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Biggest Little House in the Forest
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  • Info
  • Cast
  • Creative Team
  • Calendar
  • Performance Description
  • Plot Synopsis
  • Content Advisories

Based on the book by Djemma Bider
Adapted for the stage by Rosanna Staffa
Music by Victor Zupanc
Directed by Peter C. Brosius
Perfect for Preschoolers

A Children’s Theatre Company Original Production

Meet Bernice the Butterfly, who discovers a vacant house one day and makes it perfect just for her. Before long, a menagerie of creatures begin moving in one by one. While it’s difficult for Bernice, she accommodates…until…she can “bear” no more. Together they discover when you open your heart, there’s always room for more. The audience joins this newfound family of delightful critters to bring it all to life. Get ready for a pillow fight, bubble bath, and dance party as you help them create a very special version of Home, Sweet Home.

Autumn Ness
Autumn Ness | Performer
Autumn is a proud and grateful member of the Acting Company. Some favorite credits include Madame Butterfly in Last Stop on Market Street, Mummy Onceler in The Lorax, The Stepmother in Cinderella, Turtle/Bird in A Year with Frog and Toad, Bagheera in The Jungle Book, Fiona in Shrek The Musical, Mrs. Cobb in Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy, Lily St. Regis in Annie, The Nurse in Romeo and Juliet, and White Witch in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Autumn is the recipient of the 2018 Fox Foundation Resident Actor Fellowship to develop programming for children on the Autism Spectrum at CTC. Autumn and her husband Reed are parents of two superboys, Sawyer and Sullivan.
Alexcia Thompson
Alexcia Thompson | Understudy
Alexcia is a 2018 – 2019 Performing Apprentice at CTC. She has a B.F.A. in Musical Theatre from Howard University. Alexcia has enjoyed roles in Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Howard University); Next to Normal (Bayou Theatre Company); Jane Eyre; Pericles; and The Tempest (Sweet Tea Shakespeare).

Rosanna Staffa | Playwright
Rosanna is an Italian-born playwright and author. Her plays have been presented in New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, Minneapolis, and Tokyo. Rosanna’s work has been part of the First Light Festival at the Ensemble Studio Theatre in New York, the Seattle Rep Women Playwrights Festival-Hedgebrook, the Playground Festival at Soho Rep in New York, The New Work Festival at Taper Too in Los Angeles, PlayLabs, The Festival of Ten by Ten at the Theatre Garage, the Bedlam Theatre, and the Fringe Festival in Minneapolis. She has been commissioned by the Guthrie Theater, The Sloane Foundation and The Playwrights' Center (Ada), Children’s Theatre Company (Hansel and Gretel), and the Hennepin Center for the Arts (Little Women). Rosanna received recognition as a Bush Grant 2004 Finalist and as a nominee for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and the Kesserling Award for Ada. She is a past recipient of a McKnight Advancement Grant, a Jerome Fellowship, and an AT&T Grant. Her play The Innocence of Ghosts was seen in New York Off-Broadway at Saint Clement’s Theatre and was filmed for inclusion in the Lincoln Center Theatre on Film Library. Her plays are published by Heinemann and Smith & Krause. A graduate of the Spalding University M.F.A. program in fiction, Rosanna is published by The Sun and Tampa Review among many others. Her work will appear in New Rivers Press Anthology, The Best New Writers Vol. 16. Selected for the shortlist for The Masters Review Anthology Prize Vol VII. Nominated for the Pushcart Prize 2019. She most recently completed a novel.

Peter C. Brosius | Director
Peter has directed the world premieres of Dr. Seuss’s The Sneetches the MusicalThe Last FireflySeedfolksThe Snowy Day and other stories by Ezra Jack KeatsAnimal DanceReelingAnon(ymous)The Biggest Little House in the ForestBalloonacy; and many others, all of which were commissioned and workshopped through CTC’s new play development efforts. His awards and honors include TCG’s Alan Schneider Director Award, Sara Spencer Award for Artistic Achievement, and a 2013 Ivey Award for Best Director. Previously, he was the Artistic Director of the Improvisational Theatre Project at The Mark Taper Forum, a resident director at the Sundance Theatre Institute, and Artistic Director of the Honolulu Theatre for Youth. Peter is married to writer Rosanna Staffa and is the father of Daria and Gabriel.

Eric J. Van Wyk | Scenic Designer
Eric has designed puppetry or scenery for multiple Children’s Theatre Company productions including Babe the Sheep Pig; Cinderella; and The Last Firefly. Regional credits include Open Eye Figure Theatre, Imagination Stage, Washington Ballet, and The Hong Kong Ballet. His company WonderStruck Theatre created Mop Dog and the upcoming premiere of The Elephant Speaks Jazz.

Mary Anna Culligan | Costume Designer
Mary Anna Culligan designed many Children’s Theatre Company productions including Balloonacy; Charlotte’s Web; Pinocchio; Buccaneers; A Wrinkle in Time; Robin Hood; Antigone; and The Iron Ring. Mary, who passed away in May 2014, was on staff at CTC as the costume painter/dyer for almost 30 years.

