The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati Re-Imagines 101st Season!

TCTC_Four SeasonsA season where you press PLAY to see the play 

Cincinnati – The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati (TCT) originally announced that Disney Channel’s smash hit movie musical, Disney’s Descendants, would open the theatre’s 2020-21 MainStage Season, followed by ELF THe Musical Jr., Doctor Dolittle Jr., and the world-premiere musical, Princess & Frog.  For the safety of patrons and artists, and anticipated restrictions for large gatherings, the nation’s oldest children’s theatre has decided to postpone these productions to the 2021-22 season.

Fear not! TCT has announced plans to replace the shows with four productions guaranteed to wow young and old alike, while keeping safety a priority. The new line-up includes in-person performances for those who would like to experience a socially-distanced live show, and digital experiences for those who would prefer to enjoy the production from the comfort of their home.

TCT’s Producing Artistic Director, Roderick Justice, says: “While we are sad Season 101 will be postponed, we are elated to announce a new re-imagined season, keeping audiences and artists safe while keeping mission in focus. As a theatre for young people which normally serves over 200,000 each season, we had to make some dramatic changes and start from scratch to curate a new season of titles which also grants us the license to stream the productions digitally.”

TCT’s first three MainStage shows will take place on the Ralph and Patricia Corbett SHOWTIME STAGE at TCT’s Red Bank location. Seating will be very limited, demand is high, and performances are expected to sell out quickly.

In April 2021, last season’s postponed TCT production of ROALD DAHL’S MATILDA THE MUSICAL JR. will take place at THE TAFT THEATRE in Downtown Cincinnati. TCT will follow all State and CDC guidelines with reduced capacity seating models and safety protocols in place as necessary.

“Accessibility to our programming is incredibly important right now,” says Kim Kern, TCT’s Managing Director and CEO. “The stories we tell give families hope and joy as we look to the future.  Due to the limited capacity of our Showtime Stage, TCT’s first three productions will be available to purchase digitally though our website in partnership with Broadway on Demand.”

Tralen Doler, Vice President of Broadway On Demand says, “Broadway On Demand is thrilled to have TCT joining our platform. Their innovation and dedication to creating art in these times is inspiring and exactly what we hope for in a partner. We look forward to sharing their thrilling work with viewers around the world.”

In addition, the TCT Creative Team has been working diligently to create and debut new safety protocols to protect the audience, staff, and the actors on stage.  Nose and mouth coverings will be integrated into many costumes and pre-recorded vocal amplification will be used to reduce the amount of respiration created by actors during a performance.

“The theatre has been using masks since 600BC!” Justice says. “I’m actually quite excited to wrap our imaginations around some creative storytelling solutions to provide unique theatre utilizing mask work and pantomime!”

The shows featured in TCT’s reimagined MainStage Season include:


  • THE VELVETEEN RABBIT:  November 12 – December 13, 2020
  • GARFIELD: THE MUSICAL WITH CATTITUDE:  January 21 – February 14, 2021
  • RAPUNZEL’S HAIRY FAIRY TALE:  February 25 – March 21, 2021


  • ROALD DAHL’S MATILDA THE MUSICAL JR.:  April 17- April 25, 2021 (Not available digitally.) 

About the MainStage Shows

Public Performances: November 12 – December 13, 2020
Available digitally beginning November 19, 2020
Ideal for ages ALL AGES
Directed by Roderick Justice

Margery Williams’ award-winning classic tale of a stuffed toy rabbit made real by a child’s enduring love is retold in a modern and delightfully electric holiday musical. In an era of virtual reality and Minecraft, this musical captures the joy and magic of the book you know and love, with a 16-bit digital twist. This happy, hoppy, holiday show will get the entire family into the spirit of the season.

Credits: Adapted by William S. Kilborne Jr and Albert T. Viola. Music by Albert T. Viola. Lyrics by William S. Kilborne, Jr.

Public Performances: January 21 – February 14, 2021
Available digitally beginning February 4, 2021
Ideal for ages ALL AGES
Directed by Eric Byrd

In this musical adaptation of everyone’s favorite sarcastic tubby tabby, Garfield awakens to find his birthday – the most important day of the year – has fallen on a Monday. The horror! To make matters worse, all his friends – Jon, Odie, Arlene, and even his nemesis, Nermal – have completely forgotten it’s his big day. Only his beloved teddy bear, Pookie, understands his disappointment. Feeling rejected, Garfield leaves the comforts of home but soon realizes in the outside there’s no T.V., the food is garbage (literally), and animal control is always just around the corner.  In the end, Garfield learns little things like, you know, the value of friendship and that “home is where the heart – and the food – is.

