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Igniting Wonder

Plays for Preschoolers

Children’s Theatre Company

Publication Year: 2013

Young children love to explore their world through drama—characters, dialogue, story arcs, and props are all standard elements of a child’s play. It is no surprise then that professional theatre has long been regarded as a way to support children’s social-emotional, cognitive, and creative development. Increasingly, there is an international interest in theatre for very young audiences, and the Wall Street Journal reported on a “baby boom” in American theatre, with a marked upswing in the number of stage plays being written and produced for toddlers and preschoolers.

Fueled by ongoing research into developmental psychology and theatre arts, the Children’s Theatre Company (CTC) of Minneapolis presents in this book four of its newly commissioned plays for preschoolers. CTC is widely recognized as the leading theatre for young people and families in North America; it received the 2003 Tony award for regional theatre, and Time magazine rated it the number one children’s theatre in the United States. These four plays encompass a broad range of styles and subjects: Bert and Ernie, Goodnight! is a musical about Bert and Ernie’s unlikely but true friendship, written by Barry Kornhauser and based on the original songs and scripts from Sesame Street. The Biggest Little House in the Forest is a toy-theatre play about a group of diverse animals trying to share a very tiny home, adapted by Rosanna Staffa from the book by Djemma Bider. The Cat’s Journey is a dazzling shadow-puppet play with a little girl who rides on a friendly cat, written by Fabrizio Montecchi. And Victoria Stewart’s Mercy Watson to the Rescue!, adapted from the Kate DiCamillo Mercy Watson series, is a comic romp featuring the inadvertent heroics of everyone’s favorite porcine wonder.

While these plays are as different as they could be, they all help young children to develop a moral compass and critical-thinking skills—while also showing them the power of the theatre to amaze, delight, and inspire.

Published by: University of Minnesota Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. iii-iv

CONTENTS

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p. v-v

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PREFACE

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pp. vii-ix

Theatre arts are implicitly linked with quality early childhood practices and positive developmental outcomes. As codirector of CEED, the Center for Early Education and Development at the University of Minnesota, I have been advising Children’s Theatre Company for the past four years as CTC develops its early ...

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INTRODUCTION

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pp. xi-xii

Many years ago at an international festival of theatre for young people in Vancouver, Canada, I happened to cajole my way into a sold-out performance of a preschool production by Sweden’s Dockteatern Tittut. The performance was beautifully done, funny, touching, surprising, and thoroughly delightful. What truly struck me, however, was the ...

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Bert and Ernie, Goodnight!

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pp. 1-37

Based on the original songs and scripts from Sesame Street Presented by special arrangement with Sesame Workshop and VEE Corporation Directed by Peter Brosius The world premiere of Bert and Ernie, Goodnight! opened on September 11, 2009, at Children’s Theatre Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota. ...

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The Biggest Little House in the Forest

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pp. 39-53

The world premiere of The Biggest Little House in the Forest opened on April 30, 2010, at Children’s Theatre Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota. This production of The Biggest Little House in the Forest was funded in part by the United Arts Fund and the Bush Foundation. ...

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The Cat’s Journey

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pp. 55-66

The North American premiere of The Cat’s Journey opened on October 7, 2005, at Children’s Theatre Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota. This production of The Cat’s Journey was funded in part by the Barbo Osher Pro Suecia Foundation and the American- Scandinavian Foundation. ...

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Mercy Watson to the Rescue!

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pp. 67-126

The world premiere of Mercy Watson to the Rescue! opened on September 9, 2011, at Children’s Theatre Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota. ...

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CONTRIBUTORS

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pp. 128-132

ELISSA ADAMS is director of new play development at Children’s development of more than twenty new plays since 1998, including Esperanza Rising, Brooklyn Bridge, Once Upon a Forest, A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings, Reeling, Five Fingers of Funk, Snapshot Silhouette, Korczak’s Children, and Anon(ymous). She received a McKnight Foun-...

PERMISSIONS

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p. 133-133


E-ISBN-13: 9780816686001
E-ISBN-10: 0816686009
Print-ISBN-13: 9780816681143

Page Count: 152
Illustrations:
Publication Year: 2013