Loyce Houlton’s Nutcracker Fantasy Discount Tickets – Save 50%!

Viewing a performance of The Nutcracker is a longstanding holiday season tradition! For more than 50 years, Minnesotans have been enjoying performances of Loyce Houlton’s Nutcracker Fantasy at the State Theatre in Minneapolis.

The story begins at a Christmas party in 19th century Nuremberg, and unfolds through the eyes of Marie as her wizardly godfather, Drosselmayer, weaves a magical fantasy. His tale takes her on an extraordinary adventure to the Land of Snow and the Kingdom of the Sugar Plum Fairy. Experience the beautiful choreography of Loyce Houlton danced by Minnesota Dance Theatre company members, guest artists and children of the School, with the brilliant music of Tchaikovsky played by the 44-piece Nutcracker Orchestra and led by Philip Brunelle.

Right now you can get tickets to select performances for only $18 to $37.50 (regular price is $45 – $75), plus a small service fee. Get tickets here!

Free Blackdirt Improv Workshop


Have you wanted to try Imrov but not sure where?  The Blackdirt Theater group is offering a free workshop tomorrow, November 7th from 7-9.  The Black Dirt Theater is located in Hastings and the class will be held at the high school.  More specifics can be found here on the fb event page.

Black Dirt Theater Improv Workshops:

Come and join us for a FREE Improv Workshop. We will be having workshops on November 7th from 7:00-9:00pm at Hastings High School Multi-Purpose Room E-141, and November 9th from 7:00-9:00pm Hastings High School Multi-Purpose Room E-141.

Always wanted to try Improv? Want to brush up on your Improv skills before the audition? Then these workshops are for you! You will get a basic lesson in Improv and an understanding of what the auditions will be like. We will play improv games, do scene work, and work on our storytelling. Wear comfortable clothes, bring an excited attitude and get ready to have some fun.

Balloonacy Is Back At The Children’s Theatre Company

Balloonacy, can simply be described as, the best first play for kids that I’ve seen.  Balloonacy is full of surprises, joy, innocence, laughter and fun.  We’ve been to many plays over the years, so I’m often asked what age should kids first see a play, and what that play should be.  I can now say that Balloonacy is my choice as the perfect first play.  With a simple non-verbal story, one actor, and a balloon it’s a perfect play for the younger age group.  It’s in the small Cargill Stage area, which provides a closer more intimate feel, plus some up close, and personal seating is offered to the kids.  Try to arrive a little early, about 15 minutes or so as they offer some fun activities for the kids, and the adults prior to the show.

Robert Dorfman in Balloonacy Photo Credit Dan Norman


CCT Staff interacting with a younger audience member before the show.

Nationally Award Winning Balloonacy Inspires the Very Young

Featuring Robert Dorfman

Directed by Peter C. Brosius

October 3 – November 12, 2017

Minneapolis, Minn. – Children’s Theatre Company (CTC) will present Balloonacy, written by Barry Kornhauser and recipient of the American Association of Theatre in Education (AATE) Distinguished Play Award. Kornhauser also wrote the script for CTC’s upcoming, world premiere production of Corduroy. Balloonacy will star Robert Dorfman (Broadway: The Lion King; Touring: The Drowsy Chaperone; TV: Boardwalk Empire) who originated the singular role of the Old Man in 2014. Directed by Peter C. Brosius, this production will be the first show he directs in his 20th year as CTC’s Artistic Director. Scenic Design is by Annie Rollins, Costume Design by Mary Anna Culligan, Lighting Design by Rebecca Fuller Jensen (Pinocchio, The Biggest Little House in the Forest, The Cat in the Hat) and Sound Design by CTC’s resident composer/music director Victor Zupanc.

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!

Balloonacy is a tender, non-verbal, physical theatre show that reflects on all stages of friendship,” states Director Peter C. Brosius. “It is both a celebration of the complicated nature of friendship, as well as a call to embrace play, laughter and joy. While this production is designed for preschool age children, it is truly one that multiple generations can come to together and find something in it, no matter what age.”

Reflecting back on the early development of this work, Barry Kornhauser said, “Probably my favorite thing about this little play is its welcoming inclusiveness. Some years back Peter [Brosius] and Elissa [Adams] kindly invited me to join a series of CTC convenings funded by the Bush Foundation to explore approaches to early child development and their application to theater. One of many things made abundantly clear in that process was that early learners come into contact with reality more on a bodily-sensory basis than a linguistic one. Without dialogue, this play becomes accessible to all children.”

