REED SIGMUND (Grinch) Reed does not actually hate Christmas, or the whole Christmas season. In fact, he's "THAT GUY." You know, that guy who started excitedly belting Christmas tunes way back in August. Yup, that was him. Reed is also now celebrating his 18th season at CTC, where he's appeared in numerous shows, including: Cinderella; The Wizard of Oz; Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas; and A Year with Frog & Toad. Away from the stage, Reed enjoys relentlessly chugging hot cocoa and peacefully staring at Christmas lights with his darling wife, Autumn, and their two huggable fellas, Sawyer & Sully.
DEAN HOLT (Old Max)Dean is a member of CTC’s Resident Acting Company (1994-present) and has appeared in countless memorable productions over the last 23 years. Favorite productions include Reeling; If You Give a Mouse a Cookie; Romeo and Juliet and Cinderella to name just a few. He loves the creative collaboration that goes into each show and the willing imaginations of audience members young and old. He is the recipient of two Ivey Awards (Reeling and If You Give a Mouse a Cookie) and the Alumni Achievement Award from St. John’s University for work in his field. Dean will next be seen in CTC’s production of Corduroy and is thrilled to be taking another journey into Whoville.
NATALIE TRAN (Young Max) Having played Cindy Lou-Who in the 2012 and 2014 productions of Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Natalie is thrilled to play Young Max in this production! She also played Tracy in The Abominables; Standlee in Dr. Seuss’s The Sneetches The Musical; and a Munchkin in The Wizard of Oz (2011). Other credits include: Sunday in the Park with George; Sense and Sensibility; South Pacific; and The Music Man (Guthrie Theater); White Christmas and The Sound of Music (Ordway Center for the Performing Arts.) Other appearances include: Theatre Latté Da, Walking Shadow Theatre Company, Jungle Theater, Second Fiddle, Artistry, Mixed Precipitation, Lyric Arts, Fidgety Fairy Tales, Top Hat Theatre and Minnesota Fringe Festival. Natalie is a proud member of the Guthrie Council for Future Artists (2017-18).
DWIGHT LESLIE (JP Who)Dwight is excited to be making his Children's Theatre premiere with Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas and has an incredible experience working with this cast of actors. He has enjoyed roles in Hair (Enlightened Theatrics); Next to Normal (New Theatre in the Square); World of Wonder (Matt Davenport Productions); Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat; Rock of Ages (McLeod Summer Playhouse); Godspell; Mary Poppins; Beauty and the Beast; Once on This Island (Gainesville Theatre Alliance); Aida; Les Misérables; 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee; Fiddler on the Roof; and All in the Timing (Florida School of the Arts).
AUTUMN NESS (Mama Who)Happy Wholidays! Autumn is so proud to be celebrating her 18th season as a member of the CTC Acting Company! Some favorite roles include: the Stepmother in Cinderella; Bagheera in The Jungle Book; Mom in Diary of a Wimpy Kid the Musical; Fiona in Shrek the Musical; Peter Pan the Musical; Betsy Bear in Busytown the Musical; The Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland; The Biggest Little House in the Forest; Mrs. Cobb in Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy; A Wrinkle in Time; Lily St. Regis in Annie; Mother in A Christmas Story; Nurse in Romeo and Juliet; White Witch in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; PROM; and Mississippi Panorama. When she's not performing, Autumn is celebrating the season with her very non Grinch-y husband, Reed, and her sons, Sawyer and Sullivan.
MAX WOJTANOWICZ (Grandpa Who, Understudy Grinch)
Max is so glad to return to the wubbulous world of Dr. Seuss! A native of Rice, Minnesota, and a St. Olaf College graduate, his favorite CTC credits include: Dr. Seuss’s The Sneetches The Musical; Shrek the Musical; Cinderella; The Wizard of Oz; The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins
; and Romeo and Juliet
. Other credits include the Guthrie Theater, Theater Latté Da, Jungle Theater, Illusion Theater, Ten Thousand Things, Frank Theatre, Park Square Theatre and Nautilus Music-Theater. He has written four musicals with his company, The Catalysts; the next is in the works. Upcoming: The Pirates of Penzance
(Park Square); and The Good Person of Szechwan
(Ten Thousand Things). maxwojtanowicz.com
SARA OCHS (Grandma Who) Sara is delighted to return to Children's Theatre Company and the world of Dr. Seuss after playing Maudge in CTC’s Dr. Seuss’s The Sneetches The Musical last winter. She has appeared on Twin Cities stages with Mu Performing Arts, Theater Latté Da, Park Square Theatre, The Playwrights' Center, Mixed Blood Theatre, 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. Upcoming, she will be in Assassins with Theater Latté Da.
