Skip to main content

Children's Theatre Company records

Identifier: PA099

Scope and Content Note

The collection contains administrative records, education records, production materials, publicity, and audio and photographic materials created by and about the Children's Theatre Company (CTC) and staff. Administrative files include Board of Directors meeting minutes and materials, correspondence, facilities, financials, general operation and personnel files. Artistic series materials cover the work of season planning, copyright and acquistions as well as research and touring. Development includes department files, event materials and funding records. Education records pertain to educational programs and activities conducted by CTC, including some records on the Children's Theatre Company and School (circa 1980s), the Neighborhood Bridges program, the Summer Neighborhood Arts Program, and the administrative records of the Education Department. The Marketing series includes department files and publicity such as posters, press clippings and releases, and season publications. Production materials created by CTC are split into three subseries: Costume Shop materials, Production Books, and Show Files. Show Files contain scripts, designs, reports, schedules, correspondence, and other records created during the mounting of a production. Other materials include books, ephemera, audio cassette tapes, VHS tapes, LP records, as well as photographs, negatives and slides.

This is an ongoing collection. The finding aid is updated as materials are made available.


  • 1961-2015

Language of Materials


Restrictions on Access

Access to the collection is open and available for research and scholarly study. Those who may seek access to Archival Materials for commercial purposes, access will not be allowed unless expressly authorized by CTC’s Managing Director in writing.

Please contact Performing Arts Archives staff for more information or to access the collection.

Restrictions on Use

This collection may be protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and to obtain all necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials. Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provision of the copyright law.

Historical Note

The Children's Theatre Company (CTC) is a Minneapolis-based theater company for young people and families, established in 1965 by John Clark Donahue. The creation of Children's Theater Company came out of the experiences of The Moppet Players, a troupe founded in 1961 in order to provide opportunities for artistic expression to inner-city kids living in Minneapolis, and the wish to create a regional theater company for young people.

Through the 1960s and 1970s, the Children’s Theatre Company frequently adapted fairy tales for stage, including productions such as Hansel and Gretel, The Little Match Girl,and Sleeping Beauty. The Children's Theater Company programming also included original storytelling for stage and well-received original productions such as Good Morning, Mr. Tillie and The Cookie Jar . In the early 1970s the Children's Theater Company created a theater school in order to train young actors for company productions, making it one of the first children's theaters in the country to make young actor training a regular component of the company's activities.

Jon Cranney was named Artistic Director in 1985, focusing the Children Theatre Companies repertoire on new adaptations of classic stories from children's literature, including several premieres of productions based on the works of Beatrix Potter, Tomie dePaolo, and Dr. Seuss. The company also had an emphasis on touring and international artistic exchange, including two high-profile tours in Moscow and Shanghai during the late eighties and nineties.

In 1997, Peter Brosius was appointed Artistic Director and under his direction the company continues their tradition of producing high-quality theatrical experiences for young performers and audiences. The theater's ongoing commitment to education resulted in the development of the nationally-recognized Neighborhood Bridges Program, a program designed to use theater and performance to develop literacy skills in young adults, and in 2003 it became the first children's theater company to win a Tony Award for Best Regional Theatre. The Children's Theater continues to commission new work and produce adaptations of stories from children's literature, and actively includes premieres of such adaptations in their regular season.


320 Linear Feet (302 boxes, oversize on shelf)


The collection contains administrative records, education records, production materials, publicity, and audio and photographic materials created by and about the Children's Theatre Company (CTC) and staff.


The collection contains the following series:

  1. Administrative
  2. Artistic
  3. Development
  4. Education
  5. Marketing
  6. Production
  7. Audio
  8. Books
  9. Born-Digital Records
  10. Ephemera
  11. Photographs, Negatives and Slides

Physical Location



The collection was donated to the Performing Arts Archives by the Children's Theatre Company's Board of Directors in 2013.

Related Material

Related collections in the University of Minnesota Libraries include: The Moppet Players records (PA142) Association for The Children's Theatre (ACT) records (PA141); Steven Rydberg papers (PA139).

A complete list of Children's Theatre Company productions can be found on the Children's Theatre Company website.

Processing Information

Collection was processed and finding aid written between 2014-2015.

Children's Theatre Company 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