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  • Info
  • Cast
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  • School Groups
  • Performance Description
  • Content Advisories
Approximate run time: 45 minutes, with no intermission
Run time and other details are subject to change during rehearsal process.

Allergy Advisory: The production of Balloonacy will be using latex balloons. The balloons will not interact with the audience during the show. There is an optional meet and greet with the balloon after the performance.

By Barry Kornhauser
Directed by Peter C. Brosius
A Children’s Theatre Company Original Production
Best enjoyed by preschoolers

Imagine a single balloon changing one person’s life forever. It starts so simply: A balloon drifts through the window of a lonely old man’s home on his birthday. Then something surprising happens—then something silly, wonderful and so blissfully fun that you barely notice you’ve learned something special about friendship along the way. Perfectly designed with the preschooler in mind, rediscover play in this back by popular demand production!

Lap passes are available day of show, in person, for children 18 months and under.


Robert Dorfman
ROBERT DORFMAN (Old Man) Robert is pleased to return to CTC in this revival of Barry Kornhauser’s Balloonacy directed by Peter Brosius. Local theater credits include: Guthrie Theater (over a dozen productions including: Sense and Sensibility; The Critic/The Real Inspector Hound; Choir Boy; Freud’s Last Session; The Merchant of Venice); MN Jewish Theatre Company (Via Dolorosa; We Are The Levinsons); Dark and Stormy Productions (And So It Goes; The Hothouse). Broadway credits include: The Lion King; Social Security; To Be Or Not To Be.

LEIF JURGENSEN (Understudy) Leif has appeared in over 20 productions at Children’s Theatre Company, including A Special Trade; Esperanza Rising; Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse; The Wizard of Oz; Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas; and Strega Nona Meets Her Match. He has also performed at Red Bird Theatre, Wayward Theatre, Minnesota Dance Theatre, Frank Theatre, Workhaus Collective, Walking Shadow Theatre Company and Ten Thousand Things. Leif is also a teaching artist with Children’s Theatre Company’s Neighborhood Bridges and Early Bridges programs.
PETER C. BROSIUS (Director, Artistic Director of CTC)
Since 1997 Peter has directed the world premieres of Seedfolks; The Scarecrow and His Servant; The Snowy Day and Other Stories; Animal Dance; Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy; Reeling; Anon(ymous); The Biggest Little House in the Forest; Balloonacy; and others, all of which were commissioned and workshopped in CTC’s new play development lab, Threshold. He has directed across the country including South Coast Repertory, Arizona Theatre Company, South Street Theatre on Theatre Row, Off Broadway for Pan Asian Repertory, as well as Finding Nemo the Musical for the Disney Company. His awards and honors include TCG’s Alan Schneider Director Award, the L.A. Drama Critics Circle Award, Drama-Logue, College of American Fellows of the American Theatre, Sara Spencer Award for Artistic Achievement and a 2013 Ivey Award for Best Director. Peter is married to writer Rosanna Staffa and is the father of Daria and Gabriel.

Like a balloon, Barry “floats on air” every time he gets to work at CTC! Aside from Balloonacy, winner of the AATE Outstanding Play Award, he has penned Bert & Ernie, Goodnight!; Madeline & The Gypsies; the Ivey-winning Reeling; and the upcoming Corduroy for us. Honors include the Chorpenning Cup for “a body of distinguished work by a nationally known writer of outstanding plays for children,” and the Children’s Theatre Foundation of America’s Medallion “for significant achievements for the enrichment of children…through nurturing artistic work.” Most recently, Barry was named 2017 Artist of the Year at the Pennsylvania Governor’s Awards for the Arts.

Annie is a theatre designer, often working with puppetry and modern dance. Recent credits include: Ananya Dance Theatre (Mohona; Moreechik;, Tushanaal; and Kshoy!); Black Label Movement (Whack-A-Mole; Oceana; and Canary/HIT); Mixed Blood Theatre (In the Time of the Butterflies; and Theory of Mind); Theatre NoviMost (Picnic on the Battlefield; and Oldest Story). Annie is currently completing an interdisciplinary PhD analyzing current preservation methods of folk puppetry.