MABEL WEISMANN (Cindy-Lou Who) Mabel was last seen at CTC as little brother “Manny” in Diary of a Wimpy Kid the Musical, and is delighted to return to this amazing place — this time as a girl! Mabel has appeared in The Sound of Music and Jesus Christ Superstar (Ordway Center for Performing Arts); A Christmas Carol (Guthrie Theater); and Flora and Ulysses (Stages Theater Company). Her commercial work includes Pizza Ranch, Minnesota Zoo, Malt-O-Meal, Best Buy, Truvia, Old El Paso and Skippy. Mabel performed with the 2016 ACDA Minnesota Honor Choir; she attends Olson Middle School in Bloomington.
RAJANÉ KATURAH (Betty-Lou Who, Understudy Grandma Who and Mama Who) Rajané is ecstatic to be a 2017-2018 Performing Apprentice at the Children's Theatre Company! She is a 2017 alumna of Spelman College, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude, with a Bachelor of Arts in Drama and a minor in Spanish. Rajané has also trained at the British American Drama Academy (BADA) in London, England. Selective theatre credits include: Born For This: The Bebe Winans Story (Alliance Theater); Gee's Bend (Spelman College); The Revenger's Tragedy (BADA); and Big River (The Unquowa Rep). Rajané is eternally grateful to God, her super supportive family and her guardian angel, Pop-pop! #DREAMBIG
JAY SOULEN (Danny Who) Jay is proud to join the Children’s Theatre Company this holiday season. Jay has had leading roles at Chanhassen Dinner Theatres (Mary Poppins; Beauty and the Beast; and Camelot) as well as the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts (A Christmas Story), and Minnetonka Theatre (Oliver!). Television and voiceover credits include national and regional ad campaigns and ABC’s In An Instant. A freshman at PiM Arts High School, Jay also has a YouTube channel called TheBirdandTheBoi with friend and collaborator Mario Esteb. Jay thanks his mom and dad for supporting his passion for theatre!
STELLA RUTH MURPHY (Annie Who) Of Irish and West Indies heritage, Stella was born and raised in the Twin Cities. At the age of seven, she joined the Minneapolis Youth Chorus, began acting classes/camps at Children’s Theatre Company and took up the violin. Now, at twelve, she is thrilled to be part of this CTC production, her first role on the main stage. She grew up in a family that enjoys storytelling and singing around the piano. She is fond of traveling, biking and spending time with family and friends. Stella has attended Yinghua Academy since kindergarten and speaks Chinese.
SIDNEY WHITESIDE (Tiny Who, Mini Max, Understudy Cindy-Lou Who) Sidney is a fifth-grader at Scenic Heights Elementary in Minnetonka. She was introduced to theater through Prairie Fire Children’s Theater Camp and her school musical, where she played roles including Toto in The Wizard of Oz and Queen Aggravain in Once Upon a Mattress. While new to the theater stage, Sidney has been dancing since age 3 at Dance Arts Centre in Chanhassen. Her favorite dance styles are jazz and hip-hop. When not performing, Sidney enjoys baking, reading and playing with her friends. She lives in Shorewood with her mom, dad, younger brother and puppy named Ollie.
WILL SPANGRUD (Who Ensemble, Mini Grinch, Understudy Tiny Who) Will is excited to make his Children’s Theatre Company debut. A sixth-grader at Valley View Middle School in Bloomington, Will has performed at Stages Theater in Magic Treehouse, Night in New Orleans and has also been seen in Shrek, The Musical; Thoroughly Modern Millile JR; Willy Wonka JR and Aladdin JR throughout the Twin Cities. A member of the Lundstrum Performing Arts Conservatory, Will loves dance, gymnastics, math and pandas. Big thanks to his family and friends for their ongoing support!
ANTONIO DE LA VEGA (Who Ensemble) Antonio is very excited to be a part of the Children's Theatre Family in his first main stage production at CTC! Antonio was featured in CTC's senior TAT intensive this past summer in HAIR (Woof). He is currently a Junior at Minnetonka High School and participates in their drama program and has done numerous productions all across the Twin Cities. He would like to thank his family and friends for all of their love and support. Recent credits: HAIR (Woof); The Wild Party (Oscar D'Armano); Titanic the Musical (John J. Astor); and The Normal Heart (Tommy Boatwright).
