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This production takes place on the UnitedHealth Group Stage.
Approximate run time: 2 hours, including one 15-minute intermission

Best enjoyed by everyone
Based on the book The Sneetches and Other Stories by Dr. Seuss
Produced by permission of Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P.
Book and Lyrics by Philip Dawkins
Music by David Mallamud
Directed by Peter C. Brosius
Choreographed Michael Matthew Ferrell


ASL/AD: March 17 at 7PM
ASL Only: March 19 at 5PM
Sensory Friendly: March 24 at 7PM

On Sneetch Beach, there’s a line in the sand—Star Bellies on one side, Plain Bellies on the other.  That’s the way it is, was, and will be.  At least until the sneaky and greedy Sylvester McMonkey McBean comes to town with his Star On machine.  Suddenly, the difference between the haves and the have nots—those with stars and those without—isn’t so clear. What will the Sneetches do now? In this rousing and inventive musical adaptation of Dr. Seuss's powerful parable about the surface things that divide us, it will take a courageous friendship between an unlikely pair of Sneetches to find the answers.

This work is supported by a Theatre Commissioning and Production Initiative grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

This production was commissioned, developed, and originally produced through Children’s Theatre Company’s Threshold new play development lab in Minneapolis, MN.
The Sneetches Calendar
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Cast

ELISE BENSON
ELISE BENSON (Emblee; U/S Winnifix, Maudge & Mrs. Upplee) Elise excitedly continues her performing apprenticeship with CTC, where she was last seen in Cinderella! She moved back to Minneapolis from New York to work with the wonderful artists at CTC. Since graduating from the University of MN - Duluth in 2015, Elise has directed musicals at several schools, produced her own concert, was a part of Open Jar Institute in NY, and was last seen in the new musical Cookies at the New York Musical Festival. Elise thanks the creative team for this wonderful opportunity, and her family for all their love and support!


LAUREN BONNER
LAUREN BONNER (Fluster) Lauren is a seventh grader who attends Hope Academy in Minneapolis. At 12 years old, she continues to grow into her extroverted, fun-loving self. She likes to keep busy with activities such as organizing, babysitting, socializing with people of all ages, playing with her dog, and of course, acting. She performed in Fidgety Fairy Tales and Children's Theatre Company’s production of Peter Pan the Musical. She was most recently in Orphan Train at the History Theatre, where she performed the role of Amanda. Lauren would like to thank all the friends and family who have supported her. Enjoy the show!


PAUL R. COATE
PAUL R. COATE (Mervidge, U/S Diggitch) Paul has enjoyed roles in Shrek the Musical and Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas at Children’s Theatre Company. He has performed with several local and regional arts organizations, including Guthrie Theater, Minnesota Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, History Theatre, Park Square Theatre, Skylark Opera, Opera Omaha, Nebraska Shakespeare, Nautilus Music-Theatre, and Theater Latté Da, where he most recently appeared in All Is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914. Paul serves on faculty at St. Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists. Proud AEA Member. www.paulrcoate.com


RYAN COLBERT
RYAN COLBERT (Stelvin, U/S Beachwatcher) Ryan is thrilled to be making his Children's Theatre Company debut. He has performed in many other Twin Cities theaters since graduating from the University of Minnesota/ Guthrie B.F.A. Actor Training Program, including: Guthrie Theater (Choir Boy, A Christmas Carol, Born Yesterday); Mixed Blood Theater (Charm, Colossal); Park Square Theater (Great Expectations, Calendar Girls, Romeo and Juliet, The Color Purple), Theater Latté Da (NEXT: New Musical);New Epic Theater (A Picture of Dorian Gray; Now or Later);as well as the Red Eye Theater and Public Theater of Minnesota. Ryan received a 2016 Ivey Award for Outstanding Ensemble.


MARIO ESTEB
MARIO ESTEB (Selfee) Mario is excited to be back at CTC after performing in Cinderella, Diary of a Wimpy a Kid the Musical, and The Wizard of Oz. He was also in Gypsy (Theater Latté Da); Damn Yankees and A Christmas Story (The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts). He has commercial & print experience with Wehmann Models & Talent. Heʼs been dancing with Delmonico Dance for years. He also trains at Flips Gymnastics and with Brett Schrier from Broadway Playground for vocal. Heʼs a seventh grader at St. Pascal in St. Paul. Heʼd like to thank his family & Reid Harmsen.


BRADLEY GREENWALD
BRADLEY GREENWALD (Sylvester McMonkey McBean) Bradley played in The Wizard of OzPinocchio, Buccaneers!, A Christmas StoryDr. Seuss’s The 500 Hats of Bartholomew CubbinsBert & Ernie, Goodnight!, A Year with Frog and Toad, and The Snow Queen on the CTC stage. He has performed with Jungle Theater, Theater Latté Da, 10,000 Things, Nautilus Music-Theater, Minnesota Dance Theatre, VocalEssence, Frank Theatre, A Prairie Home Companion, Theatre de la Jeune Lune, Guthrie Theater, and Skylark Opera. He wrote the libretto for Libby Larsen’s opera A Wrinkle in Time and C., a musical adaptation of Cyrano de Bergerac for Theater Latté Da.


MAIA HERNANDEZ
MAIA HERNANDEZ (Garvitch, U/S Standlee) Maia is enthusiastic to be back with CTC! She was last seen here in Peter Pan the Musical as Jane Darling. Other theater credits include: Orphan Train (History Theatre); Annie Jr. (Stages Theatre Company); A Christmas Carol (Guthrie Theater); Two Gentlemen of Verona (Jungle Theater); Wizard of Oz and Annie (St. Anthony Community Theater); and Annie (Lakeshore Players Theatre). She has also done commercial work for Nickelodeon Universe, Sears, and Stuffies. Maia is a seventh grader at St. Anthony Middle School. When she is not on stage, she is an aerial student at Circus Juventas and a voice student at MacPhail Center under the tutelage of Momoko Tanno. Maia thanks her family, friends, and teachers for their support.


