Based on the Newbery Award-winning book
Written by Matt de la Peña, Illustrated by Christian Robinson
Adapted for the stage by Cheryl L. West
Music and lyrics by Lamont Dozier and Paris Ray Dozier
Directed by Henry Godinez
Co-commissioned with the Chicago Children’s Theatre
For curious 5-year-olds and up
A Children’s Theatre Company Commissioned Premiere Production
Six-year-old CJ is (reluctantly) staying with his (extremely over-the-top) Nana, in a world considerably different from the one he’s used to (his phone and tablet). The disagreeable (and let’s just admit it, whiny) child is dragged on a bus ride that’s loud and gritty and weird. Guided by his veritable force-of-nature Nana, CJ travels a little closer to his roots and sees that things are not always what they seem. This is one hip-hop, eclectic, heart-thumpin’, toe-tappin’ joy ride.
Greta Oglesby | Nana
Greta has enjoyed roles in The Wiz; Akeelah and the Bee; Five Fingers of Funk; and The Beggar’s Strike at Children’s Theatre Company. Other theatre credits: Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Guthrie Theater, and Penumbra Theatre, to name a few. Greta recently published a book entitled Mama ‘n Nem: Handprints on My Life (Kirkhouse).
Ansa Akyea | Mr. Dennis, Ensemble
Ansa (AEA, SAG-AFTRA) was last seen in CTC’s production of Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax. TV/film: In An Instant (ABC); The House of Tomorrow; Memorial Day; and Kid West. Stage: Guthrie Theater, Mixed Blood Theatre Company, and Ten Thousand Things Theater. Recipient of the McKnight Theater Artist Fellowship, and graduate of the University of Iowa’s Acting Program (M.F.A., 2000).
Dwight Leslie | Tatted Man, Vernon, Mr. Chow, Ensemble
Dwight is very excited to return to CTC and continue making magic. Dwight was a 2017 – 2018 CTC Performing Apprentice, starring in The Wiz; Corduroy; and Dr. Seuss’s How The Grinch Stole Christmas!. Other credits: Mamma Mia! (Ordway Center for the Performing Arts); HAIR (Enlightened Theatrics); and Next to Normal (New Theatre in the Square); among many others.
Autumn Ness | Madam Butterfly, Grandma Posey, Ensemble
Autumn Ness is thrilled to be opening her 19th season as a member of the Acting Company at CTC! Some favorite shows include Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax; Cinderella; A Year With Frog and Toad; Shrek The Musical; The Jungle Book; and The Biggest Little House in the Forest. Autumn is the recipient of the 2018 Fox Foundation Fellowship to develop programming at CTC for children on the Autism Spectrum.
Alejandro Vega | CJ
Alejandro played roles in Peter Pan the Musical; The Wizard of Oz; and The Abominables at Children’s Theatre Company. He has performed with the Minnesota Opera and the Minnesota Orchestra. Alejandro has also appeared in productions at Theater Latté Da and 7th House Theater/Guthrie Theater.
Calvin Zimmerman | Dancing Teen, JoJo, Ensemble, Understudy CJ
Calvin has enjoyed performing in Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star (Stages Theatre Company); Dr. Seuss’s How The Grinch Stole Christmas! (Children’s Theatre Company); and A Raisin In The Sun (Park Square Theatre).
Kennedy Lucas | Dancing Teen, Ensemble
Kennedy has enjoyed roles in A Christmas Carol: The Musical (Stagedoor Manor); The Nightingale; Disney’s Beauty and The Beast JR.; and Magic Treehouse: Night In New Orleans (Stages Theatre Company). She has also performed in Dr. Seuss’s The Sneetches The Musical (Children’s Theatre Company); Hairspray (Artistry Theater); and Wizard of Oz; Aladdin; and My Son Pinocchio (Lundstrum Performing Arts).
Alexcia Thompson | Understudy Nana, Madam Butterfly, Grandma Posey, Ensemble
Alexcia is a 2018 – 2019 Performing Apprentice at Children’s Theatre Company. 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).