MARY ANNA CULLIGAN (Costume Designer)
Mary’s design work has appeared in many Children’s Theatre Company productions including: Charlotte’s Web; Pinocchio; The Biggest Little House in the Forest; Huck Finn; Buccaneers!; A Wrinkle in Time; Robin Hood; Romeo & Juliet; Pippi Longstocking; The Magic Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle; Antigone and The Iron Ring. Mary has costumed numerous Twin Cities theatre productions at companies including: Ten Thousand Things, Mu Performing Arts, Park Square Theatre, Joe Chvala and the Flying Foot Forum and 15 HEAD – a theatre lab. Mary who passed away in May 2014, was on staff at CTC as the costume painter/dyer for nearly 30 years.

Rebecca spent 13 wonderful seasons as the Lighting, Sound, and Video Director at CTC, where her design credits include: Pinocchio; Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat; Pippi Longstocking; A Wrinkle in Time; Babe, The Sheep Pig; Robin Hood; Disney’s Mulan, Jr.; The Iron Ring; Romeo and Juliet; The Magic Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle; Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas; Dr. Seuss’s The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins; Antigone; and Prom. She has also designed lights for numerous theatres and performers in the Twin Cities, including Walker Art Center, Frank Theatre and The Southern Theater.

VICTOR ZUPANC (Composer, Sound Designer)
Victor is credited with approximately 300 productions as Composer, Musical Director and Sound Designer throughout the country. His music has been heard in China, Japan, South America, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Canada winning many awards and honors. Most recently, he received a 2016 Ivey Award for his work in CTC’s Pinocchio. Victor has received commissions for orchestral and choral music and his music is heard on NPR Radio. He has also scored several films. This is Victor’s 27th season as Music Director at CTC. His CTC composing credits include: Cinderella; The Monkey King; Korczak’s Children; Iqbal; Romeo and Juliet; Balloonacy; Robin Hood; The Jungle Book; Huck Finn; The Last Firefly; and Akeelah and the Bee, among many others.

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.

JENNY R. FRIEND (Stage Manager)
Jenny has been a member of the Children’s Theatre Company family as the Production Stage Manager since 2005, and she loves nothing better than being in rehearsal with the amazing, creative staff here. She has travelled the country and the world organizing and nurturing theatre from San Jose to Santa Fe to San Diego, from Okoboji, Iowa to Nagoya, Japan. She holds degrees from Stephens College and the Yale School of Drama, and she is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association. She, her daughter, Greta and her husband, Erik have spent many happy hours amusing themselves with balloons and hopes that Balloonacy brings a new sense of play to your home.

STACY MCINTOSH (Stage Manager)
Stacy is in her 20th season at CTC. Some of her favorite credits include: The Abominables; Diary of a Wimpy Kid the Musical; The Jungle Book; The Biggest Little House in the Forest; A Wrinkle in Time; A Christmas Story; Five Fingers of Funk!; Bud, Not Buddy; Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy; Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse (1999); Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas; and A Year with Frog and Toad (CTC and Broadway). Stacy has also worked in San Francisco and New York. She is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association. She would like to thank Dean and her biggest accomplishments Henry and Emmet, for their love, patience and great ideas.

EVA CHASTAIN (Stage Management Intern)
Eva is thrilled to work on her 2nd production with CTC after The Abominables! In the past, she has managed shows such as Cats; Miss Saigon; Red, White and Tuna; Sideshow; and 101 Dalmatians at Casa Mañana, Fort Worth. At the Conservatory of Fine Arts, Webster University she managed The Philadelphia Story; and The Miser. She has also managed You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown; and Look Up, an original work with Kids Who Care (Fort Worth.) During high school She received the Dallas Summer Musical High School Musical Theatre Award for Best Crew and Technical Execution for management of her high school production of Peter Pan (2015).

Welcome, School Groups!

