Arts and culture

Children’s Theatre Company helps build a strong community in the Twin Cities


A new play sponsored by RBC Wealth Management is bringing a uniquely Minnesotan tale to the stage.

Called “The Abominables,” the play is a world-premiere musical that recently debuted at Children’s Theatre Company (CTC) in Minneapolis. “The Abominables” involves a young boy aiming to join the A-team in his youth hockey league, which is complicated by the arrival of a new family to town with a son who happens to be a literal Yeti.

Eric Anderson, a financial advisor in RBC Wealth Management’s Minneapolis office who serves on the CTC’s board of governors, says he’s excited about how the play appeals to hockey families.

the abominables

“You’re bringing sports and hockey to the theater, which are usually completely separate,” Anderson says, adding that he hopes many of the families the play will draw in are newcomers to the theater.

Bringing in new audiences through world premieres like “The Abominables” is just one way that CTC aims to connect the local community with the benefits of live theater experiences.

Bringing theater to the community – young and old

Although CTC has “children” in its title, the organization aims to serve everyone in the community, young and old. The shows feature adults in the cast as well as children, and the plays can be enjoyed by all ages, says Peter Kaiser, CTC’s corporate relations manager.

“We do shows that are enjoyable not only for kids, but for the parents and entire family,” Kaiser says. “We bring new works and classics that are done with care and thought for a young audience, but with a production value that will be enjoyable for everyone that comes to see our shows.”

children of childrens theatre company dancing in classroom

Children engaged in a CTC Theatre Arts Training classroom. Photo courtesy of Children’s Theatre Company.

But CTC does more than simply put on shows – the organization aims to connect the theater with as many people in the community as possible. CTC’s ACT Pass program provides financial aid to help people attend CTC performances, classes and camps. Through ACT Pass, low-income families and individuals can buy tickets to CTC shows for only $5, and can qualify for scholarships for CTC’s Theatre Arts Training opportunities. The organization plans to serve 10,000 people this year through the program, according to Kaiser.

“We see art as a fantastic way for kids to find their own story, to be the storyteller of their own lives,” Kaiser says. “We want to make sure that no family, regardless of income, is excluded from that opportunity.”

CTC also partners with Target each year on a student matinee program, helping 3,800 second-grade students in Minneapolis Public Schools see a show for free. Additionally, through its Neighborhood Bridges program, the theater partners with local schools to bring research-based storytelling activities to the classroom.

Eric Anderson at childrens theater with family

RBC Wealth Management financial advisor Eric Anderson, who serves on the board of governors of the Children’s Theatre Company, with his family. Photo courtesy of Eric Anderson.

Because of that commitment to remaining accessible and connecting with the community, RBC Wealth Management has been a donor to CTC for nearly 30 years. That support has helped CTC continue to put on original productions like “The Abominables” and contribute to a very strong theater community in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.

“RBC has been a consistent supporter, helping us provide education and access to the community,” Kaiser says.

And that’s good news for the people who live in the region, Anderson thinks.

“I think it’s very important for a city to have strong theater, because the theater is a place where families can get together and enjoy the arts and grow together,” Anderson says. “You can learn a lot about life by going to the theater.”


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