The Children’s Theatre Company (CTC) has pushed back its live stage productions to March 2021, joining the Guthrie Theater in setting a restart date a year after nearly everything shut down because of the global coronavirus pandemic. Like other companies, the nation’s largest theater for youth and families hopes that there will be an effective vaccine by the start of next year.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on CTC, as we had to suspend and postpone over 160 performances this past spring and summer,” artistic director Peter C. Brosius said in a statement. “We’ve made our plans with a commitment to ensuring the highest safety standards.”
The company plans to launch live productions again with a remount of internationally successful “Seedfolks,” the stage adaptation of Paul Fleischman’s story about a Cleveland neighborhood garden that draws a diverse cast of characters. Actor Sonja Parks played all the roles in a production that toured the United States and also made a splash at a South African theater festival. Brosius will again direct (March 2-April 11, 2021).
The company also plans to revive “Annie,” which was initially slated to go up this past April, next April 27-June 27. Peter Rothstein, who had done the show before, was tapped for that remount.
The pandemic, coupled with the racial schisms revealed by the unrest following the killing of George Floyd, has left many grappling with how to address the inequities evident in the community. The theater has commissioned works from such playwrights as Ifa Bayeza, Lloyd Suh and Larissa FastHorse.
“This will also be a time where we will think critically about the disparities in our community and how we can have maximum impact of our mission to educate, challenge and inspire through theater,” Brosius said. “We are engaging our partners and examining how our work in the community and with schools should move forward to meet the needs of students and create better outcomes that address the profound challenges emotionally, mentally and educationally of our young people coming out of the multiple traumas of the past several months.”