Dr. Amy Susman-Stillman, Director of Applied Research and Training at the University of Minnesota is particularly thrilled about CTC’s commitment to creating plays for the very young. “CTC, with the incredible vision and foresight of Peter Brosius, is to be commended for its innovative integration of theatre arts and early childhood education. CTC had been impressively thoughtful about using theory and evidence to continually ensure that their work is developmentally appropriate, engaging and effective. Through its now regularly-occurring preschool productions such as Balloonacy, Early Bridges and Theatre Arts Training programs, CTC is on the forefront of using theatre arts to creatively advance school readiness for all preschoolers.”

The production is presented in the Cargill Theatre with an experience configured particularly for the very young. A CTC original production, Balloonacy opens October 3 and runs through November 12 and is best enjoyed by preschoolers. Lap passes are available for ages 18 months and younger. Individual show tickets can be purchased at childrenstheatre.org or by calling the ticket office at 612.874.0400. Allergy note: The balloons used in this show are latex, however they do not touch or go near the audience at any point during the production.


30 minutes with no intermission


The Ticket Office is accessible by phone two hours prior to most performances.

Email: tickets@childrenstheatre.org (inquiries only, no ticket processing)
Phone: 612.874.0400

Website: childrenstheatre.org

ASL/AD Performance: November 1 at 10:30am & November 4 at 2pm

Lap passes are available for ages 18 months and younger

The show runs now through November 12th.



These Shining Lives

The play These Shining Lives brings us back to a different era, shedding light on how far things have come, and the pain that those before us went through.  Women in the workplace haven’t always had it easy.  In this straight to the point, unforgettable story, we get to feel what these four women must have felt, working for a company that forever changed not only their lives but the lives of countless women.

The play opens tonight October 6th and goes through the 14th at the Phoenix Theater in Uptown Minneapolis.  You can purchase tickets on their website. My age recommendation for this performance is middle school and up, my 13 year old daughter attended the preview night with me and really enjoyed it.  She’s now eager to read more about the lives of the Radium Girls, the real life women depicted in These Shining Lives.  

These Shining Lives by Melanie Marnich, directed by Shalee Coleman

October 6, 7, 9, 13, and 14, 2017.

These Shining Lives chronicles the strength and determination of women considered expendable in their day, exploring their true story and its continued resonance. Catherine and her friends are dying, it’s true; but theirs is a story of survival in its most transcendent sense, as they refuse to allow the company that stole their health to kill their spirits—or endanger the lives of those who come after them. A historical fiction period drama delving into the lives and trial of the 1920 Radium Girls who painted radium numbers onto clock faces, contracted radium poisoning, and fought for justice despite biting criticism.

Children’s Theatre Company’s The Abominables Review + Discount Ticket Code

The unique combination of music, singing, and skating, come together amazingly well in the Abominables.  I have to admit, I had my doubts if we would like this show.  We love theater and enjoy going to plays and musicals, but hockey and skating on stage?  I wondered, if because we aren’t a rough and tumble hockey family, could any of us actually enjoy this musical?

My daughter and I went in with open minds, we laughed and smiled and yes we enjoyed it without a doubt. Right from the start with the first song, a song about Minnesota, I heard the laughter and saw the smiles around me.  I would have to agree with the age suggestions for this one.  The story, the lessons and yes the humor are all geared for the 8 and up. Some of the humor might go above the heads of the younger crowd, but adults, this is one that will have you laughing. With a smaller cast of less than 30 members, it means if you look hard you will see some of the actors and actresses playing multiple roles.  I felt this made it that much more humorous, especially during some of the arena scenes as well as the kitchen scene.

This musical is more than just hockey and music, there’s some really great lessons intertwined in it.  Lessons about loosing something we try so hard to grab onto and winning something that’s right in front of us, and we can’t see it.  Realizing that just because someone is different, we can still learn things from them, great lessons for all ages.   #CTCAbominables

We are also very excited to share with all of our readers, a $10 promo code for tickets.  Click here for more information on the discount.

Minneapolis, Minn. – Children’s Theatre Company (CTC) is proud to bring to the stage, the very first Minnesota hockey musical, The Abominables. Produced in association with New York City’s extraordinary theatre company The Civilians, the musical is written and directed by Steve Cosson with music and lyrics by Michael Friedman and choreography by Joe Chvala. The satirical musical was created over a six-year period through CTC’s Threshold new play development program; the development of which included interviews with over 75 hockey players, coaches and family members across Minnesota at tournaments, games and practices.

