Early Childhood Initiative

Children’s Theatre Company hears the call for shared responsibility to our community’s youngest children.

CTC collaborates with and presents work by leading performing artists for early learners from around the world, and is a national leader in creating new plays that respect and encourage the playful nature of audience members ages 2 - 5. To increase early and equitable access to high quality arts experiences, CTC provides ticket access and transportation subsidies to childcare centers serving low income communities to remove barriers to attending our preschool performances.

CTC’s ‘Early Bridges’ is a unique early childhood literacy program combining interactive storytelling and theatre arts with best practices in early childhood, based on the hypothesis that theatre experiences support young children’s social, emotional, cognitive, and creative play skills—including the development and practice of crucial language skills.

Because a parent is often a child’s first and most important teacher, CTC offers Theatre Arts Training classes for preschool parents and caregivers together with their children. Theatre arts activities are introduced as a springboard for play, and the value of play and creative storytelling is promoted as a key component of healthy child development.

CTC's Early Childhood programs receive ongoing input and assessment from the University of Minnesota's Center for Early Education and Development (CEED).

2016-2017 Early Childhood Initiative Community Partners
Anishinabe Academy Pre-K, Bruce Vento Elementary Pre-K, Eastern Heights Elementary Pre-K, Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE), Greater Minneapolis Crisis Nursery, Jeremiah Program, Joyce Preschool, Kateri House, La Creche Early Childhood Center, Mary T. Wellcome Child Development Center at Phyllis Wheatley, Montessori American Indian Childcare Center, Northside Child Development Center, Parents in Community Action (PICA) Head Start, Paul and Sheila Wellstone Elementary, People Serving People (Preschool and Center for Changing Lives' Center of Excellence for Resilience),  St. Paul Music Magnet Pre-K, St. Stephens Human Services, Way to Grow at Urban Ventures and Center for Families, YWCA Downtown Minneapolis Early Childhood Center.


The Children’s Theatre Company’s (CTC) early childhood initiative creates extraordinary theatre experiences that enhance and support the relationship between the artist and the child in order to activate and nurture the creativity inherent in each child.

CTC recognizes the importance of years 2 – 5 in a child’s life-long development. We work to nurture the artist within each child and train caregivers and families to plant the seeds of empathy, cooperation, creative problem-solving and focus during these crucial years of development.

While CTC believes that all children benefit from these opportunities, we recognize that the urgency lies in making them available to children in need.
  • Preschool Productions
  • TAT Preschool Classes
  • Early Bridges
  • Measurable Outcomes
  • CTC’s Early Childhood Initiative in the News


BALLOONACY Commissioned by CTC and created by Barry Kornhauser. Directed by Peter C. Brosius. On the Cargill Stage, March 25 – May 4, 2014.

Commissioned by CTC and adapted by Rosanna Staffa (U.S.) from the book by Djemma Bider. Directed by Peter C. Brosius. Featuring Autumn Ness with set and puppet design by Eric Van Wyk. WORLD PREMIERE.

Created by Nicola Lusuardi and Fabrizio Montecchi of Teatro Gioco Vita (Italy) and Dockteatern Tittut (Sweden). AMERICAN PREMIERE.

Commissioned by CTC and adapted by Christer Dahl, Artistic Director of Dockteatern Tittut (Sweden), based on the book by Sally Wittman. Directed by Christer Dahl. WORLD PREMIERE.

Based on Mem Fox and Judy Horacek’s book Where is the Green Sheep? Performed by Windmill Performing Arts (Australia).

Adapted from Sweden's beloved children's book Kattresan by Ivar Arosenius. Performed by Dockteatern Tittut (Sweden) and designed by Fabrizio Montecchi of Teatro Gioco Vita (Italy). AMERICAN PREMIERE.

Preschool Plays now available for licensing. Click Here to make a contribution to CTC’s Early Childhood programs.
Theatre Arts Training sessions are held at CTC for ages 2-3; 3-4; and 4-5 foster creativity, multisensory play, and imagination. Explore the arts through music, movement, visual arts, and dramatic play.

TAT Satellite Programs in the Community: Participating families and Saint Paul ECFE Family Literacy staff explore the value of intentional, attuned parent-child interactions through theatre-arts based play experiences, inspired from developmentally-appropriate children's literature.

"I can't tell you how wonderful it was to see the joy on the parents and children's faces as they interacted with the (CTC) staff that visited the family literacy sites, and getting everyone to the production was the absolute best." -Donald Sysyn, Saint Paul ECFE Coordinator – ESL/Family Literacy program
Through play and storytelling, CTC partners with early childcare teachers off-site. Early Bridges uses developmentally appropriate practices to accomplish two goals: promote young children’s social/emotional and language development and build the professional skills of early childhood educators.