ZACHARY HODGKINS
ZACHARY HODGKINS (Murk) Zachary returns to the mainstage following his debut in Peter Pan the Musical [Lost Boy]. He also performed in three Junior Shows, (Dear Edwina; Beauty and the Beast; Charlie and the Chocolate Factory). Other credits include Mockingbird (Youth Performance Company) and Buddy Holly (History Theatre) along with school and community productions. When not performing in or attending theatre, this SPCPA sophomore loves to hang out with friends, family and dog Huxley. He is also forever in search of fantastic Key Lime Pie. Thanks for coming to Sneetches! We hope it’s as fun as a day on the beaches.


DEAN HOLT
DEAN HOLT (Beachwatcher) Dean is a member of CTC’s Resident Acting Company (1994-present) and has appeared in more than 95 productions over the past 22 years. He enjoys the collaborative and creative process at CTC in bringing unique stories to life. Dean is the recipient of two Ivey Awards and St. John’s University’s Alumni Achievement Award. He is married to CTC Stage Manager Stacy McIntosh and together they have two amazing boys (Henry and Emmet) that keep them busy, happy, and full of laughs.


GEORGE KELLER
GEORGE KELLER (Gramlee) George is proud to be back at CTC. She was previously seen at Children's Theatre Company in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe; According to Coyote; and Average Family. She has performed with Jungle Theater (Two Gentlemen of Verona); Ten Thousand Things (Henry IV Part 1; Unsinkable Molly Brown); Park Square Theatre (House on Mango Street); Guthrie Theater (A Doll’s House); Penumbra Theatre (Grandchildren of the Buffalo Soldiers); Pillsbury House Theatre (The Road Weeps the Well Runs Dry); Mixed Blood Theatre (Red Ink; Messy Utopia; Learn to be Latina). She also performed for 10 years with Hey City Theater performing in Tony N’ Tina’s Wedding.


KIM KIVENS
KIM KIVENS (Mrs. Upplee) Kim is happy to be back at CTC! Previous shows with CTC: Cinderella 2016/17 & 2013/14. Kim’s other stage credits include shows with Daleko Arts, Theater Latté Da, Hennepin Theatre Trust, Casting Spells Productions, The Catalysts, Park Square Theatre, and Mu Performing Arts. In 2011, Kim was honored by Lavender Magazine as a Best Supporting Actress (Musical) for her role as Muriel in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels with MMT. Also a voice-over and on-camera actor, Kim can occasionally be heard on myTalk 107.1 with The Colleen and Bradley Show playing ‘Your Mom’.  Favorite roles: mom to Lily and wife to Joe.


KENNEDY LUCAS
KENNEDY LUCAS (Spree) Kennedy has enjoyed roles in Magic Treehouse: A Night in New Orleans (Stages Theater Company); Hairspray (Artisrty Theater); Bugsy Malone Jr. (Cargill Theater); The Nightingale (Sinfonia Orchestra); and several productions at Lundstrum Performing Arts (Wizard of Oz; Aladdin Jr; My Son Pinocchio Jr; The Magical Mrs. Piggle Wiggle; and An Intimate Evening With Broadway Legend, Tommy Tune).  Kennedy is a two-time finalist in the Minnesota State Piano Competition, is eleven years old, and a sixth grader at Breck. Kennedy is thrilled to be making her Children's Theatre Company debut.


NAMBI MWASSA
NAMBI MWASSA (Dollop, U/S Mee Mee) This is Nambi's first production at Children's Theatre Company. She has done a couple of shows that include Oklahoma! and All Shook Up at Ashland Theatre productions in Maplewood. She also participates in theatre at White Bear Lake Area High School and has done shows there such as Nice Work If You Can Get It and Mary Poppins. Sheparticipated in middle school performancessuch as Beauty and The Beast and Guys and Dolls. She has traveled around the St. Paul area participating in theatre as well. 


SARA OCHS
SARA OCHS (Maudge, U/S Gramlee) Sara is thrilled to be making her debut at Children's Theatre Company. She has appeared on Twin Cities stages with Mu Performing Arts, Theater Latté Da, Park Square Theatre, The Playwrights' Center, Mixed Blood Theatre, The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, Walking Shadow Theatre Company, Minneapolis Musical Theatre, and Skylark Opera. Sara is an Asian American Emerging Artist Award recipient and a member of ensemble-MA.


ELIZABETH REESE
ELIZABETH REESE (Winnifix) Elizabeth is posisneetchly delighted to return to CTC where she has been seen previously in Cinderella; Dr. Seuss's How The Grinch Stole Christmas; Pippi Longstocking; The Wizard of Oz; Mercy Watson to the Rescue; and Babe, the Sheep Pig. Other credits include: Texas Shakespeare Festival (Macbeth; Noises Off!; My Fair Lady); Guthrie Theater (A Christmas Carol in 2008; 2014; and 2015); Second Fiddle (The Most Happy Fella); Theater Latté Da (NEXT); and Music Theatre Kansas City (Next to Normal; Into the Woods). She is a proud member of Actor’s Equity Association.


LAMONT RIDGELL
LAMONT RIDGELL (Aristartle) LaMont is excited to make his Minnesota acting debut with CTC. Originally from River Rouge, MI, he recently relocated to the Twin Cities from San Francisco. In the Bay Area, while working at Lucasfilm, he enjoyed roles in The Full Monty, Ragtime, The Secret Garden, Next to Normal, Angels in America, Big River, & Master Harold….and the Boys to name a few. He is also a member of the Bay Area based Rat Pack Summit. He is looking forward to exploring his new home and dedicates his debut performance to his husband, Tim.