“The Abominables began when Michael and I were invited by CTC to immerse ourselves in the world of Minnesota youth hockey to see if we might be inspired to create a musical,” states director and playwright Steve Cosson. “During our research period, our creative team met lots of hockey kids, parents and coaches; we traveled to tournaments and spoke to everyone we could. Armed with some real life material, we then opened up our imaginations, and once the notion of a young hockey-playing yeti showed up, we knew we were onto something.”

“The topic Steve and Michael were interested in exploring was youth sports, which seemed to have transformed, in the course of one generation, from recreational, park and school-based programs to specialized, year-round training with paid coaches and competitive team placement at an early age and the culture that has grown up around that,” Director of New Play Development, Elissa Adams reflects on the beginning of the process.

This production also kicks off Peter C. Brosius’ 20th Anniversary season as CTC’s Artistic Director. “It is exciting to kick off this dynamic season with a brand new musical especially developed with and for Minnesotans. Steve and Michael brought a depth of research to the creation of this new work that their company, The Civilians is especially known for. This hilarious musical is full of heart and insight into our pursuit of success and how we define it.”

Rink rats, hockey moms, tournament weekends and the quest to play your best – It’s tryout season in the Great State of Hockey! Mitch has always played on the A team for the Prairie Lake Blizzards – these are his guys – they’ve played together forever, but he’s worried this could be the year he gets sent down to the B team. When a new “kid” appears at Bantam tryouts, things go from bad to worse. From the land of ice and nice comes the first Minnesota hockey musical! Will you love it? You betcha!

CTC is also offering the opportunity for youth hockey associations to use the show as a fundraiser. For every The Abominables ticket purchased by a youth hockey association’s constituents, CTC will give $4 per ticket to that particular association through August 23, and $2 per ticket through October 15. To participate, associations can contact Regina Hanson, Marketing Manager at rhanson@childrenstheatre.org or by phone at 612.872.5112.

A CTC commissioned world premiere, The Abominables opens September 12 and run through October 15, 2017 on the UnitedHealth Group Stage and is best enjoyed by ages 8+. Individual show tickets and subscriptions can be purchased at childrenstheatre.org or by calling the ticket office at 612.874.0400. This world premiere production is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Ruth Easton Fund of the Edelstein Family Foundation.

Children’s Theatre Company (CTC) is the nation’s largest and most acclaimed theatre for multigenerational audiences. It creates theatre experiences that educate, challenge, and inspire for more than 275,000 people annually. CTC is the only theatre focused on young audiences to win the coveted Tony Award® for Outstanding Regional Theatre and is the only theatre in Minnesota to receive three Tony® nominations (for its production of A Year with Frog and Toad). CTC is committed to producing world class productions at the highest level and to developing new works, more than 200 to date, dramatically changing the canon of work for young audiences.


Minneapolis Children’s Theatre Upcoming The Abominables + Reader Ticket Giveaway!

Most of us will agree, we live in a hockey state. It’s one of, if not the most popular sport in Minnesota. The Minneapolis Children’s Theatre’s upcoming performance, The Abominables will bring the popular sport to the stage.  Just recently, we had the opportunity to get a behind the scenes look at the Abominables.  The Abominables will be a musical performance like nothing we’ve seen before.

The stage becomes an ice arena, taking on the appearance of many of the arenas around our state.  The wood beams look so much like real wood, you would be surprised to find out they aren’t.  The players will be skating during the performance, dressed in full hockey gear.  We had a tour of the prop shop, wig area as well as the costume area.  There are so many great things to see in this performance.  One actor will have at least four different roles, so we will see their hair magically change, to make this happen.  The suggested age for this performance is 8 and up, and I know I have a 13-year-old who is very excited to see it!

Minneapolis, Minn. – Children’s Theatre Company (CTC) is proud to bring to the stage, the very first Minnesota hockey musical, The Abominables. Produced in association with New York City’s extraordinary theatre company The Civilians, the musical is written and directed by Steve Cosson with music and lyrics by Michael Friedman and choreography by Joe Chvala. The musical was created over a four year period through CTC’s Threshold new play development program; the development of which included interviews with over 75 hockey players, coaches and family members across Minnesota at tournaments, games and practices. Minneapolis Children’s Theatre’s performance of The Abominables runs from September 12 to October 15, 2017.

Reader Giveaway: One lucky Thrifty Minnesota reader will win 4  tickets to Minneapolis Children’s Theatre’s upcoming performance, The Abominables. To enter, just complete the entry form below by 11:59pm CT on 9/15/17. Good luck!