Rebecca Fuller Jensen | Lighting Designer
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 and in China, Japan, South America, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, winning many awards and honors. He received a 2016 Ivey Award for his work in CTC’s Pinocchio. Victor often composes for orchestras and choirs and his music is heard on NPR, as well as in several films. This is Victor’s 28th season as Music Director at CTC. Favorite CTC composing credits include: Cinderella; The Monkey King; Korczak’s Children; Romeo and Juliet; Balloonacy; The Jungle Book; Huck Finn; Pinocchio, and many others.

Stacy McIntosh (AEA) | Stage Manager
Stacy is in her 20th season at Children’s Theatre Company, where she has managed over 70 productions. 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 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, New York, and Broadway). She has also worked at the Guthrie and Illusion Theaters in Minneapolis, Marin Theatre Company and Willows Theatre in San Francisco, The Old Globe in San Diego, and at the New Victory and Cort Theatre in New York City. In addition to her theatre management, she has also stage managed the NHL Stadium Series and the Pre-game event for Super Bowl LII.  Mrs. McIntosh is a graduate of University of Northern Iowa and 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.

The Biggest Little House in the Forest Calendar

Performance Description

A performance perfect for preschoolers! CTC’s preschool shows are specifically designed to be developmentally appropriate for our youngest audience members. When you arrive, you and your students can ease into the role of audience by playing in our interactive lobby which opens 45 minutes before the show. Get comfortable by taking off your shoes and slipping into our puppet socks, interact with activities connected to the show or relax with a book in our reading corner. Because we know that a dark theatre can be a little intimidating, our staff will start the show by gathering the audience together in the lobby and then entering the theatre as a group. Don’t worry about getting the best seats – they are all great! Our intimate 115 seat house has low benches up front built just for tiny bodies, and larger benches in the back for the adults. The Biggest Little House in the Forest is a one-woman show featuring music and puppets. At 35 minutes long it is perfectly tuned to engage early learners and we welcome all the wiggles, giggles, and even comments it inspires. This production was created by CTC’s new play development lab as a part of our Early Childhood Initiative. Because we want educators to feel secure letting their little ones explore and interact, our Preschool Show allows 1 adult per every 2 students (plus any special education support staff).

This production takes place on our Cargill Stage and seats up to 115 people per performance.

Approximate run time: 35 minutes without an intermission

Run time and other details are subject to change during rehearsal process.

Plot Synopsis
Caution: This is a complete synopsis of the play, so it is full of spoilers

It is a beautiful day in the forest when Bernice the butterfly finds a little house. She learns that no one lives there. She decides to clean it up and make it her home. Millie the mouse stumbles upon the house, and Bernice invites her to live in the house, too. Millie has seeds and they decide to plant a garden together. Vegetables begin to grow and they begin to eat. Then Fred the frog hops along, a bit nervous to join the fun. The narrator encourages him to ring the doorbell of the little house. Bernice and Millie invite him to join them in the house. All three live together! At bedtime, Millie is hesitant. The narrator tucks them all into bed but Millie decides to start a pillow fight. Feathers fly everywhere! The narrator sings them a song to help them get to sleep.

The next morning, Fred makes pancakes for breakfast. His mixing becomes a little overzealous and flour goes flying into the narrator’s face. Just then, Rudy the rooster joins them. They invite her to live with them, too. At bath time, they all jump into the bathtub. They add bubble bath and bubbles fly over the audience.

They hear a cry for help from Richie the rabbit. A fox is chasing him! They let him into the house to escape the fox and invite him to live with them, too. It begins to rain and they suddenly hear a big growl at the door. They are afraid but Bernice flies over to the door and slowly opens it. It is Bartholomew the bear, who is wet and cold from the storm. He asks to come inside and warm himself by the fire. Bernice says “no,” because there is no room and Bartholomew is sad. Where will he go? He notices the chimney looks warm and would be just the right size for a bear seat. He climbs up to the roof of the house, sits near the chimney and starts to warm up. We hear a crack. The animals run outside to see what the noise is and the house collapses underneath the weight of the bear. The rain stops and they gather to look at what is left of the little house. They feel sad about their house and Bartholomew apologizes. Everyone forgives him and together they brainstorm how to rebuild the house. They all work together to rebuild the house and the noises of the construction become a song. They complete the house and it is bigger and more beautiful than ever. They are so happy that they throw a party! The audience is invited to join in the dance party.

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

Language: 0 out of 5 stars

Themes and Situations: 1 out of 5 stars
Bartholomew the bear cannot find a place to live.

Violence & Scariness: 0 out of 5 stars

Sensory Advisories: 1 out of 5 stars
Bubbles are blown into the audience. Feathers fly into the audience. The audience works together to make rain noises. The audience is invited to join the dance party.

Potentially Anxious Moments: 1 out of 5 stars
Bartholomew the bear is sad when he cannot fit in the house. The house breaks and the animals do not have a place to live anymore.

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