KEEGAN ROBINSON
KEEGAN ROBINSON (Rickettee, U/S Stelvin) Keegan is incredibly excited to be back at the Children’s Theatre Company after performing in Diary of a Wimpy Kid the Musical last spring. He is also very proud to be a part of telling such an important story. At times like these in our nation’s history he thinks we could all benefit from a little bit of Dr. Seuss’s wisdom that, “Sneetches are Sneetches, and no kind of Sneetch is the best on the beaches”. He’d like to thank all the amazing parents, guardians, friends, and relatives who brought their young ones here today.


REED SIGMUND
REED SIGMUND (Diggitch) Reed is proud to be a part of this world premiere production and incredibly grateful that you've come along for the journey. This is Reed's 17th season at CTC; you may have also seen Reed in: Cinderella; Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas; Shrek; Huck Finn; Peter Pan the Musical; The Wizard of Oz; Diary of a Wimpy Kid the Musical; and Pinocchio. Outside CTC, Reed and his darling wife Autumn can be found merrily bounding through life with their little fellas, Sawyer and Sullivan.


ESSENCE STIGGERS
ESSENCE STIGGERS (Mee Mee) Essence is a musical theatre enthusiast who has been fortunate to work at a number of theatres around the Twin Cities including Children's Theatre Company (CTC), Mixed Blood Theatre, Phoenix Theatre, Illusion Theatre, Lehr Theatre, Stepping Stone Theatre and Stages Theatre. Some notable plays include I and You, The Wizard of Oz, Buccaneers, Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy, and For Colored Girls.  Essence is humbled and thrilled to be finishing her senior year with The Sneetches production at CTC. She thanks her parents for their support, diligence and love, as they are her biggest cheerleaders!


CHRISTIAN TESCH
CHRISTIAN TESCH (Phylish) Christian is excited to be a part of Dr. Seuss's The Sneetches the Musical with Children's Theatre Company. His CTC credits include Cinderella and Peter Pan the Musical. He has also appeared with Main Street School of Performing Arts (The Three Musketeers; Twelve Angry Jurors; Family Unit; Anything Goes; The Wedding Singer) and Eden Prairie Players (Seussical). Christian would like to thank his family, his vocal coaches Michelle Barber and Brett Schrier, and MSSPA for their support. He is also grateful to CTC for giving him this opportunity.


MAXWELL CHONK THAO
MAXWELL CHONK THAO (Bodie; U/S Aristartle, Mayor Snietzsche & Mr. Snickety-Sneetcher) Maxwell is delighted to be back on stage with Children's Theatre Company. He was last seen in CTC's production of Cinderella. He has enjoyed roles in Into the Woods (Jack), Rent (Angel), The Dragon's Are Singing Tonight (Boy), and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Chip). He has performed with several arts organizations in the Twin Cities including Mu Performing Arts, Mixed Blood Theatre Company, Park Square Theatre, Southern Theatre, History Theatre, and Stages Theatre Company. For all my nephews and nieces.


NATALIE TRAN
NATALIE TRAN (Standlee) Natalie is honored to be back at CTC after playing Cindy Lou-Who in Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2012 and 2014). She also played a Lullaby League Munchkin in The Wizard of Oz (2011). Other credits include Sense and Sensibility; South Pacific and The Music Man (Guthrie Theater); White Christmas and The Sound of Music (The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts). She also performed with Theater Latté Da, Walking Shadow Theatre Company, Artistry, Mixed Precipitation, Lyric Arts, Top Hat Theatre, Fidgety Fairy Tales and Minnesota Fringe Festival. Natalie has appeared in more than twenty commercials, a few films and new media projects. She can be seen next in Sunday in the Park with George at Guthrie Theater.


MICHAEL WIESER
MICHAEL WIESER (Mr. Snickety-Sneetcher) Michael is so happy to be making his debut with CTC in The Sneetches. He has worked in theater, musical theater, television and film around the country, and in the Twin Cities he has worked with Guthrie Theater, The Playwrights Center, The Jungle Theater, and New Epic Theater Company. Michael was honored to be a part of two productions last year that won Ivey Awards: Le Switch and Now or Later. He would like to thank all his nieces and nephews for showing him that wonder still exists, and love is an achievable goal. 


MAX WOJTANOWICZ
MAX WOJTANOWICZ (Mayor Snietzsche; U/S Mervidge & Mr. Monkey McBean) Max is so glad to return to the wubbulous world of Dr. Seuss! A native of Rice, Minnesota, and a St. Olaf College graduate, Max’s favorite CTC credits include Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas; Shrek the Musical; Cinderella; The Wizard of Oz; The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins; and Romeo and Juliet. Other credits include Theater Latté Da, Jungle Theater, Illusion Theater, Ten Thousand Things, Frank Theatre, Park Square, and Nautilus Music-Theater. He has written four musicals with his company, The Catalysts; the next is in the works. Upcoming: Sunday in The Park with George (Guthrie Theater). www.maxwojtanowicz.com

Creative Team & Production Staff

Based on the book The Sneetches and Other Stories by Dr. Seuss
Produced by permission of Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P.
Book & Lyrics| Philip Dawkins
Music | David Mallamud
Director | Peter C. Brosius †
Choreographer | Michael Matthew Ferrell
Music Director | Jason Hansen
Scenic Designer | William Boles ‡
Costume Designer | Alex Jaeger ‡
Lighting Designer | Paul Hackenmueller ‡
Sound Designer | Sten Severson
Dramaturg | Elissa Adams
Stage Manager | Chris Schweiger •
Assistant Stage Manager | Nate Stanger •
Stage Management Intern | Emily Sullivan
Assistant Directors | Benjamin Hanna, Michelle Schwantes
Assistant Choreographer | Krysti Wiita
Assistant Lighting Designer | Kathy Maxwell
Associate Sound Designer | David Thomas
Music Intern | James Russell
Dance Captain | Elise Benson*

ORCHESTRA
Conductor, Keyboard | Jason Hansen^
Keyboard | Victor Zupanc^
Violin | Carolyn Boulay^
Bass | Greg Angel^
Woodwinds | Mark Henderson^
Trombone | Wade Clark^
Percussion | Steve Kimball^

