CHARLOTTE, N.C.: Children’s Theatre of Charlotte has announced its family-friendly 2020-21 season, the company’s 73rd.
“I’ve long been fascinated by this story about a young girl, Annie, who affects change in the world,” said artistic director Adam Burke in a statement. “Through the power of kindness and hope she changes the mind and heart of a billionaire Republican, she changes and inspires the policy of a Democratic President, and then gets them to sing a song together! There has never been a more important time to invest in this story than now, as we move into this election season.”
The season begins with Annie (Sept. 25- Nov. 1), the iconic musical with lyrics by Martin Charnin, music by Charles Strouse, and a book by Thomas Meehan. Set in New York City against the backdrop of the Great Depression, little orphan Annie does her best to hang on ‘til tomorrow. Despite enduring hardship, her pluck and perseverance lead her to find the true meaning of family. Charnin will direct.
Following will be Grace For President (Oct. 24- Nov. 15), featuring book, music, and lyrics by Joan Cushing. In this adaptation of Kelly DiPucchio’s book, Grace Campbell discovers there has never been a female president. Through her youthful spirit and determination, she takes matters into her own hands and inspires a school election.
Next up is The Best Christmas Pageant Ever: The Musical (Nov. 27-Dec. 20), written by Jahnna Beecham and Malcolm Hillgartner. Based on Barbara Robinson’s book, this musical follows the chaos that ensue when a group of misbehaved kids decide to audition for the annual Christmas pageant.
The season continues with The Dot (Dec. 29-31), based on the book by Peter H. Reynolds, about a young girl’s journey of artistic expression and self-discovery that starts with a painted dot on a blank piece of paper.
Following will be Anne Negri’s adaptation of Maddi’s Fridge (Jan. 9-16, 2021), based on the book by Lois Brandt. When Sofia learns that her friend Maddi’s family doesn’t have money to put food on the table, she struggles to decide whether to keep her friend’s secret or tell her parents.
Next is The Magician’s Secret (Feb. 5-21, 2021), with book and lyrics by Jahnna Beecham and Michael J. Hume, and book, music, and lyrics by Malcolm Hillgartner, and book and magic by Steven Marshall. The story is about Finn Fogarty, a young musician competing in the Young Masters of Magic competition.
The season continues with Sunjata Kamalenya: The Story of the True Lion King of Africa (March 5-6, 2021), written and directed by Christopher Parks. The magical story is about Sunjata Keita, the first mansa (king) of the ancient Empire of Malia.
Following will be Tropical Secrets: Holocaust Refugees in Cuba (March 12-28, 2021), written by Margarita Engle and adapted for the stage by LM Feldman. This collaboration with Levine Jewish Community Center follows an 11-year-old Holocaust refugee who finds himself in Cuba and befriends a local girl. It is the fourth installment in CTC’s Kindness Project.
Next up is Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat (April 10-May 9, 2021), based on the book about the rhyming cat in the striped hat who shows Sally and her brother how to have fun.
May will bring Aesop’s Fables (May 7-16, 2021), written by Christopher Parks. Fables such as “The Tortoise and the Hare”, “The Leaping Cow” and “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” will take the stage through music and storytelling.
Closing out the season will be The Lizard and el sol (May 27-June 6, 2021), written by Alliance Theatre and recommended for preschool audiences. Based on a famous Mexican folktale, the puppet-filled show follows a tenacious lizard’s quest to find the missing el sol (the sun).
Founded in 1948, Children’s Theatre of Charlotte provides more than 250,000 experiences for children and families a year with technically imaginative productions and wide-ranging education programs for young people.