GERALD DRAKE (Who Ensemble) Gerald has been a member of CTC’s Acting Company for 47 years. Among his favorite roles are the Stepmother in early productions of Cinderella; Long John Silver in Treasure Island; Fagan in Oliver Twist; Mr. Toad in Wind in the Willows; Lord Capulet in Romeo and Juliet; and Afar the Angel in A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings. Gerald has toured to and performed in Munich, Seoul, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Moscow. He is a recipient of a McKnight Theatre Artist Fellowship. Married 50 years to his wife Kathie, they have two daughters, Kelly and Kristina, and he lives out his drumming fantasy by watchins his son, Bobby, play in The Hold Steady. His grandson Leo has already seen several productions and has a costume closet of his own creations.
MARIO ESTEB (Who Ensemble, Understudy Young Max, Mini Max and Mini Grinch) Mario is proud to be back at CTC after recently being in Dr. Seuss’s The Sneetches the Musical; Cinderella; Diary of a Wimpy a Kid the Musical; and The Wizard of Oz. He was also in Gypsy (Theatre Latte Da); Jesus Christ Superstar; Damn Yankees; and A Christmas Story (Ordway Center for Performing Arts). He has commercial & print experience with Wehmann Models & Talent. Heʼs danced with Delmonico Dance for years. He trains at Flips Gymnastics & with Brett Schrier (Broadway Playground) for vocal. Heʼs an eighth-grader at St. Pascals in St. Paul. Heʼd like to thank his family & Reid Harmsen.
AUSTEN FISHER (Who Ensemble, Understudy Old Max, J.P. Who and Grandpa Who)
Austen is over the moon to be returning to CTC! As a student actor, he performed in five productions including: A Christmas Story; Annie; Wizard of Oz; Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy
; and Pippi Longstocking
. He recently graduated from the University of Minnesota/Guthrie B.F.A. Actor’s Training Program (with a minor in political science.) Since graduation, Austen has worked on Every Brilliant Thing with the Nebraska Suicide Prevention Chapter as well as with The Playwright’s Center and Guthrie Theater. He is resident improvisor/musical director with ComedySportz Twin Cities. AustenFisher.com
GRETA NACKERUD (Who Ensemble) Greta Nackerud is making her CTC debut in Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Greta is a junior at St. Louis Park High School where she was recently seen in Anatomy of Gray and Sense and Sensibility. She has also enjoyed roles at Stages Theatre Company (Goodnight Moon; One Dog Canoe; Bear Snores On; Number the Stars; Annie JR; Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star; Magic Tree House: A Night in New Orleans); and Anne of Green Gables, The Musical (Bethel University). When not seen on stage, Greta can be found doing lots of homework. She thanks her teachers for their support in making this acting dream possible.
MADISON NEAL (Who Ensemble) Maddie performed in Diary of a Wimpy Kid the Musical on the CTC main stage. Maddie is in Institute, CTC’s four-year pre-professional training program. Other performances include: The Little Mermaid JR; Dear Edwina JR; Beauty and the Beast JR (CTC’s Theatre Arts Training); Philemon and Baucis – Planet in Peril: A Picnic Operetta (Mixed Precipitation); The Pirates of Penzance (The Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company); The Nightingale; Four Little Girls from Birmingham 50th Anniversary Reading; Heartbeat of the Drum; The Best Christmas Pageant Ever; and Ruby! The Story of Ruby Bridges (StepingStone Theatre); Fidgety Fairytales (MN Association for Children’s Mental Health); Annie (SACT); and Seussical (Ashland Productions).
CAMERON SCHMALZ (Who Ensemble) Cameron is delighted to be making his Children's Theatre Company debut in Dr. Seuss's How the Grinch Stole Christmas. He is a junior at Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists. During this past summer he participated in the Minnesota Fringe Festival. Some recent productions include: Thor: Jurassic Park; Bone Portraits; A Christmas Carol; Mary Poppins; Parade; and Beauty and the Beast. Cameron very much hopes you enjoy the show and that your holidays are filled with peace and love.
