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The Moppet Players records

Identifier: PA142

Scope and Content Note

The collection contains press clippings and photographs from the four seasons of The Moppet Players, 1961-1965, and information about performance spaces at Mama Rosa's restaurant and the abandoned police station. It also includes histories and production summaries written by Beth Linnerson Daly.


  • 1958-2016, bulk 1961-1965

Language of Materials


Restrictions on Access

The collection is open and available for use by researchers in the Andersen Library Reading Room.

Restrictions on Use

The script "The ABC's" is protected by copyright; royalties are expected for performance. Copyright is retained by the copyright holders.

Historial Note

The Moppet Players was the first full-time theatre for children in Minnesota, founded by Beth Linnerson in 1961 in Minneapolis. While graduating from the University of Minnesota and working as a waitress at Mama Rosa's Restaurant in the Seven Corners area, she was offered an empty performance space in a side room at the restaurant. Along with other local theatre professionals, she developed a series of children's shows performed on the tiny 10' X 10' stage.

After one season, Linnerson, along with Martha Boesing (later founder of At the Foot of the Mountain Theater) relocated the burgeoning theatre to an abandoned police station owned by Pillsbury Settlement House. Arrangements were made with the Pillsbury-Waite Settlement Houses, both social service organizations, to provide activities for neighborhood youth. The Moppets' mission expanded beyond theatre for entertainment to include the idea of teaching and working with the local community through the arts.

John Donahue joined the theatre group in the second season as scene designer and technical director. By the fall of 1964 a division had begun between Linnerson and Donahue's vision of working with and for children through theatre. Additionally, the building where The Moppet's performed was about to be razed. Linnerson moved The Moppets to The St. Paul Arts and Science Center. Donahue in turn partnered with the Minneapolis Institute of Art and eventually established the Children's Theatre Company (CTC).

The Children's Theatre Company (CTC) remains in operation, and has become one of the largest theatres for young people in the world. CTC continues to acknowledge The Moppet Players as the foundation of the organization's history.


1 box (1 box)


Includes press clippings and photographs of the children's theater group The Moppet Players.


The collection is organized in the following series:

  1. First Season
  2. Second Season
  3. Third Season
  4. Fourth Season
  5. History

Physical Location



The collection was donated to the Performing Arts Archives by Beth Linnerson-Daly in 2015-2016.

Related Material

Related collections at the University of Minnesota Libraries include: Children's Theatre Company records (PA099).

Processing Information

The collection was processed and the finding aid written by Joanne Gordon and Kate McManus, 2015-2016.

The Moppet Players records
Kathryn Hujda
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Performing Arts Archives Collecting Area