MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis is considered the “flagship” theatre for multi-generational works across the country. A big reason why, the theater’s artistic director who has been at the helm for 20 years.
Peter C. Brosius left a theatre in the Aloha State for snow and what he calls an incredible arts scene. He calls trading Hawaii for Minnesota an easy decision all because of where he would be working, The Children’s Theatre Company.
After all it was named the No. 1 children’s theatre in the nation by TIME magazine. It’s his dedication to the arts for the last two decades that makes Peter C. Brosius a Minnesotan to Meet.
“My mother was in community theater so I literally can’t remember a night when we weren’t slamming food and rushing off to rehearsal,” said Peter C. Brosius with a smile. “I was really lucky being in theater was a joy, also as a kid when you’re working with adults you’re treated as an equal.”
For Brosius theatre was always a family affair. Some of his most fond memories as a kid are from productions. Initially he wanted to be a lawyer, but he decided the stage was better suited for his personality. While working at a theatre in Hawaii twenty years ago he got offered the job of a lifetime to come work at Children’s Theatre Company.
“I knew there was nothing like the community of the Twin Cities with its commitment to education and young people and the cultural life here is just incredible,” said Brosius
Under his direction of CTC the Edina resident has created 63 new plays for Twin Cities audiences and received a Tony Award for Regional Theatre Excellence. They are the only theatre for young audiences to receive the award. Not only that, Brosius brought Teen Programming to the theatre in 2001 and in 2005 he launched preschool programing.
“It is so much fun, so joyous and also so urgent, it’s the greatest return on investment you can possibly do. When you invest in that two to five year-old, you’re making such a difference for the rest of their lives,” he said while he discussed the pre-school programming.
For some of these acts CTC is just a launching pad. Seedfolks, which was created under Peter’s direction, toured in Chicago, Los Angeles and then Capetwon, South Africa.
“It is such a joy to know the work we create here is having a national life,” he said.
Capturing Brosius’ attention this Christmas season: The return of Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
“The first time the audience sees the Grinch you just see a giant green paw land on the head of the poor young Max,” said Brosius while showing WCCO’s Ali Lucia the stage.
He said this story never gets old and for Brosius it all starts with the story behind the story.
“Why did he right it and what was radical about it was his first villain? What kind of villain in is this and we start by that kind of research,” Brosius said.
In this year’s performance Peter says his team at CTC re-imagined scenes and added knew technical elements.
“There’s never been video production into the Grinch’s mind, so we’ve done that,” he said as he shared a few teasers for what the audience can expect this year.
No matter the production Peter C. Brosius said he’s always reminded why he’s here – the kids.
“We think this is the most important audience that there can possibly be because the pieces that we show to a young person can stay with them their entire life,” said Brosius.
You can see Dr. Seuss’s “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” at CTC. It’s approximately 1 hour and 50 minutes, including a 15-minute intermission. It’s playing until January 7th.