†denotes a member of SDC, the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, a national theatrical labor union
‡denotes a member of United Scenic Artists, Local 829
•denotes a member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States
*denotes a Performing Apprentice
^ denotes a member of the Twin Cities Musicians Union, Local 30-73, AFM


PETER C. BROSIUS (Artistic Director, Director)
Peter joined CTC in 1997, where he has directed the world premieres of Seedfolks; The Scarecrow and His Servant; The Snowy Day; Animal DanceBuccaneers; Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster BoyReeling; Anon(ymous); Babe, the Sheep Pig; The Biggest Little House in the Forest; BalloonacyThe Iron Ring; and others, all of which were commissioned and workshopped in CTC’s new play development lab, Threshold. He has directed at numerous theatres across the country including South Coast Repertory, Arizona Theatre Company, South Street Theatre on Theatre Row, and Off Broadway for Pan Asian Repertory, as well as Finding Nemo the Musical for the Disney Company. He was the Artistic Director of the Honolulu Theatre for Youth and of the Improvisational Theatre Project of the Mark Taper Forum. His awards and honors include TCG’s Alan Schneider Director Award, the L.A. Drama Critics Circle Award and Drama-Logue Award, College of American Fellows of the American Theatre, Sara Spencer Award for Artistic Achievement and a 2013 Ivey Award for Best Director. He has served on the boards of Theatre Communications Group and The Playwrights Center. Peter is married to writer Rosanna Staffa and is the father of Daria and Gabriel.

PHILIP DAWKINS (Playwright)
Philip Dawkins (he/him/his) is a Chicago playwright. Minneapolis: Le Switch (The Jungle, Ivey Award Best Overall Production); Charm (Mixed Blood); Failure: A Love Story (Brilliant Fete/MN Fringe). Chicago: Miss Marx Or The Involuntary Side Effect of Living (Strawdog); The Homosexuals (About Face); The Happiest Place on Earth (Greenhouse Theater Center/Sideshow). This fall, look for his play Charm at MCC Theatre in NY. Philip is an ensemble playwright at Victory Gardens, an artistic associate at Sideshow and About Face, and a Core Writer with the Playwrights’ Center. His plays are available through Playscripts and Dramatic Publishing.

DAVID MALLAMUD (Composer)
David is thrilled to be working with CTC. His musical Flight School is being produced this spring at Vital Theatre in NYC. His CD, The Wild & Whimsical Worlds of David Mallamud, is available on Broadway Records. It features Sierra Boggess, Amick Byram, Constantine Maroulis, Morgan James, Christiane Noll, Cathie Ryan and many more, accompanied by rock-inspired new music ensemble, Dogs of Desire. It won a Broadway World Album Award for Best Compilation. He worked with Mike Mills (of R.E.M) contributing arrangements and additional music to Mills’ Concerto for Rock Band and Violin (Orange Mountain Music). His orchestral music has been performed by the Harrisburg, Albany, and New World Symphonies. Dramatists Guild Fellow. www.davidmallamud.com  

MICHAEL MATTHEW FERRELL (Choreographer)

Michael is a three-time Ivey Award Winner. Theater credits include Children’s Theatre Company (Shrek; The Wizard of Oz; Annie; Babe, the Sheep Pig; Tommy; Spelling Bee; Disney’s High School Musical); Artistry (The Drowsy Chaperone; Hairspray; Guys and Dolls; Singin’ In The Rain; 42nd Street); Theater Latté Da (Gypsy; Oliver!; Cabaret); Chanhassen Dinner Theatres (Cats; Music Man; My Fair Lady; Oklahoma!; Can Can). He is also the Founder and Artistic Director of Alive & Kickin’, the TwinCities’ premier musical ensemble of Rockin’ Senior Citizens, for which he won the AARP 50 Over 50 Disruptor Award and the WCCO Making A Difference Award.

JASON HANSEN (Music Director)
Jason is excited to be working on the mainstage at Children’s Theatre Company. He has also worked as music director, composer, orchestrator, and/or performer with Theater Latté Da, Ten Thousand Things, Mixed Blood Theatre Company, History Theater, Mu Performing Arts, The Catalysts, 7th House Theater, the University of Minnesota, and the MN Fringe Festival. Jason co-directs the senior rock ensemble Alive & Kickin, arranges music for local bands and choirs, and is a published composer. He lives in St. Paul with his wife, Alise, and one-year-old daughter Madeleine.

WILLIAM BOLES (Scenic Designer)
William is thrilled to be making his Children’s Theatre Company debut with The Sneetches. Chicago: Goodman Theater, Steppenwolf, Lyric Opera, Victory Gardens Theater, Second City, The Hypocrites, American Theater Company, Timeline, A Red Orchid Theater, About Face Theater, Chicago Children’s Theater, Sideshow, Steep Theater Company. Regional: Actors Theater of Louisville, Wolftrap Opera, Minnesota Opera, Milwaukee Rep, Pig Iron Theater Company. International: Stockholm Vocal Academy and Opera Siam. Upcoming productions include King of the Yees by Lauren Yee at The Goodman and The Kirk Douglas Theater. MFA, Northwestern University. See more of his work at williambolesdesign.com.

