Children's Theatre Company: World Premiere of Kate DiCamillo’s Mercy Watson books

by Lexa Pennington /
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Aug 26, 2011 / 0 comments

Welcome to 54 Deckawoo Dr.: Home to Hilarity & Hot-Buttered Toast

Mercy Watson - Children's Theatre Company


Welcoming Twin Cities audiences to 54 Deckawoo Drive, home of Mr. and Mrs. Watson and their P-I-G porcine wonder Mercy, Children’s Theatre Company (CTC) kicks off its 46th Season with the world premiere of Mercy Watson to the Rescue!. Based on Kate DiCamillo’s beloved Mercy Watson series, Mercy Watson to the Rescue! is a tale filled with heart, hilarity and lots and lots of hot-buttered toast.

 “Kate DiCamillo is one of the Twin Cities’ most beloved authors. Adults and children, alike, delight in her imaginative and touching stories, and we’re thrilled to bring her wonderfully comic series about Mercy Watson to the stage,” says Brosius. “It is a particular joy to be working with her, and we’re ecstatic to have some of the Twin Cities’ best comic actors bring her work to life here at CTC.”

This is the first theatrical adaptation of DiCamillo’s Mercy series. DiCamillo’s work (The Tale of Despereaux and Because of Winn-Dixie) has appeared on the big screen, but Mercy Watson to the Rescue! marks the first live theatre production of her charming tale about a toast-loving pig. 


Mercy Watson - Children's Theatre Company



The creative team behind the adaptation includes: Peter C. Brosius (director), Victoria Stewart (playwright), Eric Van Wyk (scenic designer), Sonya Berlovitz (costume designer), Paul Whitaker (lighting designer) and Victor Zupanc (composer and sound designer). Van Wyk’s scenic and puppet design is best recognized at CTC for Babe, The Sheep-Pig (scenic design), The Biggest Little House in the Forest (scenic and puppet design), Cinderella (puppet design) and Bert & Ernie, Goodnight! 

The porcine star of the show, Mercy, is charmingly played by CTC newcomer Sara Richardson. Her work in theatre includes many Minneapolis and New York credits, with emphasis in the physical and ensemble-created theatre community.  Finding the Mercy for this production ended up being “an easy decision,” says Peter Brosius.  “The second Sara came into the room, she had a physicality that was all her own.” Additionally, CTC favorite and Twin Cities’ theatre legend Wendy Lehr is back on CTC’s stage and steals the show as Eugenia Lincoln, Mercy’s disapproving neighbor on Deckawoo Drive.

CTC veteran company actors Gerald Drake (as the doting Mr. Watson) and Reed Sigmund (as Lorenzo, the over-eager, but unhelpful fireman, and Francine Poulet, the ambitious, but less-than-bright animal control officer) add to the comic mayhem.  Mo Perry (as Mrs. Watson) and Elizabeth Griffith (Baby Lincoln) return to CTC after roles in Babe, The Sheep-Pig; and Jason Ballweber (as General Washington, Baker, Tour Guide and Movie Patron) rounds out a comically ideal cast.


Mercy Watson to the Rescue! opens Fri., Sept. 9 (previews begin Tues., Sept. 6), and runs through Sun., Oct. 23. Ticket prices range from $26—$40 for adults and $16—$30 for children (17 & under), students and seniors and are available by calling (612) 874-0400 or by visiting

Also upcoming in the 2011-2012 season are: an inventive production of Madeline L’Engle’s beloved A Wrinkle in Time (c. 1962), the magical Wizard of Oz, Harold and the Purple Crayon, by Seattle Children’s Theatre, Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy and Pippi Longstocking.

Children’s Theatre Company (CTC) is the first theatre for young people to win the coveted Tony® Award for Outstanding Regional Theater (2003). Founded in 1965, CTC serves more than 300,000 people annually and is one of the 20 largest theater companies in the nation. CTC is noted for defining worldwide standards for youth theatre with an innovative mix of classic tales, celebrated international productions and challenging new work.



Illustrations by Chris Van Dusen, Candlewick Press