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Children's Theatre of Charlotte announces virtual season
Four productions scheduled for 2020-21
Published Monday, September 28, 2020 4:00 pm
by Ashley Mahoney | The Charlotte Post

"GRIMMZ Fairy Tales" is among four productions of Children's Theatre of Charlotte's 73rd season – performed virtually – starting in December.

The show will go on for Children’s Theatre of Charlotte.

The 73rd season will take place virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic with shows performed by actors from the theater’s resident touring company. Shows will be professionally filmed and made available through Broadway On Demand’s streaming service. Tickets, or access, can be purchased for the entire season or to an individual show. The virtual season will also include cast and creative team bios as well as behind the scenes content.

“While the past several months have been challenging for us, they have also granted us some wonderful opportunities to assess our past and look to the hope of a new future,” Children’s Theatre of Charlotte artistic director Adam Burke said in a statement. “This season is a statement about our continuing commitment to developing new plays and recognizing new voices. It is also a statement about our commitment to representing and celebrating the rich diversity of our community. Finally, and most importantly, it is a look at the world through the wonder and imagination of our young audiences’ eyes as they face the uncertainty and challenge of what it means to be young today.”

The four-show season begins in December with “The Velveteen Rabbit” adapted by Michelle Hoppe-Long from Margery Williams’ story for all ages. It focuses on the themes of unconditional love, friendship and becoming who you want to be.

The season continues in January with “GRIMMZ Fairy Tales,” which is designed for children who are at least 7 years old. Director Christopher Parks and actors Ron Lee McGill and Rahsheem Shabazz began working on the concept in 2018 by spinning classic fairytales to the sounds of hip-hop. The locally crafted story follows hip-hop stars Jay and Will Grimmz, played by Shabazz and McGill respectively. The duo has nine Granny – not Grammy – awards and a Great Granny Award. The show includes all the classics, but with a twist: “Snow White and Seven Shawties,” “Down with Rapunzel,” “Hanzel & Gretel: Lost in the Hood” and “Break, Cinderella, Break!”

“Hip-hop, the genre, in and of itself evolved from grim situations,” McGill said in an interview earlier this year. “The Grimms’ tales and hip-hop really go hand-in-hand in a way that we really hope to convey in the show.”

Said Shabazz: “‘Grimm’s Fairytales’ relate to children’s lives even today. Some of the things that these characters go through, such as Cinderella, who has to move into a new house with a new family, or Rapunzel who is locked in a tower and just wants to see the world and experience things, sometimes parents hold their children back from seeing those things, or don’t understand what a child is going through when they have to move into a new house with a new family, or if their parents are getting divorced. …[These] are things these Grimms’ stories speak to. We are able to take that hip-hop element, and add it to that grim situation—we can create something so beautiful.”

“My Wonderful Birthday Suit” picks up where “GRIMMZ Fairy Tales” left off in February, combining music and puppetry for a lesson on friendship, honesty and kindness.  Gloria Bond Clunie’s work is suitable for ages 4 and up.

The season concludes in March with “Tropical Secrets: Holocaust Refugees in Cuba,” which is appropriate for ages 8 and older. Margarita Engle’s work, adapted for the stage by L.M. Feldman and commissioned as part of Children’s Theatre’s Kindness Project, focuses on a story of compassion against the backdrop of the Holocaust. Daniel is an 11-year-old boy who escaped Nazi Germany. In Havana, he befriends Paloma, who is a native Cuban. The story explores immigration, kindness and history.

For more information: http://bit.ly/CTC-2021-public


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