ALEX JAEGER (Costume Designer)

Alex designs costumes for theaters across the country including: The Public Theater; Guthrie Theater; Oregon Shakespeare Festival; Mark Taper Forum; Kirk Douglas Theater; A.C.T. in San Francisco; South Coast Repertory; The Geffen Playhouse; The Utah Shakespeare Festival; The Studio D.C.; Magic Theatre San Francisco; Pioneer Theatre in Salt Lake City; and Great Lakes Theater Festival in Cleveland. Alex has received many awards including two Ovation Awards, four Backstage Garlands and two Drama-Logue awards. He has a B.F.A. from Massachusetts College of Art and an M.F.A. in costume design from UCLA. See more at www.alexjaegerdesign.com

PAUL HACKENMUELLER (Lighting Designer)

This is Paul’s second show at CTC after The Wizard of Oz last season. Paul’s work has been seen nationally at the McCarter Theatre, American Conservatory Theater, The Juilliard School, Geva Theatre, Guthrie Theater, Merrimack Repertory, People’s Light, and Syracuse Stage. His opera work includes The Santa Fe Opera, Rome National Opera, Dallas, Philadelphia, Bucharest National, Boston Lyric, Pittsburgh, & Gotham Chamber Operas. He has lit musical artists including Katy Perry, Bruno Mars, Justin Timberlake, Beyoncé, and Elton John. Corporate clients include Target, Carlson, Starkey, and Cargill. Training: M.F.A. NYU Tisch; B.A. University of Minnesota. sparkdesigncollaborative.com  

STEN SEVERSON (Sound Designer)
Sten has designed sound on Broadway, London’s West End, Off-Broadway and in numerous Regional theaters. He is a partner in Acme Sound Partners who have collectively garnered five Tony nominations and four Drama Desk awards. Selected credits: Diary of a Wimpy Kid the Musical, Peter Pan the Musical at CTC; Hair, Merchant of Venice on Broadway; The Total Bent (Audelco Award) at the Public Theater; Othello, Comedy of Errors at the Old Globe in San Diego; Into the Woods, King Lear at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. He has taught at NYU’s Tisch School for the Arts and the Yale School of Drama. 

ELISSA ADAMS (Dramaturg)
Elissa is the Director of New Play Development at CTC. Since 1998, she has overseen the commissioning and development of more than 45 new plays that have premiered at CTC. Previously, she served as Director of Playwright Services at The Playwrights’ Center and Literary Manager at La Jolla Playhouse. She is a frequent guest Dramaturg at the Sundance Theatre Lab. Elissa is an Artistic Associate with Theater Latté Da, teaches a course in the theatrical process at MCAD, and has served on the board of Open Eye Figure Theatre and TYA/USA. Elissa was a 2007 recipient of a McKnight Foundation Theater Artist Fellowship.

CHRIS SCHWEIGER (Stage Manager)
Chris has been working at CTC for over 14 years and most recently worked on The Last Firefly and Diary of a Wimpy Kid the Musical. Chris works with other companies in Minneapolis including Mixed Blood, Guthrie Theater, Ragamala Dance, Theater Latté Da and Illusion. Chris has also worked at Perseverance Theatre Company in Alaska, Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., Seattle Children’s Theatre, the New Victory Theater in New York City, the Alpine Theatre Project in Whitefish, Montana, and the Utah Shakespeare Festival. She received her B.S. in Theatre from Northwestern University and was a Peace Corps Volunteer for three years in Mongolia.  

NATE STANGER (Assistant Stage Manager)
Nate is proud to be back at the Children’s Theatre. Nate’s previous shows include Diary of a Wimpy Kid, The Jungle Book and The Snowy DaySince graduating from the University of Minnesota, he has been fortunate to work with such companies as Guthrie Theater (The Parchman Hour), The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts (White Christmas, A Chorus Line, The Sound of Music, Pirates of Penzance, Damn Yankees, A Christmas Story), Park Square Theatre (Romeo and Juliet), Lyric Arts (Into the Woods, Godspell), Open Eye Figure Theatre (The Amazing Cow Boat) and Walking Shadow. Nate is a recent and proud member of Actors’ Equity.

EMILY SULLIVAN (Stage Management Intern)
Emily recently graduated from the University of Minnesota with a B.A. in Theater Arts. This summer she stage managed the final production on the Minnesota Centennial Show Boat: Under The Gaslight. Other stage management credits include University of Minnesota Department of Theater Arts and Dance productions Threepenny Opera and 7 Dwarfs. Last year she completed a stage management internship with Theater Latté Da, contributing to their new work series NEXT. She is looking forward to her next project as stage manager for Theater in the Round’s spring production of The Three Musketeers.

BENJAMIN HANNA (Assistant Director)

Benjamin is thrilled to be assisting on his third production at CTC. He has worked as a director and teaching artist at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Seattle Children's Theatre, Steppingstone Theatre and Penumbra Theatre Company.  Benjamin recently served as the Interim Artistic Director for the Bay Area Children's Theatre where he directed the world premieres of Ivy and Bean, Ladybug Girl and Bumblebee Boy, and Bad Kitty Onstage. He is a participant in the Leadership University: One-on-One program, funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and administered by Theatre Communications Group.

MICHELLE SCHWANTES (Assistant Director)
Michelle is the Artistic Director of Poetry Alive! Theatre Company. She is a playwright, choreographer, and artist-in-residence internationally, including work in China, Ethiopia, Japan, Switzerland, Brazil, Peru, Venezuela, Ukraine, and Romania. Performance credits include: Hamlet (The Jungle Theater), The Making of Americans (Walker Art Center), Encore! (Boston Repertory Theatre). Directing: The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) (Lakeshore Players), Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike; Inspecting Carol (Northfield Arts Guild), The Wizard of Oz; Into the Woods; Cinderella (Young Artists Initiative), Willy Wonka (Masquer's Theater), Cloud 9 (Anam Cara Theatre), A Christmas Carol (Montford Theatre), and assistant directed Cinderella (CTC). 

KRYSTI WIITA (Assistant Choreographer)

Krysti is thrilled to be working on her first production at Children’s Theatre Company. She often assists Michael Matthew Ferrell in both productions and classes, including CTC’s Summer Dance Boot Camp. Krysti has been assistant to Michael Ferrell at Theater Latté Da (Gypsy), Duluth Playhouse (42nd Street, Mary Poppins, Anything Goes) and has been Dance Captain in many Twin Cities productions. She was most recently seen in White Christmas at The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts. Krysti also teaches at the Academy of Russian Ballet and guest teaches at River Valley Dance Academy .