PAYTON SEACRIST (Who Ensemble) This is Payton’s first main stage show at Children’s Theatre Company. She is 15 years old and a sophomore at Eastview High School. She has performed in Peter Pan and Bravo at her high school, Grease; Annie; and Oliver with The Play’s the Thing Productions, and two Theatre Arts Training productions: Shrek the Musical JR; and The Little Mermaid JR with CTC. She is currently in Institute, CTC’s four year pre-professional training program. Payton enjoys dogs, her friends and family, going to church, singing, and traveling. Payton would like to thank her parents and Eastview administration./div>
CHRISTIAN TESCH (Who Ensemble, Understudy Danny Who) Christian is happy to join the Whos in Whoville for his third Dr. Seuss show! His Children’s Theatre Company credits include: Dr. Seuss’s The Sneetches The Musical; Cinderella; and Peter Pan the Musical. He has also appeared with Main Street School of Performing Arts (The Three Musketeers; Twelve Angry Jurors; PIPPIN; Family Unit; Anything Goes; The Wedding Singer), Park Productions (Spring Awakening) and Eden Prairie Players (Seussical). Christian would like to thank his family, vocal coaches Michelle Barber and Brett Schrier, and PiM Arts High School for their support. He is also grateful to CTC for giving him this opportunity.)
SYMPHONIE WHITTED (Towsperson, Understudy Betty Lou Who)Symphonie is ecstatic to be part of the cast for Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas. She has been acting since the age of five. Recent credits include two seasons of Fidgety Fairy Tales; and roles in Theatre Arts Training’s Shrek JR, and Annie JR at CTC. In her free time, Symphonie enjoys playing the piano, computer coding and traveling. Symphonie truly appreciates the encouragement of her family. Big “thank you” to Childrens Theatre Company for the opportunity.
NEAH WILLIAMS (Who Ensemble, Understudy Annie Who) Neah started her entertainment career in modeling at the age of four. She has been in several commercial print jobs and billboards across 38 states. Although new to the acting scene, she is extremely excited to learn more. She has played numerous roles in the touring play Fidgety Fairy Tales (Minnesota Association for Children's Mental Health), where she was able to spread awareness of children's mental illness across the state of Minnesota. Neah plans to continue her acting journey to explore all it has to offer. In her free time, she enjoys gymnastics and spending time with family.
CALVIN ZIMMERMAN (Who Ensemble)Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas, is Calvin’s first appearance in a CTC production, he is especially excited because he and Theodor Seuss Geisel share a birthday. Calvin is a multifaceted storyteller who enjoys singing, dancing, and traveling. In his free time, Calvin loves playing and spending time with his friends.
PETER C. BROSIUS (Director, Artistic Director of CTC)
Since 1997 Peter has directed the world premieres of Dr. Seuss’s The Sneetches The Musical; The Last Firefly; Seedfolks; The Scarecrow and His Servant; The Snowy Day and other stories by Ezra Jack Keats; 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 an Ivey Award for Best Director. Peter is married to writer Rosanna Staffa and is the father of Daria and Gabriel.
LINDA TALCOTT LEE (Choreographer)
Linda’s choreographic credits include: Mulan JR; Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas; Cinderella
(Children’s Theatre Company); Romeo and Juliet
(Guthrie Theater); Beauty and the Beast
(Ordway Center for the Performing Arts); A Servants’ Christmas; Hormel Girls
(History Theatre); Damn Yankees; Seven Brides for Seven Brothers; Annie Get Your Gun
(Fireside Dinner Theatre); Baker’s Wife; Next to Normal; Thoroughly Modern Millie; City of Angels
(Artistry); Under the Gaslight; Forty-Five Minutes from Broadway
(University of Minnesota Centennial Showboat.) She was awarded an Emmy for her choreographic work in The Comedy Hall of Fame with Jason Alexander and is a Broadway Veteran.
VICTOR ZUPANC (Conductor, Music Director, 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.
TOM BUTSCH (Scenic Designer)
After designing more than 60 shows at Chanhassen Dinner Theatres, Actors Theater, Mixed Blood Theatre Company, Cricket Theatre, Arizona Theatre Company, A Contemporary Theatre and CTC, Tom moved to California. Television credits include Art Director for Diff’rent Strokes
and Silver Spoons
. As a Senior Art Director for Disneyland Creative Entertainment from 1987 to 2011, he designed events, parades, film premieres and shows including: Fantasmic!; Snow White; Disney’s Princess Fantasy Faire; Animazement!
