Sneak Peek: The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati’s 2019-20 MainStage Season

The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati’s 2019-20 MainStage Season at the Taft kicks off this fall and celebrates “The Power of a Child” with musicals following four young central characters with strength, grit and a drive to succeed.

From the not-so-scary Casper the Friendly Ghost and everyone’s favorite blockhead, Charlie Brown, to the spunky orphan Annie and the magical Matilda, audiences both young and old will enjoy every moment of this sensational season!

“We wanted our season to celebrate the immense power children possess,” says Producing Artistic Director Roderick Justice. “Through these musicals centered around four bold young characters, we will entertain and inspire our young audiences, ages 4 to 104, to be the best versions of themselves.”

The season kicks off with an exciting world-premiere adaption of Casper the Friendly Musical. This show is filled with wonderful songs and relevant themes around loyalty, teamwork, kindness and friendship. 2019 marks the 80th anniversary of Casper’s debut, entertaining generations through comics, books, television, film — and now the stage! This show will be a great way to gear up your kids for Halloween! (But don’t worry, the show isn’t scary at all.) Dress up and test those spooktacular Halloween costumes before they hit the streets!

Each year, TCT gets hundreds of requests to revive their acclaimed 2015 production of A Charlie Brown Christmas. The Children’s Theatre is excited to bring the beloved TV special back to life on stage this December — “the show you loved in 2015 is back and will be even better than before!” adds Justice.

Coming in Feb. 2020, is Annie. “She may only be 10 years-old, but Annie is my hero,” shares Justice. “Seeing someone rise above their difficult circumstances always made me feel anything is possible. And of course… who doesn’t love a live dog on stage!”

Finally, Matilda closes the season. This recent Tony Award winning Broadway-hit will be sure to delight audiences of all ages.  Plus, you might see a few familiar faces on the stage… ahem… hint hint…

This season will be a celebration you will not want to miss! Here are all the details about The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati’s 2019-20 MainStage Season at the Taft:

CASPER The Friendly Musical

October 12-21, 2019

Book and lyrics by Stephen Cole. Music by Matthew Ward. Adapted by TCT and Roderick Justice. With special arrangement from Universal Theatrical Group.

TCT takes Casper center stage in this world-premiere musical adaptation for young audiences! Everyone’s favorite friendly ghost and his three uncles live a rather uneventful existence in the family mansion. Fifty years after their lives were cut short in a lightning storm, Magdalena, their former maid, re-enters their (after)lives! Now a celebrity TV Host, she is looking for the deed to the mansion… not because she wants the house, but because she believes there’s a message on the back that will lead her to a “great treasure”. As competition reality TV is all the rage, she hosts a live treasure hunt in the mansion on Halloween. One lucky young contestant could win $1 million if they find the deed! It is up to young Casper and his new friends, the contestants, to save the mansion from Magdalena, and discover the greatest treasure of all!

A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS                    

December 7-16, 2019          

By Charles M. Schulz.  Based on the television special by Bill Melendez and Lee Mendelson.  Stage adaptation by Eric Schaeffer. By special arrangement with Arthur Whitelaw and Ruby Persson. A Charlie Brown Christmas is presented by arrangement with TAMS-WITMARK.

Back by popular demand, bring your family and celebrate the season with our live rendition of your favorite holiday TV special! Don’t let the hustle and bustle of the holidays get you down. Charlie Brown and the rest of the Peanuts gang are here to remind us about what’s most important during the Yuletide season. 2019 marks the 54th anniversary of the animated TV special, A Charlie Brown Christmas. Produced by Lee Mendelson and directed by Bill Melendez, the CBS program debuted on December 9, 1965.


February 29-March 9, 2020

Book by Thomas Meehan, music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Martin Charnin, presented on Broadway by Mike Nichols, originally produced by Irwin Meyer, Stephen R. Friedman, Lewis Allen, Alvin Nederlander Associates, Inc., The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Icarus Productions.  Based on “Little Orphan Annie”® by Permission of The Tribune Media Services, Inc.

Leapin’ Lizards! Kick off Leap Year with us! The popular comic strip heroine takes center stage in one of the world’s best-loved musicals. With equal measures of pluck and positivity, little orphan Annie charms everyone’s hearts, despite a next-to-nothing start in 1930s New York City. She is determined to find her parents, who abandoned her years ago on the doorstep of an orphanage run by the cruel, embittered Miss Hannigan.

Roald Dahl’s MATILDA The Musical

April 25-May 4, 2020

Book by Dennis Kelly. Music and lyrics by Tim Minchin.

Broadway’s biggest little hero, Matilda, is an extraordinary little 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.

New subscriptions to the 2019-2020 Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati MainStage season at the Taft Theatre will be available in early June after existing subscription renewals are completed.  

Subscriptions range from $43 to $123 for all four productions. Single tickets go on sale August 30. For information call 513-569-8080 ext. 10 or visit

Can’t get enough TCT? (We can’t, either!) The following productions will be performed on TCT’s Showtime Stage at Red Bank:

SUFFRAGETTES: With Liberty and Voting for All

September 21-22, 2019

BAH-HUMBUG! A One-Man Christmas Carol  

November 30-December 1, 2019


December 21-22, 2019


January 18-19, 2020

HARRIET TUBMAN: Straight Up Outta the Underground

March 14-15, 2020


MAY 16-17, 2020


June 5-7, 2020The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati is supported by ArtsWave and the generosity of almost 40,000 contributors to the ArtsWave Community Campaign.  The Ohio Arts Council helps to fund this program with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. For more information, visit

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