Jun 21 2010

Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis

When it comes to taking my kids to theatre productions, I’m always conflicted.  On the one hand, I want to expose them to music, theatre, and other fine arts.  On the other hand, many shows are quite expensive.  What’s a mother of four to do?

For years I had dreamed of taking the kids to a show at Minneapolis’ Children’s Theatre Company.  We’ve been to good shows at Old Log Theatre and Stages Theatre Company, but CTC’s inviting productions, with ticket prices of $20-$40 or more, were beyond the reach of my pocketbook.

Then I read about Goldstar * half-price tickets to theater, concerts, comedy and sports in John Ewoldt’s Star Tribune Dollars and Sense column.  This half-price ticket outlet includes a number of Minneapolis-St. Paul venues, including Children’s Theatre Company.  For the slightly more affordable half-price tickets, I decided to splurge and take the kids to see Mulan, Jr.

Its run closed this week, so details about the show won’t help you much now, but I will say that I was really impressed from start to finish.  The seats were comfortable (although my lightweight daughters had a bit of difficulty keeping them from folding up), and there isn’t a bad seat in the house.  Intermission instructions were clearly given, and snacks were for sale in a fast-moving concession line that gave little tummies time to fill up before the show resumed.  Staff were polite and helpful.

Most of all, the show was excellent.  After watching Mulan, Jr., I thought perhaps it was a professional traveling production, like many of the shows at the Ordway.  But no, this was a local production, developed by CTC with local talent.  It was very impressive.

The only thing I wished I’d known more about before going in was the setup of the theatre.  After picking up our tickets at the box office, we had about 30 minutes before the 11:00 curtain time.  We used this time to make a quick stop at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, which is in the same building, before ascending the stairs to the theatre.  What I did not know was that there is a lobby up those stairs, where many people were enjoying snacks and concessions before the show, which ran through the lunch hour.  Had I known this, I would have bought the kids some milk or cookies before the production began.

Parking is free in several lots and a garage within a block of the theatre, and if you have the time while you’re in the area, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts is always free to visit.

I would love to return to Children’s Theatre Company again with my children, and it’s a distinct possibility if Goldstar continues to have discount tickets available.  At full price, however, it’s not an outing I can easily afford.  Group tickets are available, so if you have a group of friends, or can attend with a school or ECFE group, the prices will have a good discount.

The 2009-2010 CTC season is wrapping up, and tickets for 2010-2011 are now on sale.  Annie, Babe, and A Christmas Story have all caught my eye for the upcoming season.

Do you have a favorite theatre that hosts productions especially for children?

More about the Children’s Theatre Company at Uptake.

* Affiliate link

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One comment so far

One Comment to “Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis”

  1. What a great write-up! We’re thrilled you found Children’s Theatre Company, and we’re even more thrilled you and your children had such a great experience!

    Here are a couple more savings tips for families, straight from the theatre itself:

    1. Subscribe. Many of us at the theatre have families ourselves, and we’ve applied our experiences to our packaging this season. We now have several accessible packages offering tickets for as much as half off regular prices. Call the ticket office at 612.874.0400 and ask about our affordable access packages.

    2. Consider preview performances. These low cost options provide huge savings in exchange for seeing the productions prior to opening night.

    3. Join our Facebook fan community. Often we post deals, contests and other means of obtaining discounts on tickets.

    4. Join our email newsletter list. It’s completely free, we don’t bombard you, and often this is the vehicle we use to promote offers, deals and other opportunities to see shows.

    5. Lastly, the theatre offers many programs for families that simply don’t have the means to purchase tickets, even when discounted by half. These programs, such as our popular Pay What You Can offer families the opportunity to purchase tickets for as little as $3 each for select performances.

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