Children’s Theatre Company
Minneapolis, Minnesota, January 10 – February 9, 1986

Creative Team

Thomas W. Olson

Thomas W. Olson began his professional theatre career at age 17 as an actor with The Children’s Theatre Company (CTC); he eventually became a member of its resident acting company and also served as stage manager, promotions director, stage director, literary manager, dramaturg for 24 productions by guest playwrights, and, from 1978-1990, as CTC’s resident playwright. To date, CTC has commissioned and produced more scripts by Thomas W. Olson than any other playwright in its history (30 scripts in 45 productions and three national tours), including world premiere adaptations of The Clown of God, Dracula, The Hobbit, The Phantom of the Opera, and his award-winning The Secret Garden. Beyond CTC, nearly a dozen additional original plays and adapted works have received productions by Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (mainstage and national tour), the National Arts Centre of Canada, Alliance Theatre of Atlanta, Arkansas Arts Center, Indiana Repertory Theater, Riverside Shakespeare Theatre and other troupes large and small across North America and beyond. His adaptation of Frankenstein became a nationally-broadcast CBS television special and The Marvelous Land of Oz, for MCA/Universal, appeared on Showtime cable as well as home video.

Judith Luck Sher

Judith Lee Luck, a Milwaukee native, attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison for three years and graduated from Emerson College in Boston. She became an on-air radio personality in the Washington, D.C. area where, besides doing interviews, she reviewed movies and plays. The play, Adventures of Mottel, is based on the unfinished Sholom Aleichem novel, as well as on the memories of her parents who had emigrated to the United States in the 1920’s from the Russian Pale of Settlement. She and her husband live in the Twin Cities. She is a Lifetime Member of the Dramatists Guild of America.

Jon Cranney

A man of international repute, Jon Cranney was the Artistic Director of The Children’s Theatre Company (CTC) in Minneapolis, Minnesota from 1984-1997. He credits his education in the professional theatre to a 13-year tenure at Minneapolis’s acclaimed repertory stage, The Guthrie Theater. There he served in a number of capacities, including actor, director, stage manager and artistic administrator, under the leadership of such eminent directors and teachers as Michael Langham and founder Tyrone Guthrie. Accustomed to working with the classic texts of Sophocles, Shakespeare and Molière, at the CTC, Mr. Cranney presented a repertoire of classics in children’s literature, such as Little Women, Madeline’s Rescue and The Hobbit. He was at the forefront in establishing The CTC’s tradition of taking a book’s illustrations, page by page, and adapting them with magical precision to the stage. Mr. Cranney has led exchanges with the largest children’s theatres in the former Soviet Union and China, directing respectively, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins.

CLICK HERE to read “Jewish Tale of Emigrants: A Children’s Theatre First”