SCCT’s new season speaks to girl power, Christmas, courage, friendship

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The South Carolina Children's Theatre announces its 2019-20 season lineup. Photo provided.

South Carolina Children’s Theatre’s 2019-20 MainStage season takes audiences on journeys to Narnia, Italy, and beyond as SCCT also makes its way to a new location in 2020. 

“We’re journeying to our new home, so all of our shows are, as well,” artistic and education director Betsy Bisson says. “They’re all fighting to a journey to get to the end result.”

From girl power and the meaning of Christmas to fighting evil and helping friends, SCCT’s upcoming season will warm hearts of both children and adults with its strong messages.

“Ella Enchanted: The Musical” (Sept. 7-22, 2019; Peace Center’s Gunter Theatre)

The season opens with the tale of young Ella, who has a special “gift” of obedience. Based on Gail Carson Levine’s book, “Ella Enchanted” shows a girl on a quest to solve her own problems. “We love it because it’s girl power,” Bisson says. “It’s all about how you’ve been dealt this hand in life. But you’re not willing to accept it, and you don’t need a prince to fix it for you.” 

Ella and the prince’s relationship also shares a strong message of friendship. “They know each other for a long time through correspondence,” Bisson says of the two characters. “They improve each other.”

“A Charlie Brown Christmas” (Nov. 29-Dec. 8, 2019: Gunter Theatre)

Just in time for the holidays, Charlie Brown’s classic TV special comes to life on stage. While the town is busy writing letters to Santa and hanging stockings, Charlie feels discouraged by the commercialization of the holiday. So, he sets out on a mission to save Christmas by reminding everyone of its meaning.

“This is a family-tradition kind of show,” Bisson says. “It’s a chance for families to get together remembering the true meaning of Christmas.”

“The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” (Jan. 25-Feb. 2, 2020; Gunter Theatre)

True to C.S. Lewis’ classic, the Narnia story follows siblings Lucy, Edmund, Susan, and Peter on a magical journey to save Narnia. Battling the evil White Witch and making new friends along the way, the four restore peace to the land.

“It isn’t all super sweetness and rainbows, so it’s got some teeth to it,” Bisson says. “But it is exactly the book that my generation grew up with and many since. It’s got all that epic good-versus-evil.”

“Curious George: The Golden Meatball(April 25-May 3, 2020; Gunter Theatre)

The little monkey is back at it again — helping friends and causing chaos. Chef Pisghetti, whom George believes to be the best meatball chef, needs help to beat the new meatball maker in town. 

George is determined for Pisghetti’s meatballs to win The Golden Meatball Contest, but George doesn’t know the chef’s secret ingredient. “We find out that the secret ingredient in Chef Pisghetti’s meatballs is love,” Bisson says.

Dr. Seuss’ “The Cat in the Hat” (July 11-26, 2020; SCCT Arts & Education Center for Children, 153 Augusta St., Greenville)

As the first show at SCCT’s new theater, “The Cat in the Hat” will be dedicated to a late friend and staff member who last played Fish. Dr. Seuss’ classic story doesn’t change one bit in this wacky, fun, rhyming show.

“Everybody has a connection to ‘Cat in the Hat.’ So it is chaos and mayhem on stage, but it ends up well,” Bisson says. “Fully adults with young hearts will love it, as well.”

Season subscriptions include a 20 percent discount off “Ella Enchanted: The Musical,” “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe,” and “Curious George: The Golden Meatball.”

Subscribers will also be guaranteed a seat at the homecoming performance of “The Cat in the Hat” at SCCT’s new theater. Tickets for “The Cat in the Hat” will go on sale to subscribers in March 2020 and to the public in May 2020.

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