Rowin M. Breaux | Understudy Mr. Dennis, Tatted Man, Vernon, Mr. Chow
Rowin has enjoyed roles in The Boyfriend; The Disappearance of Daniel Hand; The Robber Bridegroom; and The Changeling at Idyllwild Arts Academy. Since moving to Minneapolis in August of 2017, he has been involved in multiple performances, most notably playing Benny Southstreet in Lyric Arts’ Production of Guys and Dolls.
Symphonie Whitted | Understudy Dancing Teens, JoJo, Ensemble
Symphonie has enjoyed roles in Fidgety Fairy Tales (Minnesota Association for Children’s Mental Health); Hairspray JR. (Youth Performance Company); Shrek The Musical JR.; Annie JR.; James and the Giant Peach JR. (CTC Theatre Arts Training); and Dr. Seuss’s How The Grinch Stole Christmas! (Children’s Theatre Company.) In her free time, Symphonie enjoys traveling, playing the piano, computer coding, singing, and composing music.
Cheryl L. West | Playwright
Cheryl’s plays have been seen in England, Off-Broadway, Broadway, and in numerous regional theatres around the country. She has written TV and film projects at Disney, Paramount, MTV Films, Showtime, TNT, HBO, and CBS. Cheryl is currently working on commissions for Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Goodman Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Seattle Children’s Theater, and University of California, Santa Barbara.
Lamont Dozier | Composer
Lamont has written and produced over 54 #1 hits for The Supremes, Four Tops, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, and a host of others, crediting Lamont as one of the primary architects of the Motown Sound. He is an inductee in the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame, and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. He is pleased to present his newest score and collaboration with his son, Paris Ray Dozier, for Last Stop On Market Street.
Paris Ray Dozier | Composer
Paris is a composer/lyricist from Encino, CA. Credits include: Hollywood Records, Disney (Singer/Songwriter, Producer); UPN’s B InTune TV (Musical Theme Writer, Co-Host); Saturday Night Live’s The Kicker (Composer). He and his father, Lamont, also collaborated on the musical Mr. Chickee’s Funny Money. Paris is currently working on the musical Girlhood, slated to premiere in 2019.
Henry Godinez | Director
Henry is Resident Artistic Associate at Goodman Theatre and a professor at Northwestern University. He has directed Last Stop on Market Street; A Year With Frog and Toad; and Esperanza Rising for Chicago Children’s Theatre. He has also directed at Goodman Theatre and Signature Theatre (N.Y.C.), among others.
Ashley Selmer | Choreographer
Credits include: In The Heights; Jesus Christ Superstar; West Side Story (Ordway Center for the Performing Arts); and Grey Skies Blue (Kennedy Center). Ashley is the Creative Director of Minneapolis-based SHAPESHIFT (a hip-hop/contemporary storytelling dance company). Ashley earned her B.F.A. in Dance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Sanford Moore | Music Director
Credits: The Wiz (Children’s Theatre Company/Penumbra Theatre); GIRL Shakes Loose; I Wish You Love; Black Nativity; Ain’t Misbehavin’; Dinah Was (Penumbra Theatre); Parchman Hour; Disgraced; Choir Boy; Crowns (Guthrie Theater); Nina Simone: Four Women (Park Square Theatre); and When a Man Loves a Diva (The Lab Theater). Director of the vocal ensemble Moore by Four. Minister of Music at Kingdom Life Church, Minneapolis.
Courtney O’Neill | Scenic Designer
Courtney is excited to design at Children’s Theatre Company for the first time. Her designs have been seen at Steppenwolf Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Baltimore Center Stage, Lookingglass Theatre Company, Chicago Children’s Theatre, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, and more. She still has a trophy from a LEGO® building contest when she was in 4th grade.
Trevor Bowen | Costume Designer
Trevor Bowen is proud to return to Children’s Theatre Company (CTC) for the 2018 – 2019 season. Trevor’s costume design credits include: Corduroy (CTC); Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill (Jungle Theater); Fellow Travelers (Minnesota Opera); Ragtime (5th Ave Theater and Asolo Repertory Theatre); BLKS (Steppenwolf Theatre); Five Points (Theatre Latté Da); and GIRL Shakes Loose (Penumbra Theatre.)
Marcus Doshi | Lighting Designer
Marcus designs for theatre, dance, opera, and non-performance work. His credits include over 300 designs seen at most major regional theatres and opera companies, and internationally over five continents. He has degrees from Wabash College and Yale Drama, and is an Associate Professor of Theatre at Northwestern University.