“Thank you for the wonderful experience! I believe I have become a better educator because of Early Bridges. You have made a lasting impression on the students in our classroom.” --Melissa Burns, Mona Moede High Five, Minneapolis

Hear what Preschool Teachers have to say about Early Bridges
"We have really come to see that promoting what the theater folks might call "theater arts skills" are a lot of what the early childhood folks consider to be good social and cognitive skills," - Amy Susman-Stillman, University of Minnesota's Center for Early Education and Development

CTC's Early Childhood programs receive ongoing input and assessment from the University of Minnesota's Center for Early Education and Development (CEED).
Star Tribune, "For early ed, all the world can be the stage"

The CTC has become a national leader in work which child experts say is a perfect match for the educational needs of preschoolers. – Euan Kerr, Minnesota Public Radio News

MPR News, “Children's Theatre Company's new works are drama for toddlers”

CTC’s Artistic Director Peter Brosius discusses the importance of performing for 2-5 year olds in an interview with with Jearlyn Steele on WCCO’s SteeleTalkin’.

ARTSblog, “Filled with Wonder: 5 Attributes of Quality Theatre for the Very Young”

Wall Street Journal, “Serious Play Date”

Children's Theatre's 'Biggest Little House in the Forest' perfects the art of child's play

City Pages ‘A Special Trade’ World Premiere

Privacy Policy

Thank you for reviewing the privacy policy and disclaimer.

Children’s Theatre Company (“CTC”) is committed to providing a safe online experience. We collect no personally identifying information, unless you choose to provide us with that information. This statement of Privacy applies to the CTC website and governs data collection and usage. By using the CTC website, you consent to the data practices described in this statement.

If you visit our site to browse, read, watch videos or download, we automatically collect and store only the following information about you:
  • The IP address from which you access our Web site (an IP address serves two principal functions: host or network interface identification and location addressing.)
  • The type of browser and operating system used to access our site
  • The date and time you access our site
  • The pages you visit
  • and The Internet address of the Web site from which you accessed our site

This information is used to improve the functionality of the website—to learn about the number of visitors to our site and the types of technology our visitors use. We do not track or record information about individuals and their visits. We may compile and report aggregate statistics about our users — numbers, traffic patterns, and related site information — but these statistics will include no personally identifying information. CTC is not responsible for privacy statements or other content on websites outside of CTC, including those linked from CTC’s website.


If you identify yourself by submitting mailing list, donor or ticket request forms contained in the site, we use that information only to respond to your message and to help us provide you with the material you have requested or to send you a written acknowledgment of your donation as required by law, or to verify and/or mail purchases and/or to process your ticket order.

You have the option to contact us by phone or by email (web@childrenstheatre.org) to request that we remove your name from our mailing and/or calling and/or trade list. If you opt to be taken off our mailing list, you will receive no mail from us, including publications or special notices. If you opt to be removed from our calling list, you will receive no calls from us except when a performance is canceled. We will not sell, trade or share a donor’s personal information with anyone else, nor send donor mailings on behalf of other organizations. If you are not a donor and you opt to be removed from our trade list, we will not provide your name to other arts organizations that might be making special offers or anyone else.


CTC’s website uses "cookies" to help you personalize your online experience. A cookie is a text file that is placed on your hard disk by a web page server. Cookies cannot be used to run programs or deliver viruses to your computer. Cookies are uniquely assigned to you, and can only be read by a web server in the domain that issued the cookie to you.

The purpose of a cookie is to tell the web server that you have returned to a specific page. We and our advertising partners, including advertising networks, use information gathered through cookies and other similar technologies, as well as other information we or they may have, to help tailor the ads you see on our sites and to help make decisions about the ads you see on other sites. To opt-out of targeted adversity from many ad networks visit: http://www.networkadvertising.org/choices

You have the ability to accept or decline cookies. Most web browsers automatically accept cookies. Please be aware that some web pages may not work correctly if cookies are disabled. More information is available here: http://www.aboutcookies.org.


All credit card transactions including ticket purchases and donations is processed on a secure server. Credit card information is protected by encryption technology, such as the Secure Socket Layer (SSL) protocol. This helps to assure information is protected from unauthorized access.


CTC may occasionally update our Statement of Privacy to reflect customer feedback or changing technologies. CTC encourages you to review this statement periodically.


CTC welcomes comments and questions about or Statement of Privacy. If you believe CTC has not adheared to this statement, please contact us at web@childrenstheatre.org.


Under no circumstances shall CTC, its employees or contractors be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, special, punitive or consequential damages that may result in any way from your use or inability to use the information provided on this or any other web site supported or maintained by CTC or from your reliance on or use of information, services or merchandise provided on or through the web site or that result from mistakes, errors, omissions, interruptions, defects, deletion of files, delays in operation or transmission or any failure of performance. If you are dissatisfied with the information provided on this web site, or with any of the practices of the CTC in the operation of this web site, your sole and exclusive remedy is to discontinue using the web site.