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 52 new plays in the last 20 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, Philip Dawkins, Larissa Fasthorse, Madeleine George, Kevin Kling, Barry Kornhauser, Carlos Murillo, Brian O. Selznick, Dan Moses Schreier, Lloyd Suh, Cheryl L. West, Taylor Mac, and Lamont and Paris Dozier
Current Plays in Development:
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.
Last Stop on Market Street
Based on the Newbery Award-winning book
Written by Matt De La Peña, Illustrated by Christian Robinson
Adapted for the stage by Cheryl L. West
Music and lyrics by Lamont Dozier and Paris Ray Dozier
Directed by Henry Godinez
Six-year-old CJ is (reluctantly) staying with his (extremely over-the-top) Nana, in a world considerably different from the one he’s used to (his phone and tablet). The disagreeable (and let’s just admit it, whiny) child is dragged on a bus ride that’s loud and gritty and weird. Guided by his veritable force-of-nature Nana, CJ travels a little closer to his roots and sees that things are not always what they seem. This is one hip-hop, eclectic, heart-thumpin’, toe-tappin’ joy ride.
I Come from Arizona
Written by Carlos Murillo
Directed by Lisa Portes
Gabi Castillo, a bright, 14-year-old Mexican-American girl living on the South Side of Chicago, is accepted into a very different, elite high school. Through her Global Perspectives class, she learns secrets about her past and her parents, discovers her own inherited strength, and begins to understand what it means to take risks. In today’s world of immigration raids and Dreamers, fear and uncertainty, Gabi inspires a modern-day lesson in bravery, courage, and finding power in what seems like a powerless situation.
Based on the book The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
Licensed by Middle-earth Enterprises
Adapted for the stage and Directed by Greg Banks
Music by Thomas Johnson
Our unlikely hero, Bilbo Baggins, would much rather be sitting in his cozy Hobbit Hole with a cup of tea and a plate of bacon and eggs. However, he somehow finds himself on a magically mystical adventure. Staged with speed and surprises, you’ll be delighted as things change before your very eyes. Discover what happens as Bilbo travels on an epic journey over freezing mountains and a frightening forest, meeting all sorts of fierce creatures—some who want to eat him, others who turn into dear friends.
Adapted and Directed by Greg Banks
The classic fairy tale gets writer/director Greg Banks' highly theatrical, physically lively spin as two actors simultaneously bring to life and call into question the story of Snow White, the Evil Queen and the seven dwarves who offer her sanctuary.
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.
The Houdini Box
Based on the novel by Brian Selznick
Music by Dan Moses Schreier
Book/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.
Based on the graphic novel by Shaun Tan
Conceived and Created by Peter C. Brosius and Michael Sommers
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.
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.
Bina’s Six Apples
By Lloyd Suh
Based on the memories of Suh’s father, this play will tell the story of a South Korean family forced to flee when their country is invaded from the North. The youngest child is tasked with a very special mission—to carry in her backpack six apples—all that will remain from her family’s thriving orchards—as the family leave their home to seek safety and begin their journey as refugees.
Hormel Strike Project
By Philip Dawkins
For more than a year in the 1980s, in the town of Austin, Minnesota, workers at the Hormel meat-packing plant went on strike—taking a stand for higher wages and better working conditions. Through research and interviews, Philip will explore the effect this historic Labor battle had on the kids and families of Austin. Supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation’s Theatre Commissioning and Production Initiative.
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 pre-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.