Sten Severson | Sound Designer
Sten has designed sound on Broadway, London’s West End, Off-Broadway, and in numerous regional theatres. Selected credits: The Wiz (Children’s Theatre Company/Penumbra Theatre); Diary of a Wimpy Kid the Musical (CTC); Tony® Nominated HAIR; The Merchant of Venice (Broadway); Audelco Award-winning The Total Bent (Public Theater); Much Ado About Nothing; Othello; The Comedy of Errors (The Old Globe); Into the Woods; and King Lear (Delacorte Theater).
Chris Schweiger | Stage Manager
Chris has been at CTC for 17 seasons. She has worked across the country from N.Y.C. to Alaska at Arena Stage, Seattle Children’s Theatre, Guthrie Theater, Mixed Blood Theatre Company, New Victory Theater, Alpine Theatre Project, Utah Shakespeare Festival, and Perseverance Theatre. She graduated from Northwestern University and was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Mongolia.
Kathryn Sam Houkom | Assistant Stage Manager
Sam celebrates her 16th season with CTC and has managed over 25 productions. Sam has also stage managed for Minnesota Orchestra, Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, Park Square Theatre, Mixed Blood Theatre Company, Minnesota Opera, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, The Kennedy Center, and Pearl Theatre (Off-Broadway).
Corey Bozeman | Assistant Choreographer
Corey, a Minneapolis native, started dancing at age 15. His dance training includes many styles and he has studied with top industry choreographers. Corey is on the creative team of SHAPESHIFT (a hip-hop storytelling dance company) and a dance instructor who has received many national choreography titles.
Craig Gottschalk | Associate Lighting Designer
Other Children’s Theatre Company credits include lighting designs for The Best Summer Ever!; Corduroy; Animal Dance; 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea; Snowflake; Associate Designer for CTC’s regional tour of Seedfolks. Selected regional credits: Blues in the Night; Always Patsy Cline; Bombitty of Errors; (Milwaukee Repertory Theater); and Mary Poppins (Artistry Theater).
Dustin Morache | Assistant Lighting Designer
Dustin was a freelance sound and lighting designer in Seattle for eight years. He has been in the Twin Cities for two years now and is excited for his first show at Children’s Theatre Company! He is currently getting his M.F.A. from the University of Minnesota. Love to Marie.
H. Adam Harris | Acting Coach
H. Adam is an actor, director, teaching artist, and cultural equity consultant. Last season, he was a puppeteer and voice of the title role in Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax (Children’s Theatre Company, The Old Globe). H. Adam is a frequent performer on various stages, and he loves working at the intersection of theatre, education, and social justice.
CTC’s Last Stop on Market Street is a musical performed by a small group of adult and student actors. This show was co-commissioned with Chicago Children’s Theatre and produced through our new play development lab here at Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis, MN. It is based on the Newbery Medal, Caldecott Honor and New York Times best-selling book by Matt de la Peña, illustrated by Christian Robinson.
This production takes place on our United Health Group stage and seats up to 745 people per performance.
Approximate run time: 1 hour and 15 minutes without an intermission
Run time and other details are subject to change during rehearsal process.
Caution: This is a complete synopsis of the play, so it is full of spoilers. This script is still in development. Content is subject to change until script is solidified.
Seven-year-old CJ is feeling sad because Mom and Dad are away for the weekend and he has to stay with Nana in Chicago. The entire neighborhood comes out to welcome him but he is busy counting down the hours until his parents return. Everything about being at Nana’s house is miserable. The food is different, there is a scary bear rug on the floor and worst of all, Nana takes away all of his electronics. CJ begs for his stuff back but Nana firmly says no. When CJ asks the reason he can't have his tablet, Nana explains that it is because she said so. During nighttime prayers, CJ expresses his concern about Nana and sings himself a lullabye.
