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Approximate run time: 1 hour and 40 minutes, including a 15-minute intermission
Run time and other details are subject to change during rehearsal process.

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

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 his important button? Will Lisa ever convince her mother to let her give the bear a home? This tender, enduring story about true friendship stirs up the stage with a bustling rumpus of action. Don't miss it!

Limited lap passes are available for public shows on the day of the show, in person, for children 18 months and under.

No lap passes are available for Student Matinee performances of Corduroy.

Performance Description

CTC’s Corduroy is a non-musical production performed by a small group of adult actors. This production is a world premiere - that means this is the first time it’s ever been performed in the entire world. This show was commissioned, developed, and originally produced through our new play development lab, Threshold, here at Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis, MN. It is based on the books Corduroy and A Pocket for Corduroy by Don Freeman.

This production takes place on the Cargill Stage and seat up to 295 people.

Approximate run time: 1 hour and 40 minutes including intermission
Run time and other details are subject to change during rehearsal process.

Plot Synopsis

written by Elissa Adams, Director of New Play Development
Be warned: This is a complete synopsis of the play, so it is full of spoilers.

While shopping in a department store with her mother, a little girl named Lisa spots a stuffed teddy bear on a shelf.  She asks her mother if she can buy him and take him home.  Her mother, rushed and having spent all she planned to that day, tells Lisa no and points out that the bear is missing a button on his overalls.  That evening, when the store is closed, the bear, Corduroy, decides that he should go in search of his missing button in hopes that, if he can repair his overalls, perhaps someone will want to buy him.  Climbing down from the toy shelf, Corduroy finds himself on an escalator and, arriving at the top, in the furniture department amidst a sea of mattresses.  Hopping up on one, he spies the button sewn onto the mattress and, thinking that it's his button, tries to remove it.  But the button pops off and rolls away.  The Night Watchman, tasked with keeping the story safe and secure, hears sounds and goes to the furniture department thinking that there might be a burglar loose in the store.  Instead, he finds only...a stuffed teddy bear.  He returns Corduroy to the toy shelf and continues his rounds.  At home in their apartment, Lisa asks her mother if there are extra chores she could do to earn money so that she could buy the teddy bear she saw in the store.  Her mother agrees to this and sends Lisa to the laundry room to do their laundry.  Lisa eagerly washes and dries the laundry, accidentally shrinking her mother's favorite sweater.  Her mother is dismayed, but Lisa points out that the shrunken sweater now has a new purpose—it would make a perfect outfit for the stuffed bear.  Back in the department store, Corduroy once again slips off the toy shelf and continues his search for his button.   He ends up in the appliances section of the store where he inadvertently turns on a fan and then a vacuum cleaner—which sucks up the button that has rolled off the mattress and into the appliances department.  His attempt to get the button out of the vacuum cleaner is interrupted when he hears sounds—the Night Watchman!  Corduroy hides inside a clothes dryer but the Night Watchman, now truly confounded by who could be wreaking havoc in his store, finds the stuffed bear in the dryer and, once again, returns him to the toy shelf.  At Lisa's house, Lisa is brushing and flossing her teeth before bed. Her mother asks Lisa if she would run a bath for her.  Lisa, eager to do something nice for her mother after ruining her sweater, happily does so but, in the process, strings dental floss all over the bathroom.  She drops the cap to the bubble bath down the drain and tries to retrieve it using dental floss and a band-aid which clogs the sink. When her mother comes in and sees the mess Lisa has made, she reprimands her for making such a mess and wasting the floss.  Lisa tells her mother the floss won't go to waste—it will make fine thread for sewing a new button on the teddy bear's overalls. Meanwhile, back at the store, Corduroy is searching the toiletries department for his button.  Soon, there is shaving cream, bubbles, toilet paper everywhere. At Lisa's house, Lisa is saying her prayers.  Her mother is moved when she hears Lisa add the teddy bear to her list of loved ones to bless.  Back at the store, the Night Watchman, having decided that there must be some link between the stuffed bear and the criminal he's pursuing, takes Corduroy down to the store's shipping department.  His plan: nail the bear into a box so that he can't be retrieved and then watch for the mysterious criminal to come in search of him.  But, when the Night Watchman exits to get a hammer and nail, Corduroy climbs out and begins searching through the many boxes around him for his button, causing the Night Watchman to nail up the wrong box. Early the next morning, Lisa's mother surprises her daughter by suggesting that they return to the department store and buy the teddy bear.  She has realized just how much the bear means to Lisa and offers her an advance on her allowance so that she can have him.  Lisa and her mother prepare to head back to the store as soon as it opens.  As night turns to day, the Night Watchman and Corduroy, having continued their perspective searches through several other departments in the store, are exhausted.  In a fit of frustration, the Night Watchman picks up Corduroy and declaring him “damaged goods,” throws Corduroy into a garbage can, turns in his badge and leaves.  As he does, he steps on the mattress button Corduroy has been in pursuit of all night.  From his vantage point in the garbage can, Corduroy sees the button get destroyed.  Now he's convinced that he will never have a button and no one will ever want him.  Just then, Lisa runs into the store.  At first, she doesn't see Corduroy on the shelf.  But she does see the strap of his overalls peeking out of a trash can!  She rescues him and takes him home with her.  There, in her room, she sews a new button on her new friend—not that she didn't love him just the way he was, but a new button will make him much more comfortable here in his new home.

Content Advisories (subject to change as the production goes into rehearsal):

Language: 0 out of 5

Themes and Situations: 0 out of 5 

Violence & Scariness: 1 out of 5 
Corduroy gets hurt. The Night Watchman gets hurt including setting his pants on fire, falling down, getting hit in the face and gets 3 nails stuck in his chest.  

Sensory Advisories: 1 out of 5 
Corduroy falls down. There are many loud crashes as things fall off of shelves in the department store. Flashlights are used in the dark theatre. Actors may enter the audience. The Night Watchman throws toilet paper into the audience. The first couple rows may get misted with water. During the first 3 minutes of intermission, actors will recruit kids to come onstage to help clean up the mess made by the Night Watchman. A small amout of smoke comes out of the oven. The Night Watchman's pants will smoke after they are "set on fire." 

Potentially Anxious Moments: 1 out of 5 
Corduroy gets lost. Corduroy gets hurt. The Night Watchman gets hurt multiple times. 

Student Matinee Pricing
Curriculum Connections     Educator Resources and References





Fitting In

Friendship & Family



Value & Worth



Curriculum Connections

Active Questioning

Counting Money

Helping Around the House

Literature & Adaptation

Money Management


Sewing, Knitting, Crafting


Telling Time
















Minnesota State Benchmarks





Speaking & Listening





Artistic Foundations

Benchmark 1, Benchmark 2,

Artistic Process: Create or Make

Benchmark 1

Artistic Process: Perform or Present

Benchmark 1

In partnership with Target and the Minneapolis Public Schools, every second grade student in the Minneapolis school district will have the opportunity to attend a student matinee performance at Children’s Theatre Company,including transportation and additional curriculum support for educators. CTC will host professional development (PD) workshops for all second grade teachers to support educators in making connections between the powerful experiences of live theatre with learning opportunities in the classroom. Educators will walk away from their PD workshop with tangible strategies to align the live theatre experience with academic standards and to facilitate critical connections from text to stage.

2017-2018 TCEP Performance – Corduroy
2018-2019 TCEP Performance – Last Stop on Market Street

Click here for more information about the Cultural Experiences Program.

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