Children’s Theatre Company The Abominables Ticket Giveaway

Nature at Washburn Fair Oaks Park

A bit of walking in a park and along the way a live theatre performance, and you have some of Emerson and Thoreau’s “Nature”. The performance is free, however you need to pick a date and time that you wish to attend.  It takes place at the Washburn Fair Oaks Park in Minneapolis.  You can find tickets here. There are 9 dates to choose from, taking place between September 7th-17th.

TigerLion Arts presents Nature, the mythic telling of Emerson and Thoreau’s mutual love affair with the natural world. Grounded in the story of their friendship, this virtuosic production offers a perspective on their lives that is strikingly relevant, richly complex, and yet utterly simple.  Nature is performed outdoors as a “walking play.”  A professional ensemble of actors takes the audience on a journey through the natural environment as scenes unfold around them. Bagpipes, ancient flutes, drums and rich choral arrangements are intricately woven into the experience.

Nature is an extraordinary, family-friendlyjourney that co-mingles story, spirit, and nature, as a means to reconnect its audience with the natural world.

Macalester Costume Sale

Do you love to dress up for Halloween or maybe are involved in community theater?  Whatever the case might be, if you love costumes or are just searching for something specific.  The Macalester Costume Sale is the place to be this weekend.  July 28-29 they are hosting a giant sale to clear out over 40 years of “stuff”.   Make sure to bring cash, as that is the accepted payment.

We’re clearing out our costume stock and tons of stuff is up for sale! 40 years of costumes from over 150 productions from all periods and styles. The sale is the last week-end in July – Friday and Sat. After 2:00 on Sat every thing is $10.00 a bag. 9:00 to 5:00 both days.

Open Eye Figure Theatre Free Puppet Shows

This summer is the 15th year for the Open Eye Figure Theatre Driveway Tour.  The Driveway Tour is a way to experience a puppet show in a variety of locations.  In the past we have attended them in people’s yards, in a park and at the local library.   You can find the schedule and locations here.  There are four different rotating shows that are part of the Driveway Tour schedule.

The 15th Annual Driveway Tour

All summer long we perform puppet shows in backyards, front yards, parks throughout the Twin Cities, bringing communities together with original family-friendly theatre. Since 2003, the Driveway Tour has reached over 50,000 people in more than 620 neighborhoods.

How Do I Attend a Driveway Tour Show?

The Driveway Tour is hosted within communities all around the metro area. All shows are free and open to anyone who wants to attend.

Open Eye Figure Theatre

Children’s Theatre Company – A Year with Frog and Toad – Discount Tickets

Update: While they last, you can get discount tickets for A Year with Frog and Toad HERE.

“A Year with  Frog and Toad” was at the Children’s Theatre about 10 years ago and, if you were lucky enough to see it then, you know why it’s back.  We loved it so much that we hope to go again. I remember the books when I was a kid, and when our girls discovered the books it was a perfect opportunity to take them to the play.  “A Year with Frog and ToadA Year with Frog and Toad” is for all ages and a perfect introduction to theatre for the younger kids who may have not been to a performance yet. It’s also a great performance for the older kids who have been to several plays.  It’s a story about two best friends and all of the regular, as well as the not so regular, day to day things that best friends go through.  Everyone is sure to take away some valuable lessons from Frog and Toad.

Waking from hibernation in the spring, the perky Frog and the worrywart Toad plant gardens, swim, rake leaves, go sledding, and learn life lessons through four, fun-filled seasons. The amphibian odd couple celebrate and rejoice in their differences that make them the best-est of friends while joined by a colorful cast of birds, mice, turtles, and that slo-o-ow snail with the mail. Nominated for three Tony® Awards including Best Musical, this unforgettable and tuneful musical is back on our stage after almost a decade! Don’t miss this exuberant story based on the treasured books by Arnold Lobel in a musical that soars like a kite and blossoms like spring.
A Year with Frog and Toad runs April 18 through June 18, 2017 on the UnitedHealth Group Stage and is recommended for all ages. Tickets are on sale nowon sale now starting at $15.
Reader Giveaway: One lucky Thrifty Minnesota Reader will win 4 tickets to see A Year with Frog and ToadA Year with Frog and Toad. To enter, complete the entry form below by 11:59pm ET on 5/16/17. Good luck!

Children’s Theatre Company A Year with Frog and Toad Ticket Giveaway