; shows for Tokyo Disneyland and Walt Disney World, and productions at Radio City Music Hall, the New Amsterdam Theatre, the Macy’s Parade and several Rose Parade floats.
DAVID KAY MICKELSEN (Costume Designer)
David has designed more than 400 productions at many theaters including the Guthrie Theater, Denver Center Theatre Company, The Cleveland Play House, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Ford's Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, The Geffen, Pasadena and Laguna Playhouses, The Old Globe, Studio Arena Theatre, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, and The Oregon, Utah, Colorado, and Illinois Shakespeare Festivals. He has an M.F.A. from California Institute of the Arts, is the Vice Chairman of the Western Region of United Scenic Artists, and is the Creative Director of Theater Costume Design at The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM). Originally from Canby, Oregon, David now makes his home in Long Beach, California.
NANCY SCHERTLER (Lighting Designer)
Nancy has designed the Broadway productions of Bill Irwin’s Fool Moon
and Largely New York
(Tony nomination). Nancy’s CTC designs includes productions of The Jungle Book; Charlotte’s Web; Ramona Quimby; Madeline and the Gypsies; Dr. Seuss’ Seussical the Musical; Reeling
; and Korczak’s Children
. She has designed for regional theatres across the country, including the American Conservatory Theater, Arena Stage, Portland Center Stage and Seattle Repertory Theatre. World premiere opera productions include Shadowboxer; Clara; and Later the Same Evening, all commissioned by the University of Maryland Opera Studio.
SEAN HEALEY (Associate Sound Designer)
CTC credits include: Seedfolks; The Wizard of Oz; 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea; Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas; Dr. Seuss’s The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins
; and Disney's High School Musical
. Other credits include: The Oldest Boy; Le Switch; Annapurna
(Jungle Theater); Choirboy; Vanya And Sonya And Masha And Spike
(Guthrie Theater); The Sorceror's Apprentice; The Learning Fairy; Something Is Nothing; Milly and Tillie
(Open Eye Figure Theater); "C."; Steerage Song; Aida; Song of Extinction
(Theater Latté Da). Sean is the recipient of an Ivey Award for his work on The Jungle Theater's production of Shipwrecked!
and holds a B.F.A. from The California Institute of the Arts.
CRAIG GOTTSCHALK (Projections Designer)
Craig has added video content to CTC shows such as Cinderella
; and The Wizard of Oz
. Other CTC credits include lighting designs for Corduroy
(upcoming); Animal Dance; Snowflake
; and CTC’s Theatre Arts Training intensives: Hair; Spring Awakening; bare; Dear Edwina; The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
; and Blood Brothers
; associate designer for CTC’s regional tour of Seedfolks
. Other regional credits include Blues in the Night; Always Patsy Cline; Bombitty of Errors; Nobody Lonesome for Me
; and Route 66
(Milwaukee Repertory Theater); Dirty Rotten Scoundrels; Zanna Don’t; Jerry Springer the Opera
; and Kiss of the Spiderwoman
(Minneapolis Musical Theatre); King Lear
(Minnesota Shakespeare Project).
NATE STANGER (Stage Manager)
This is Nate’s debut production as the stage manager and he couldn’t be more proud to do so than with this CTC classic. He has worked here previously as an assistant stage manager on: The Abominables; Dr. Seuss’s The Sneetches the Musical; Diary of a Wimpy Kid the Musical; The Jungle Book
; and The Snowy Day and other stories by Ezra Jack Keats
. Since graduating from the University of Minnesota, he has been fortunate enough to work with such companies as Guthrie Theater, Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, Park Square Theatre, and Walking Shadow Theatre Company.
TODD KALINA (Assistant Stage Manager)
Children’s Theatre Company: Cinderella; Romeo & Juliet
. Broadway: An Act of God; King Charles III; Airline Highway
. Selected Off-Broadway Credits: Signature Theatre Company, Manhattan Theatre Club, Atlantic Theatre Company
; Other Collaborations: Theatre Latté Da, Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, The History Theatre, The Acting Company, Giants are Small, The Juilliard School, and many readings and workshops throughout the years. Television: The Tony Awards; Showtime at the Apollo; Ink Master. Concerts: Cyndi Lauper, Garth Brooks, John Legend, Gwen Stefani, among others. Upcoming projects include: NFL, Guthrie Theater, and Theatre Latté Da. Proud member of Actors’ Equity Association. Thanks to Nate and Jenny. Dedicated to my brother Stephen, who has to put up with my “Grinchiness” 365 days a year!