The next morning, CJ and Nana go to church but CJ is still in a bad mood. As they make their way back to Nana's house, CJ refuses to respond when Nana is talking to him. He begs to go back home and reveals that he has a Ziploc bag full of money hidden in his stuffed animal. Nana explains that they are not going home but are going out on a surprise adventure. She packs some snacks for the trip while CJ whines some more. When Nana turns her back, CJ looks for his electronics. He finds his stuff and hides them in his backpack before he is discovered. Nana encourages him to bring his stuffed animal on the trip and grabs his backpack to try to fit it inside. Before she is able to unzip the backpack and see the electronics, CJ stuffs the stuffed animal inside, the backpack now straining at the seams.
They head out to the bus stop and it is raining. CJ doesn’t understand why Nana doesn’t have a car. The bus arrives and CJ is scared. Mr. Dennis, the bus driver, welcomes them both onto the bus and shows CJ how to pay for the fare. There are lots of interesting people on the bus, including a tattooed man and a woman dressed as a butterfly. Nana encourages CJ to say hello to everyone but CJ protests saying that he is not supposed to talk to strangers. Nana tells CJ not to put his backpack on the floor. The tattooed man sings a song about how his body is a walking masterpiece and encourages CJ to not judge a book by the cover. CJ meets Madam Butterfly. She gives him a jar of butterflies and asks him to release them when he gets where he’s going. A blind man steps onto the bus carrying a guitar. He introduces himself to CJ as Mr. Vernon and explains that he see life through his ears. Two teenage girls get on the bus listening to music. CJ wishes once again that he had his electronics. Mr. Vernon encourages CJ to close his eyes and listen to the beat of life. The teenage girls begin to dance to the music. CJ is tentative about joining the dance but is encouraged by the teens.
Finally, they arrive at the last stop on Market Street and they all get off the bus. CJ admits that he had a good time on the bus and is excited about the surprise; however, he becomes intimidated when he realizes he is surrounded by graffiti, broken glass, and windows with bars. CJ expresses that he thinks this is a “bad neighborhood.” Nana explains that it is not bad, just different, and encourages him to look for the beauty. They meet, Mr. Chow and CJ learns to say "good morning" in chinese.
Just then, CJ realizes that he left his backpack on the bus and becomes angry. He yells about how he hates this place and all the stinky people. Nana’s friend, Posey, and her grandson, Jojo, hear what CJ said. It is clear Posey & Jojo are homeless. Nana apologizes for her grandson’s rudeness and we learn that Jojo loves math. Posey & Nana head into the building while CJ and Jojo stay outside. Jojo asks if CJ wants to ride in his shopping cart. CJ is nervous but agrees; however, Jojo flips CJ into a trash can as revenge for calling him stinky. They begin to tussle when Mr. Dennis, the bus driver, returns with CJ’s backpack. CJ apologizes to Jojo for saying mean things and offers to show him his electronics. While CJ is getting everything out of his backpack, Jojo explains that he used to have a stuffed animal just like CJ’s. Nana comes out and catches CJ with his electronics and she expresses her disappointment in him for sneaking them along on the trip without her permission. CJ worries that Nana will stop talking to him. They all get on their aprons, hair nets and gloves to serve dinner at the soup kitchen. CJ has fun entertaining the guests while serving them. After dinner is served, CJ asks why no one is heading home. Nana explains that many of these people do not have homes to go to. Many of them sleep in a park or homeless shelter. Everything Jojo & Posey own is in their grocery cart. Nana explains that she is proud of CJ for serving everyone and making them smile. As they go to leave, CJ gives Jojo his stuffed animal and they release the butterflies together. Because of his kindness, Nana offers to give him back his electronics but CJ tells her he doesn't need those things to be happy. They head the bus back to Nana's house.
Content Advisories (subject to change as the production goes into rehearsal):
Language: 1 out of 5 stars
Nana calls CJ a "brat." The tatooed man sings about how "you assume that I'm a thug" when encouraging CJ to not judge a book by it's cover.
Themes and Situations: 2 out of 5 stars
CJ is grumpy. Nana becomes angry with CJ.
Violence & Scariness: 1 out of 5 stars
CJ & Jojo tussle and Jojo pushes CJ into trash.
Sensory Advisories: 1 out of 5 stars
Musical numbers can be loud.
Potentially Anxious Moments: 1 out of 5 stars
CJ meets people who are homeless and people who are different than he is and has an initially negative reaction by calling the neighborhood “bad” and the people “stinky.” Nana becomes angry at CJ. Actors come into the audience to dance.