Credits: Based on the Comic Strip Garfield by Jim Davis / Book by Michael J. Bobbitt and Jim Davis.  Music and Lyrics by John L. Cornelius II. 

Public Performances: February 25-March 21, 2021
Available digitally beginning March 4, 2021
Ideal for ages ALL AGES
Directed by Eric Byrd

The classic fairy tale of “Rapunzel” comes to life in an exciting world-premiere musical adaptation adventure featuring everyone’s favorite long-locked lady in a tower. But don’t forget the array of other characters braided in this hairy fairy tale, comically played by only two actors! Yes, your read that correctly. ONLY TWO ACTORS! This fresh new adaptation will make your audiences throw their heads of hair back in laughter and delight as two incredibly talented and versatile actors untangle this hairy fairy tale like you’ve never seen it before!

Public Performances: April 17-18, 23-25, 2021
Not available digitally
Ideal for ages 4+
Directed by Nate Bertone

Broadway’s biggest little hero, Matilda, is an extraordinary girl with a vivid imagination. Unloved by her cruel parents, Matilda is armed with astonishing wit, intelligence and mysterious powers. At school, she catches the eye of her sweet schoolteacher, Miss Honey, but also the mean headmistress, Miss Trunchbull, who loves to think of clever ways to punish children. Matilda and Miss Honey have a profound effect on each other and together they dare to take a stand against Miss Trunchbull to change their destiny.

Credits: Book by Dennis Kelly. Music and Lyrics by Tim Minchin.

Season Subscriptions and Individual Tickets
Current subscribers to the postponed 2020-21 MainStage Season will be refunded, but will be able to secure the same seats for the 2021-22 Season. All subscribers from our 2019-20 season will also be able to secure the same seats for the 2021-22 season. Prices for the re-imagined 2020-21 Season range from $25-$30 for all live shows**. Access to each Broadway On Demand production is $15. A pre-sale price of $12 is available until shows begin streaming.  Details as to how to purchase shows through Broadway on Demand coming soon to TCT’s website.  Tickets for the live performances will be available beginning today, August 24, and can be purchased on TCT’s website: Due to capacity restrictions, performances may sell out very quickly.    

Showtimes **
Live performances located at the RED BANK facility will take place Thursdays and Fridays at 7pm, Saturdays at 11am, 2pm, and 5pm, and Sundays at 2pm and 5pm. At THE TAFT THEATRE, performances will take place Friday at 7pm, Saturdays at 11am, 2pm and 5pm, and Sundays at 2pm and 5pm. Mandatory masks and social distancing will be required.

ALS interpretation and audio description will be offered for ROALD DAHL’S MATILDA THE MUSICAL JR. on the first Saturday at 2 PM performance at the Taft Theatre. Sensory-friendly performances will be announced at a later date.

TCT on Tour:
The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati’s touring season has also been redesigned with the ability to perform shows at schools and community venues either in-person or through two different styles of digital presentations: A streamed version of the show through Broadway on Demand, or our brand new “Pick-A-Path” Series, where audiences choose their own adventure and get to decide which way they want the story to end. This blended interactive storytelling gives them an experience they will never forget. In-person performances will include a live, post-show talk-back with actors to engage students in the production’s message. For digital performances, teachers will have the opportunity to schedule a live, post-show talk-back via Zoom.

“Pick a Path” is in partnership with Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, and titles include: JAQUELINE AND THE BEANSTALK, Harriet Tubman: Straight Up Outta’ the Underground, and MARTIN’S DREAMFor details or to book one of our touring experiences, email

TCT Academy:
TCT’s Virtual Summer Camp was a huge success with more than 160 students participating.  TCT’s Fall Academy programming is ready to offer students virtual training experiences. Details about the virtual sessions and registration is available at Registration for the first seven-week Fall session ends September 1.

The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati is supported by ArtsWave and the generosity of tens of thousands of contributors to the ArtsWave Community Campaign.  The Ohio Arts Council helped fund this program with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans.

** Live productions are subject to capacity restrictions and safety protocol through the CDC and the State of Ohio and may be converted to a digital ticket if the performance must be canceled for any reason due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


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