EVA CHASTAIN (Stage Management Intern)
Eva is thrilled to work on her third production with Children’s Theatre Company after Balloonacy
! In the past, she has managed shows including: The Abominables; Balloonacy
(CTC); Cats; Miss Saigon; Red, White and Tuna; Sideshow
; and 101 Dalmatians
(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.) She received the Dallas Summer Musicals High School Musical Theatre Award for Best Crew and Technical Execution for management of her high school production of Peter Pan
MADISON MELLON (Assistant Director)
Madison is a recent graduate from Vassar College. She has done work at Barrington Stage Company, In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre and the Powerhouse Theater Program, among others. She is thrilled to be back at the Children’s Theatre Company after assistant directing Pinocchio
last summer. Some favorite directing credits include: Little Shop of Horrors; Bat Boy: The Musical
and The Rocky Horror Show
. As well as directing, Madison also designs and builds puppets.
TONY VIERLING (Assistant Choreographer)
Tony works nationally and locally as an actor/choreographer. Off-Broadway he assistant choreographed We the People (Theaterworks USA) and choreographed the national tour of the same production. As an actor, New York credits include national tours of A Chorus Line; Little House on the Prairie, the Musical
. Local work includes Chanhassen Dinner Theatres (Grease; Camelot; Beauty and the Beast; Little Mermaid; West Side Story; 42nd Street; CATS
); Guthrie Theater (Music Man; Midsummer Night's Dream; My Fair Lady; Roman Holiday; 1776; She Loves Me; Pirates of Penzance; Merrily We Roll Along; Babes in Arms
); Ordway Center for the Performing Arts (A Chorus Line, Singin in the Rain
). Proud member of Actor's Equity Association.
ALEX CLARK (Assistant Lighting Designer)
Alex Clark is in his final year as an M.F.A. student in lighting design at the University of Minnesota. Recent assistant designs include: Speechless
(Moving Company) and Earthquakes In London
(UMN / Guthrie Theatre). As a lighting designer, Alex has recently worked on American Clock
(UMN / Guthrie Theatre); The Kitchen
(UMN); Catch Me If You Can
(Chameleon Theatre Circle); Marisol
(UMN) and Under The Gaslight
(MN Centennial Showboat). Alex is also an avid photographer and explorer of light.
Dr. Seuss’s How The Grinch Stole Christmas is a musical performed by a large cast of adults and student actors with a live orchestra. Set, costumes, and props are elaborate. This production was created by CTC’s new play development lab, Threshold, in collaboration with the Dr. Seuss Estate. It features holiday songs and differs from various movie adaptations.
This production takes place on the United Health Group Stage and seats up to 745 people.
Approximate run time: 1 hour and 50 minutes including intermission
Run time and other details are subject to change during rehearsal process.
written by Ellie McKay, Director of Theatre Arts Training
Be warned: This is a complete synopsis of the play, so it is full of spoilers.