Children’s Theatre Company offers Weekday Student Matinee performances for your classroom, homeschool, or community educational group. Attending a CTC performance ignites students’ creativity, while supporting your curriculum and learning goals. Thanks to grants and our generous donors, student matinee tickets are available at a significantly lower price than our public performances and are further discounted for schools with a free and reduced lunch rate of 30% or higher. Information about themes, length, curriculum connections and state standards along with a full synopsis for each show is available on our student matinee webpage.

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Performance Description

CTC’s Balloonacy is a one person show featuring slapstick and physical comedy. While this production is not a musical, there will be music featured throughout. Audience members sit on padded benches to be close to the action and are welcome to react as they see fit (including vocalizing, moving, etc). This production was created by CTC’s play development lab, Threshold, as a part of the Early Childhood Initiative. As a wordless performance relying on physical communication, it is ideal for pre-verbal, early language, and English language learners.

This production takes place on the Cargill Stage and seats up to 100 people.

Approximate run time: 45 minutes with no intermission
Run time and other details are subject to change during rehearsal process.

Plot 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.

An Old Man is celebrating his birthday, rather sadly, alone in his apartment in Paris.  Suddenly, a balloon appears in his window.  When the Old Man opens the window to investigate, the balloon flies in to the apartment!  This irritates the Old Man and he tries to put the balloon back out the window, but the balloon keeps flying in.  Finally, the Old Man slams the window shut—right onto his thumb.  He bandages his thumb and goes to throw away the wrapper and the balloon pops up out of the trash can! The Old Man opens his door, pushes the balloon out and slams the door.  Then he hears a knock.  Slowly he opens the door.  He doesn't see anyone (or the balloon), but does find a large box on his doorstep.  He brings the box inside, opens it and, of course, the balloon floats up out of it.  But the balloon has also bought presents!  Inside the box is a party hat, a noisemaker and a cupcake.  Touched, the Old Man and the balloon begin to interact and then to play.  The Old Man gets so caught up in playing, and eventually dancing, that he accidentally pokes the balloon with his fork.  The balloon begins to deflate.  The Old Man is panic-stricken and does everything he can to “revive” the balloon, which keeps losing air until the Old Man resuscitates it by blowing in new air and then, tearing the bandage off of his injured thumb, closes up the hole where the air is leaking out.  The balloon appears, good as new, and their play resumes.  But, the Old Man grows tired.  He sits down to eat his birthday cupcake, but the balloon keeps getting in the way, coming between the Old Man and the cupcake, almost as if the balloon were trying to eat it.  The Old Man grows increasingly frustrated until he finally gets up (setting his cupcake down on the seat of his chair) and walks the balloon to the other side of the room.  But, when he returns to his seat, he sits right down on his cupcake.  This makes the Old Man mad and he once again ushers the balloon out the door—good riddance!  He attempts to resume his routine, to celebrate his birthday alone, but soon discovers that he misses the balloon's company.  Remorsefully, he looks out the door, out the window and throughout the apartment, hoping the balloon will appear.  But it doesn't.  The Old Man then tries numerous ways to apologize to the balloon and get the balloon to forgive him and return. Finally, he draws a heart on a piece of paper, folds the heart into a paper airplane and sends it out the window.  Just as he is about to give up hope, the balloon peeks through the window and then flies in to the apartment, riding on top of the paper airplane!  The Old Man and the balloon rejoice.  As they look out the window, they see bunches of brightly colored balloons floating up into the air.  The run outside the apartment and, as the play ends, we see, in silhouette, the Old man, holding on to the string of the balloon, ascending into the sky.

Content Advisories: (subject to change as the production goes into rehearsal)

Language: 0 out of 5 
There is no speaking in this play.

Themes and Situations: 0 out of 5 

Violence & Scariness: 0 out of 5 

Sensory Advisories: 1 out of 5 
A balloon “hisses” as it deflates. A party blower is used

Potentially Anxious Moments: 1 out of 5 
The balloon gets poked by a fork causing it to deflate. Some audience participation. Old man is hit by the balloon

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