KATHY MAXWELL (Assistant Lighting Designer)

Kathy has assisted for numerous CTC productions including: The Scarecrow and his Servant, Busytown, The Wizard of Oz, Akeelah and the Bee, and The Jungle Book. She has designed and assisted for lights and video for several Twin Cities’ arts organizations including Penumbra Theatre, History Theatre, Theater Latté Da, Open Eye Theatre, The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, and Guthrie Theater. She received her M.F.A. in theatrical design from The University of Minnesota and her B.A. in Theatre and Dance from the University of Texas. Select design credits include: Dutchman, The Owl Answers, Complicated Fun, and Sunset Baby.

DAVID THOMAS (Associate Sound Designer)
David has worked as an Assistant/Associate Designer on seven Broadway shows, including Cinderella and Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, which were nominated for Tony Awards in sound design. He has also served as a sound designer extensively in NYC, including The Peccadillo Theater Company, HERE Arts Center, Storm Theatre, Urban Stages, Astoria Performing Arts Center, TerraNOVA Collective, and Summer Play Festival. His regional designs include The Old Globe, Yale Repertory Theatre, Capital Repertory Theatre, The Arvada Center and Williamstown Theatre Festival. He is a member of USA829, the union that represents theatrical designers. MFA: Yale School of Drama.

JAMES RUSSELL (Music Intern)

Originally from Waconia MN, James Russell graduated from Luther College with a degree in Choral/Instrumental Music Education while minoring in Theatre. He currently teaches, gives private music lessons, and works with community theatres while performing as a singer and trumpet player when he can. He is excited to be working with Children's Theatre for the first time on Sneetches and hopes you enjoy the show as much as he enjoyed working on it!

Content Advisory

Sneetches at a Glance

Sensory Advisories: Volume level may be high during musical numbers. Use of fog machine in Act One.Use of strobe lights in Act Two. Loud siren sound effect in Act Two. 

Potentially Anxious Moments: Stelvin, a Plain-Bellied Sneetch, accidentally gets too close to the Star Belly side of the beach so he is pulled back. Plain belly Sneetches are not allowed on the Star Belly side of the beach, and Star Bellies think they are superior to Plain Bellies. Standlee is reprimanded by her teacher and told to stand in the corner while other children go outside. She wanders into the factory where Diggitch works. Standlee wants to be friends with Diggitch, but he is gruff at first because Star Bellies and Plain Bellies are not allowed to be friends (but they eventually become friends anyway). While they are playing, Diggitch accidentally crosses to the Star Belly side of the beach. The Star Bellies are appalled and even the Plain Bellies are mad at Diggitch because they are worried that he has endangered them. When Mr. McMonkey McBean comes along with his machine, Plain Bellies go through the machine to get stars on their bellies, but then the Star Bellies want their stars removed. A frenzy of putting on and removing stars ensues. When Standless and Diggitch ask McBean to stop he claims there is nothing he can do.

Summary

On Sneetch Beach, there’s a line in the sand—Star Bellies on one side, Plain Bellies on the other.  That’s the way it is, was, and will be.  At least until the sneaky and greedy Sylvester McMonkey McBean comes to town with his Star On machine.  Suddenly, the difference between the haves and the have nots—those with stars and those without—isn’t so clear. What will the Sneetches do now? In this rousing and inventive musical adaptation of Dr. Seuss's powerful parable about the surface things that divide us, it will take a courageous friendship between an unlikely pair of Sneetches to find the answer.

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.

On a sunny beach, Star Belly Sneetches happily greet the day and each other. Suddenly, the Beach Watcher, from his tall tower above the beach, calls out a warning--a Plain Belly Sneetch is dangerously close to crossing the Line in the Sand which divides the Star Belly side of the beach from the Plain Belly side!  Stelvin, the young Plain Belly Sneetch who has accidentally gotten too close to the Star Belly side, is quickly pulled back from the line by his fellow Plain Bellies. His elders remind him of the rules of this world--Plain Belly Sneetches must NEVER cross onto the Star Belly side.  In fact, Plain Bellies must remember their place--always subservient to the Star Bellies.

Once order on the beach has been restored, the Sneetches go about starting their day.  On the Star Belly side, Standlee Uplee and her big sister, Mee Mee, head to school.  Standlee is immediately reprimanded by her teacher, Mr. Snickety-Sneetcher, for asking too many questions and not paying attention to the lesson.  She is told to stand in the corner while the rest of the Star Belly children go outside for recess.  On the Plain Belly side, Diggitch, a disgruntled, middle-aged Sneetch, heads off to work at the Star Making factory.  His fellow workers, Winnifred and Mervitch, try to cheer him up, but Diggitch will have none of it.  He accepts the fact that his life will never be as exciting or free as if he were a Star Belly, but he's not happy about it.  As Standlee stands alone in the corner of the classroom and Diggitch works in the factory, both of them wish out loud that things could be different.

As the day ends, Standlee's mother, Mrs. Uplee, finds Standlee still standing in the corner at school and gently encourages her daughter to be more like the other Star Bellies and to try to make friends.  Later, still at work in the factory, Diggitch is surprised and dismayed to find that Standlee has wandered into the factory and is intent on making friends with him!  After multiple attempts to discourage her overtures, Standlee's friendliness and enthusiasm begin to soften Diggitch's gruff exterior.  Knowing that Star Bellies and Plain Bellies aren't supposed to be friends, Diggitch and Standlee agree to meet at a secluded spot at the beach the next day so that they continue to play games and be friends without getting in trouble.

Despite attempts to keep their friendship a secret, Diggitch and Standlee get so caught up in playing games on the beach that Diggitch accidently crosses the Line in the Sand--right in the middle of the Star Bellies’ big Pre-Fall Free for All party.  Standlee's family, and the other Star Belly Sneetches are appalled that Standlee has made friends with a Plain Belly.  They blame Diggitch and refuse to let Standlee defend her friend.  In order to ensure that such an event never happens again, they construct a wall along the Line in the Sand, furthering separating themselves from the Plain Bellies.  Meanwhile, the Plain Bellies are mad at Diggitch for breaking the rules and befriending a Star Belly and worry that he's endangered them all.  Diggitch, upset that he has gotten Standlee into trouble and rejected by his friends, runs away.