We start with carolers singing as the mouth to a cave is revealed. Old Max the dog enters, suitcase in paw, reflecting that this cave was once the home that he shared with the Grinch. The scene changes to the past with Whos singing and preparing for the Christmas Holiday. Shift to the cave, Young Max happily observes aloud that “it’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas.” The Grinch emerges and menacingly announces that he hates Christmas because his heart is two sizes too small. We shift to Cindy Lou Who who has completed making gifts for her family as well as something for the Grinch. She asks her family about the Grinch. While Cindy Lou wonders about him, The Grinch is imagining what Christmas morning will be like and his cave fills with nightmarish visions of opening presents and feasting. In song he explains that Christmas is annoying, loud, saccharine, and inauthentic. Meanwhile the Who’s continue to sing carols and about gifts and giving until the Grinch has a big idea – he will stop Christmas himself! Max would like to warn the Whos, but the Grinch ties him up. Back in Whoville, the Whos are shopping for their final gifts. They hustle and bustle happily in and out of shops through the snow until Cindy Lou shrieks and points at…the Grinch is right there in the middle of Whoville. The whos tentatively introduce themselves to him and even invite him to join them for Christmas in the morning. The Grinch answers appears overly enthusiastic to the discomfort of all. When he meets Cindy Lou she is too nervous to say her name, but her family insists. She introduces herself and the Grinch asks what she would like as a gift. She says she is hoping for a red rocking horse. The Grinch menacingly wishes her the best, the takes his leave to do his own shopping. He buys a red jacket and bunting and elastic and wool and returns to his cave. Once there, the Grinch crafts himself a Santa Claus costume as puts reindeer antlers on Max. The Grinch sings a song about he is the only one of his kind and he claims to be happy as a friendless loner. The Grinch ties Max to a sleigh, pack it with empty bags, cracks a whip at Max, and they take off down to Whoville. Down at the bottom of the mountain, Grandma, Grandpa, and Mama Who are place gifts around the tree. Grandpa Who, hard of hearing, keeps mishearing what the others say. The Whos sing about all the preparation for Christmas – the food, the gifts, the decorations. They sing about how happy the children will be. The Whos go to bed, the children sleeping by the fireplace and tree. From above the Who house, we hear the Grinch and Max banging and clanging. Suddenly, Max falls from the chimney into the fireplace, quickly followed by the Grinch. As the Grinch surveils all there is to take, Max begs him not to take their food, but the Grinch gleefully replies that he will take it all. He begins to stuff all the gifts, decoration, and food into his bags and as he is dragging the tree to the fireplace, Cindy Lou appears, mistaking the Grinch for Santa Claus, and asks why he is taking the tree. The Grinch thinks quickly and lies saying he is taking it back to his workshop to fix the lights. Cindy Lou thinks this is a fine answer and simply requests he have it back for the morning. Trying to get her to go away, the Grinch asks why she is not in bed. Cindy Lou begins to cry and throws herself on the Grinch for a hug explaining that she had a bad dream. She asks if he might stay and keep her company. The Grinch explains that, as Santa Claus, he has other homes to visit. Cindy Lou says she understands and assumes he’ll then be returning home to his friends and family. The Grinch says that no, Santa always spends Christmas alone. Cindy Lou is shocked by this and sings to him about belonging. She sings that regardless of where he is, she will always be thinking of him and the he belongs with her on Christmas. Something begins to change inside the Grinch and at the end of the song he fixes the light on the tree and returns it to its spot in the room. As Cindy Lou begins to return to bed, the Grinch tenderly asks he what her nightmare was about. She, feeling emboldened, proclaims it was about “that nasty old Grinch!” The Grinch immediately toughens and after Cindy Lou has let, tears the lights off the tree. The scene shifts to the next day and the Whos home is completely empty except a single log on the fire. Just then, the arm of the Grinch reaches down and snags the log leaving nothing. The scene changes to the morning as the Whos wake up on Christmas morning. The Whos explore their empty home and Cindy Lou explains that it was a “sort of a Santy Claus.” Then she tells her family that he was very lonely with no family, no friends, and no gifts. We transition to the Grinch climbing to the top of the mountain in the sleigh with Max. The Grinch is excited to hear the unhappy Whos as they wake up to their ruined Christmas. But as they sit and listen, the Whos begin singing…merrily?! The Grinch is perplexed – he took Christmas away. How could they celebrate without their stuff? The Grinch wonders if Christmas “doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas…perhaps…Means a little bit more?” Max comforts the Grinch by explaining that as he is one of a kind, he is special. Cindy Lou reprises her song about remembering him and the Grinch is struck that although he took he Christmas, she is still thinking of him. The Grinch begins to think that perhaps being alone is missing out and he is beginning to like the Whos – so much, in fact, it hurts. And just then his heart grows three sizes. The Grinch tells Max he is wonderful, kisses him, and announces that he’ll take all the Who stuff back. The sleigh, teetering on the edge of the mountain, begins to slip over the edge just as Max and the Grinch jump in. Old Max, the narrator returns to the mouth of the cave. Packs up his suitcase and leaves the stage. Meanwhile, Who carols fill the air. The Grinch arrives in his sleigh and the Whos stand back, unsure. The Grinch, after several attempts, succeeds in wishing the Whos a Merry Christmas. All applaud and cheer. The Grinch hands out gifts to the Who from his sleigh. As he hands Cindy Lou a red rocking horse, she tells him that although the gifts are nice, the he was the most important thing missing from Christmas. Cindy Lou and the Grinch sing together about how they will always be in one another’s heart.