For the past five decades, Metro Theater Company (MTC) has charmed, delighted, and educated generations of St. Louis families. Each time a child settles into a theater seat—or now, even on their couch at home—they’re whisked off on a magical adventure fueled by imaginative storytelling and incredible performances.
This year, MTC is excited to celebrate its 50th Anniversary Season with a line-up of spectacular shows starting in September. As the third oldest professional theater company in St. Louis (behind The Muny and the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis), MTC possesses a renowned legacy of doing work that, according to artistic director Julia Flood, is important, takes risks, and speaks to young people about real things they’re concerned about.
“The work of many thousands of artists, technicians, and administrators, and the support of many parents, teachers, and philanthropists have made MTC’s a survival story,” she shared. “That, and staying steadfast in our dedication to the core values and mission of the organization. Everything we do is inspired by the intelligence and emotional wisdom of young people. We create professional productions, nurture meaningful learning, and work to build an inclusive community, all inspired by the youngest citizens of our community.”
Your first glance at this season’s shows
The 2022-2023 season spotlights productions for audiences of all ages, with the themes of celebration, the joy of community, and the power of unique voices tying them all together.
Explained Flood, “In the time of COVID, selecting plays that will not only resonate with young people’s experiences, but also uplift the spirits of all of us was key. I also wanted to choose works that both honored the legacy of those first five decades of work and looked ahead to new voices and ideas that will bring us into this new era we are beginning to embrace.”
Bold, Brave, Curious!
Touring schools September 9 – October 16 with free public performances October 15 and 16, 2022
St. Louis playwright Mariah Richardson’s work illuminates the power of friendship and empowers young people to examine friendship, bias, community, and individual power. Nine-year-old Delilah has sworn to be BFFs with Lupe and Stanley, but when Stanley’s foster mom falls ill, secrets and lies threaten to tear the friends apart. Only by leaning on each other are they able to succeed and grow stronger as individuals and friends.
October 9 – November 6, 2022
Adapted from the book by Newbery Medal-winning author Paul Fleischman, the story focuses on a vacant lot that becomes a source of optimism for a community. Inspired by Kim, a nine-year-old Vietnamese immigrant who plants a few lima beans, neighbors who were once isolated begin sowing their own seeds of hope and bringing their dreams to full bloom. Together, they build something beautiful and sustainable out of what was once filled with despair.
Spells of the Sea
February 5 – March 5, 2023
Experience the world premiere of this endearing musical featuring Finley Frankfurter, a 15-year-old fisherwoman who is terrible at fishing, and H.S. Crank, a grumpy lighthouse keeper who has been sitting in the dark for 20 years. Together, the two go on a quest to save Finley’s father from a mysterious illness, encountering mermaids, pirates, and sea monsters along the way. This engaging production by Guinevere Govea and Anna Pickett explores loss, loneliness, family, joy, and belief in oneself.
Go, Dog, Go!
April 2-16, 2023
The Big Top in Grand Center
It’s like a pop-up book that comes to life—and never stops! This spin on the children’s classic follows Yellow Dog, Blue Dog, Red Dog, and dogs of all colors, shapes, and sizes in a magical world where dogs are king. These pups do it all! Watch them dance, snorkel, swim, and skate before they celebrate their world with that famous big party at the top of a tree!
Tickets for all shows will go on sale this summer at www.metroplays.org. To ensure accessibility for all families, MTC will continue online streaming of its mainstage productions through the MTC Remote Initiative funded by PNC Arts Alive. In addition, families can benefit from MTC’s Pay-What-You-Wish viewing period to overcome economic barriers that might prevent them from experiencing the season’s productions. Sensory-friendly, audio-described, and sign language-interpreted performances are also available.
An anniversary celebration – and you’re invited!
To thank the St. Louis region for its support, MTC is giving back to the community with a full weekend of free theater, education, and fun during the Fall Free Family Festival, October 14 and 15, 2023 in the Grand Center Arts District.
Throughout the celebration, you can watch performances of Seedfolks and Bold, Brave, Curious! as well as excerpts from the 2021/2022 production In My Granny’s Garden. Kids can also enjoy children’s poetry readings, go on a scavenger hunt, participate in arts and crafts projects, and create a piece of public art with fellow attendees which will become a permanent fixture of the Grand Center Arts District. Food trucks will be onsite for al fresco dining as well.
For Flood, this amazing milestone is one everyone involved with MTC takes to heart and is excited to share with the community.
“It has been a thrill to be the ‘keeper of the legacy’ that has made Metro Theater Company such a jewel of a company in St. Louis and nationally for so long,” she said. “I can’t wait to celebrate with every artist who has been a part of it, and with every person who has been in the audience over these decades. I hope everyone will gather with us, now that it is possible again, during this season of celebration and share your own stories of what you remember and what you hope for. It is a season of joy and reflection.”
Metro East mom Nicole Plegge has written for STL Parent for more than 12 years. Besides working as a freelance writer & public relations specialist, and raising two daughters and a husband, Nicole's greatest achievements are finding her misplaced car keys each day and managing to leave the house in a stain-free shirt. Her biggest regret is never being accepted to the Eastland School for Girls. Follow Nicole on Twitter @STLWriterinIL
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