Soon after, Diggitch returns, convinced that he has found a way to make things better.  He introduces the Plain Bellies to Mr. McMonkey McBean and his Star Making Machine--a machine that, for a small fee, can put stars on the bellies of Plain Bellies so that they, too, can be Star Belly Sneetches.  Diggitch is the first to go through the machine and he emerges with a star on his belly!  Hoping that this means he and Standlee can be friends again, he goes off in search of her.  Meanwhile, all of the Plain Belly Sneetches line up to have stars put on their bellies, too, and are soon celebrating their new status as Star Bellies.

On the other side of the beach, the Star Bellies are aghast.  If everyone has a star on their belly, how will they know who the real Star Bellies are?  If everyone has a star on their belly, what will make the Star Bellies Sneetches better than the (former) Plain Bellies?  Enter Mr. McMonkey McBean.  Seeing the Star Bellies' distress (and the opportunity to make some more money), McBean informs the Star Bellies that his machine can just as easily take stars off of bellies as put them on.  All the Star Bellies have to do, for a small fee, is remove the stars on their bellies and then difference can be maintained and order returned.  In short order, Star Bellies become Plain Bellies.  Which is all well and good, until the newly minted Star Bellies catch wind of it and decide to have their new stars removed.  Pretty soon, Sneetches --starred and not starred--are running through McBean's machine, frantically putting on and taking off their stars, spending all of their money chasing an attempt to retain or remove the differences between them.

Standlee and Diggitch, seeing what is happening, decide to go to McMonkey McBean and ask him to stop.  They find him in his tent on the edge of town, happily counting all the money he has made from the Sneetches.  When they ask him to stop, he tells them that there is nothing he can do--it's not his fault--he is only doing what the Sneetches want him to do.  Realizing that the solution will have to come from the Sneetches themselves, Standlee and Diggitch return to the beach.  Diggitch stands up and addresses all of the Sneetches, using the Beach Watcher's megaphone.  He asks the Sneetches whether it wouldn't be a better world for them all if they came together as one community of Sneetches, rather than trying to go back to a world of Star Bellies and Plain Bellies.  Standlee joins him.  Soon, other Sneetches step forward in support of Diggitch's dream.  In time, all of the Sneetches come together, ready to forget Monkey McBean and to move forward toward a future of friendship and unity.

Performance Description

CTC’s The Sneetches is a musical performed by a large cast of adults and student actors and a live orchestra. Sets, costumes, and props are elaborate. This production is a world premiere—that means this is the first time it’s ever been performed in the entire world! The show was commissioned, developed, and originally produced through our new play development lab, Threshold, here at Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis, MN. 

This production takes place on the UnitedHealth Group Stage.

Approximate run time: 2 hours, including one 15-minute intermission
Run time and other details are subject to change during rehearsal process.

Keywords

  • Identity
  • Discrimination
  • Difference
  • Assimilation
  • Segregation
  • Separation
  • Solidarity
  • Community
  • Belonging
  • Friendship

 

Suggested Reading

The Sneetches is a story told by Dr. Seuss, a beloved children’s author whose collection of books is vast. Here’s a list of other Seuss favorites, as well as other books that thematically link to the themes of identity, discrimination, and solidarity.

  • The Sneetches and Other Stories by Dr. Seuss
  • Oh, The Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss
  • The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
  • You’re Only Old Once! by Dr. Seuss
  • Bartholomew and the Oobleck by Dr. Seuss
  • Skin Again by bell hooks
  • Same, Same But Different by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw
  • It’s Okay to be Different! by Todd Parr
  • Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin & Betsy Lewin
  • Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music by Margarita Engle
  • Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson
  • The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson
  • Visiting Day by Jacqueline Woodson

 

Before the Show – Imagery and acting games surrounding the themes of The Sneetches:

 

GAME #1: Sculpture Garden

  • Description: In pairs, students create sculptures of words, images or themes from the text of The Sneetches. This activity helps students visualize images from the story before they see the play.
  • Preparation: Here is a list of words & themes that capture central ideas sneaky, greedy, friendship, beach, change, superior, machine, money, broke, rules, separation.
  • Procedure: Place students in pairs. Designate one person as the sculptor and the other as the clay. The sculptor will form the clay into their interpretation of that word or phrase. Important: Neither participant should talk during the exercise. Communicate through touch. Feel free to use various levels. For instance, you might want to create a sculpture on the ground or have the clay reach for the ceiling.
  • When the sculptors finish ask them to stand on one side of the room. All of the clay remains frozen in the middle of the room. When all sculptors are finished, ask the sculptors to wander around the garden and view each other's different interpretations of the word.
  • Finally, ask the sculptor and the clay to exchange roles and start again from the beginning.
  • Reflection: Ask how did the members of the class interpret the words differently? What was the difference between being the sculptor and the clay? Which did you like best? What did all of the words have in common?
  • Variation: Ask students to sit in a U to create a performance space. Explain that one sculptor can use as many students as they like by pulling them out of the U into the performance space to interpret the word. Give the student a central word (see list above) and let them create one large sculpture while the rest of the class watches. When the sculpture is complete, allow another student to come up and change the sculpture to show their interpretation of the word. The new sculptor may also add or ask students to return to seats. Repeat.
  • For the variation you might want to allow the sculptor to give verbal instructions to the clay. It will speed up the time it takes to build each sculptor. Use the same reflection questions as above.

College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading met by this activity:

Reading - Key Ideas and Details:
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.1
    Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.2
    Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.
Reading - Craft and Structure:
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.4
    Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.

