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Release: Jan. 11, 2002

Children's Theatre Company returns to Hancher Feb. 2 with 'Grimm Tales'

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The Children's Theatre Company, America's leading theater company for children and their families, will return to the University of Iowa Hancher Auditorium with "Grimm Tales" at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2.

School groups from throughout the region will travel to Hancher for three additional performances, presented Jan. 30 - Feb. 1 as part of the auditorium's Stage Door educational series, and students from more than a dozen schools throughout the state will connect with CTC actors Michael Lee and Ova Seoping through the ICN on Jan. 18.

Through the Arts Across the Curriculum Project, co-sponsored by Hancher and the UI Arts Share Program, Lee and Seoping will visit 12 schools Jan. 7-25 in a series of workshops and community events related to the CTC production.

The Arts Across the Curriculum schools are Wellman Elementary and Mid-Prairie Middle School, Johnson School of the Arts and McKinley Middle School in Cedar Rapids, Hoover Elementary and West Branch Middle School, Roundy Elementary and Columbus Junction Middle School, Horace Mann Elementary and Roosevelt Elementary in Iowa City, and Washington Elementary and Mt. Vernon Middle School.

A musical staging of four favorite tales from the Brothers Grimm -- known in America as "Cinderella," "The Golden Goose," "Little Red Riding Hood" and "The Tortoise and the Hare" -- "Grimm Tales" was premiered at the Young Vic Company in London.

Peter C. Brosius, artistic director of the Children's Theatre Company (CTC), comments, "This wildly theatrical rendition of 'Ashputtel' (Cinderella), 'Little Red Cap' (Little Red Riding Hood), 'The Hare and the Hedge Hog' (The Tortoise and the Hare), and 'The Golden Goose' originally premiered to great acclaim at the Young Vic in London and has since delighted audiences in New York and Philadelphia.

"Performed by six versatile actors, each tale will be told in different theatrical styles, chosen to emphasize their unique beauty, comedy, power, and fun."

The critic of the New York Times called "Grimm Tales" "a bold, inventive, enchanting theatrical endeavor," and Daily Variety recommended it as "an ideal entertainment for audiences of any age."

CTC, headquartered in the Twin Cities, has been dedicated to advancing the art of theater for families and young audiences since 1965. Today, the Theatre's public and school matinee mainstage performances, education classes, and tour shows are attended by more than 340,000 people annually -- including regular visits to Hancher.

The company's reputation was built on a history of adapting classic children's literature ("Little Women," "The Wind in the Willows," "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm") and storybooks ("Madeline's Rescue," "Dr. Seuss' The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins," "The Story of Babar, the little elephant").

Since 1997, artistic director Peter C. Brosius has broadened that artistic mission by adding nationally and internationally recognized plays ("Mr. A's Amazing Maze Plays," "Afternoon of the Elves, A Village Fable") as well as newly commissioned scripts ("Starry Messenger: A Fantasia on the Life of Galileo," "Wondrous Tales of Old Japan," "Tremendously Tall Tales by Capt. Eddie B. Brown's Traveling All-Star Yokels," "Mississippi Panorama) to the CTC repertoire.

The Children's Theatre Company began as The Moppet Players, a small company, which produced creative dramatics, dance and theatre for children. In 1965, The Moppet Players moved into Minneapolis Institute of Arts and in 1975 was incorporated as The Children's Theatre Company.

In 1972, the Rockefeller Foundation awarded CTC two substantial grants which encouraged the production of new plays for families and enlisted the talents of established theater professionals. The Children's Theatre Company recently received the 2000 National Theatre Conference's Outstanding Achievement Award. CTC also received its fourth Artist-in-Residence grant in two years from Theatre Communications Group -- an unprecedented accomplishment for any American theater.

In addition to other national awards and recognitions, CTC is also the only theater for young people -- and the only theater in the Midwest -- to receive the Margo Jones Award for Excellence in Regional Theatre.

The CTC public performances are supported by Hancher Guild, the auditorium's volunteer group, through sales in the Hancher Showcase gift shop. The Showcase is operated and staffed by members of Hancher Guild. Sponsors of the Arts Across the Curriculum Project are Alliant Energy Foundation, Dain Rauscher, the DeMuth Family Foundation, Homer E. and Genevieve B. Dudley, Phyllis Fleming, M.C. Ginsberg Objects of Art, Doug Hanson and Sue Deibner, Hills Bank and Trust Company, Scott A. and Jan. A. Johnson, Sheraton Iowa City Hotel, and Herbert A. and Janice A. Wilson.

Tickets for the Feb. 2 performances are $22 for adults, $17.60 for senior citizens, $11 for youth (17 and younger) and $10 for UI students.

Hancher Auditorium box office business hours are 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays. From the local calling area, dial (319) 335-1160. Long distance is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. Fax to (319) 353-2284. People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services should dial (319) 335-1158, which is equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology. Tickets may be ordered on-line 24 hours a day, seven days a week through Hancher's website:< >.

Orders may be charged to VISA, MasterCard or American Express. UI students may charge their purchases to their university bills, and UI faculty and staff may select the option of payroll deduction. Information and brochures may be requested by e-mail: <>.

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit <>. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact <>. Visit the CTC's touring page at < >.