington, D.C. For Mom. 

DEAN HOLT (U/S Toad) Dean is a member of CTC’s Resident Acting Company (1994-present) and has appeared in more than 95 productions over the past 22 years. He enjoys the collaborative and creative process at CTC in bringing unique stories to life. Dean is the recipient of two Ivey Awards and St. John’s University’s Alumni Achievement Award. He is married to CTC Stage Manager Stacy McIntosh and together they have two amazing boys (Henry and Emmet) that keep them busy, happy, and full of laughs.

ELISE BENSON (U/S Bird, Mouse, Squirrel, Young Frog, Mother Frog, Mole, Turtle) Elise excitedly continues her performing apprenticeship with CTC, where she was last seen in Sneetches and Cinderella! She moved back to Minneapolis from New York to work with the wonderful artists at CTC. Since graduating from the University of MN - Duluth in 2015, Elise has directed several musicals, produced her own concert, was a part of Open Jar Institute in NY, and was last seen in the new musical Cookies at the New York Musical Festival. Elise thanks the creative team for this wonderful opportunity, and her family for all their love and support!

PHILIP C. MATTHEWS (U/S Snail, Bird, Lizard, Father Frog, Mole) Philip has performed in theatre and musical theatre with several Twin Cities theatre companies since 2012 including Old Log Theatre and the Artistry. Philip holds a BFA in Acting from Nebraska Wesleyan University.

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