GAME #2: Tossing & Translating Lines

  • Have lines pre-cut for this session, lines are below
  • Students receive slips of paper with a line or two from The Sneetches script. Every student in the class receives a slip (you want to have 3-5 students per-group so select lines to help get the small group size you want)
  • First, students need to find the people who have the same line as them, and together form a frozen image tableau (practiced in the Sculpture Garden game) that illustrates what they believe to be the meaning of that line.
  • They, then create a mini performance for the others in the class by reading their line aloud and then showing their tableau.
  • Repeat as many times as you want
  • Script lines to choose from:
    • “Mother, Mother, that Plain Belly is almost over the line!”
    • “Remember the Plain Belly Rule of Sore Thumb: A Sneetch who keeps out of trouble is a Sneetch who keeps his nose down.”
    • “Those Plain Bellies are so ungratefullish. If we didn’t keep them in business buying all the Sneetch blankets and funbrellas they make, they’d have nothing to do all day. Why, we’re doing them a favor!”
    • “Plain Bellies to pay for our own oppression with money we do not have. You may take our money, but you’ll not take our pride!”
    • “Oh Standlee, I worry about you. You need to make some friends.”
    • “Whad’ya think you’re doin’?! You almost touched me!!!!!”
    • “My teacher says that if a Star Belly stares at a Plain Belly for too long, their noses explode.  Wanna try it?!”
    • “The Other Side will be looking for any reason to retaliate. We must keep our noses even further   down. I tell you this not because it’s right, but because it’s safe.”
    • “This is reckless dreaming. I LIKE IT.”
    • “How can we tell who’s better than who?”
    • “Your curiosity has caused enough trouble.”

College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking/Viewing/Listening & Reading met by this activity:

Speaking, Viewing, Listening - Comprehension and Collaboration:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.1
Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.2
Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.3
Evaluate a speaker's point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric.

Speaking, Viewing, Listening - Presentation and Knowledge of Ideas:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.6
Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and communicative tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.

Reading - Craft and Structure:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.4
Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.

Reading - Key Ideas and Details:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.1
Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.

GAME #3: Character Journeys

  • Description: Character Journeys is an activity that can be used either before, or after students see the play
  • Procedure: Place students in small groups. Give each group lines a given character speaks throughout the play, lines that are essential for representing that character’s journey. Several performance possibilities are possible: a) ask each group to perform all of the lines in any way they would like; b) ask groups to assign one line per student (some lines will be left out). Students create a frozen sculpture representing that character. Each student speaks their lines while in the frozen sculpture; c) each person selects a line. The first student poses in a frozen sculpture and speaks the line, the second student adds themselves to the first person’s sculpture and speaks line. Continue until the group creates an entire group tableau. You can combine tableaus into an entire class performance of the character.
  • Reflection: If the activity is planned before students see the play ask: What can you predict about the story? About the character’s journey? What do you think this character is like? If the activity occurs after seeing the play ask: How do the performances represent the character? What different interpretations of the character did you see?

STANDLEE – line choices
“Negative. Mission Control. I’m all alone here. (looking around the room) I’m completely, extently, one hundred percent alone….(sad) Over?”
“But I try to make friends all the time. Am I doing it wrong?”
“Asking so many questions isn’t Proper, I know. But, wouldn’t it be more fun to do the not-proper thing for a change?”
“I don’t really pay attention to rules much.”
“I liked being your friend, but then everything got all broken and it was all my fault.”
“Yeah, but, we both had to stop doing things the way they’d always been done.
“You just made a mistake, that’s all. I make them alllll the time.”

DIGGITCH – line choices

“Nobody wants to get in here.”
I mean, Didn’t your mother tell you about The-Way-Things-Are-Were-And-Ever-will be?”
“Fun? Fun? Now look here, I agreed to play games, but I never agreed to have fun!”
“We thought so too, at first. But, the Sneetches are still fighting. Your machine doesn’t change what the Sneetches are like, it only changes what we look like.”

College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking/Viewing/Listening & Reading met by this activity:

Speaking, Viewing, Listening - Comprehension and Collaboration:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.1
Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.2
Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.3
Evaluate a speaker's point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric.

Speaking, Viewing, Listening - Presentation and Knowledge of Ideas:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.6
Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and communicative tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate. After the Show – “Sneetchersations”

Have a “Sneetchersation” with family members or friends about the story in the play – here are some Sneetcherstarters:

  • In this story, who causes trouble? Who brings peace?
  • Who got to make the rules in this story? Who has to follow these rules?
  • What keeps a Sneetch from crossing a line?
    • Who gets to draw the borders? Who doesn’t?
    • What are borders you know?
  • Who gets to be friends with who in this story? What keeps us from crossing the line in the sand?
  • How do the Sneetches treat those who are different from them?
  • What are categories that people get put into today?
    • Do certain groups have different powers or special advantages? What are they? Do certain groups have more or less?
    • Are there places/spaces where these categories don’t exist or don’t matter?
  • Have you ever been left out? How did it feel?
  • Have you ever wanted to be in a group but felt like you didn’t belong? What group? Why?
  • Talk about a time when you saw someone else treated unfairly. What happened?
  • What knowledge and skills do you have to treat people fairly?
  • What is ‘reckless dreaming’ that they talk about in the play, and what does it mean? Why might it be important to do?

 

What We’re Thinking About

Inclusion is a core value at CTC. We’re thinking about ‘the differences that make a difference’ and how much our theatre company benefits from diversity. Inclusion means all perspectives, identities, and differences are valued and engaged. As we think about how we can be more inclusive, we practice being more self-aware of the impact of our words and actions. We seek experiences that foster curiosity about others and build empathy. We encourage all of our staff, audience and community members to join the One Read Challenge: As a family, a classroom, or a community group, read a book or watch a movie from a different perspective than your own, and talk about it! Let’s ask ourselves:

  • Who has power in this story? What kind? Who benefits from that power?
  • Whose voice(s) are represented in this story? Whose voices are missing?
  • Is a certain group (or multiple groups) of people left out of this story? What do we as a community or as an audience lose by leaving groups or voices out of a story? What do we gain from considering and including multiple perspectives?

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