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South Carolina Children’s Theatre has announced its upcoming season, which will see the return of some popular favorites and additions of new shows. Mainstage performances will include “Shrek the Musical,” “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,” “Mr. Popper’s Penguins,”“A Year With Frog and Toad,” and “Elephant and Pggie’s ‘We Are in a Play!’”

The theater’s 2nd Stage productions will include “The Teddy Bears’ Picnic: A Play With Me Play,” “Click, Clack, Boo! A Tricky Treat,” “The Littlest Angel,” and “Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse.”

“Our trick, as most parents recognize, is trying to appeal to different ages even within the same family,” said Betsy Bisson, SCCT’s artistic/education director. “Our patron base goes from 3 years old to 80s, 90s — I’m not sure how old, but it’s up there.”

She said creating a lineup of shows that appeals to all ages is never easy, but she’s excited about the upcoming season’s choices.

“We always try to make sure we have something that is for the very young — I’d say our final show ‘Elephant and Piggie’ fits into that — but would a 3 or 4 year old not enjoy ‘Shrek’ too? Of course they would,” Bisson said. “And we want the parents in the audience to be entertained, too.”

She said some shows — “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,” “Mr. Poppins Penguins,” and “A Year With Frog and Toad” — are curriculum-based to accommodate school field trips but can be enjoyed by the public at large, too.

Here’s the complete schedule SCCT fans can look forward to in 2018-2019:

“Shrek the Musical” is Sept. 7-23 at the Peace Center. Great for ages 4 and older, this is the first time the show will be produced by SCCT, Bisson said.

“It is the TYA version, so it’s a little scaled back,” she said. “It’s not a crazy long show, but it is based on the award-winning animation film and will feature all of the beloved characters from the movie.”

It features an ogre named Shrek who finds himself on a journey alongside a wisecracking Donkey, a feisty princess, and a handful of other misfits.

“The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” is Nov. 30-Dec. 9 at the Peace Center. Last produced by SCCT in 2014, this popular favorite is based on the book by Barbara Robinson in which the delinquent Herdman children are given roles in a local church’s production of the Christmas story.

Bisson said it’s one of her favorite shows to produce.

“It’s just a beautiful, beautiful story,” she said. “It shows what can happen when you actually pay attention to a child, and the change that can happen is amazing.”

“Mr. Popper’s Penguins” is Jan. 25-Feb. 3, 2019 at the Peace Center. Best for ages 3 and older, this new to SCCT production is based on the novel by Richard and Florence Atwater.

“Our play is not based on the movie starring Jim Carrey but rather the book itself, which is very different,” Bisson said.

The play follows a house painter who dreams of an adventure to the Antartic. When a letter he writes about it gets read on the radio, someone sends him a penguin as a gift. Then the zoo sends him another penguin, and suddenly, his house is filled with baby penguins.

“A Year With Frog and Toad” is March 29-April 7, 2019 at the Peace Center. The show hasn’t been produced by SCCT since 2006, but Bisson expects it to be a hit.

“It’s a fun show to do for young kids,” she said. “It features some vaudeville acts and is part musical.”

This whimsical show follows two friends – the cheerful, popular Frog and the rather grumpy Toad – through four fun-filled seasons.

“Elephant and Piggie’s ‘We Are in a Play!’” is June 15-24, 2019 at the Peace Center. Another new show for the theater, it is based on the Elephant and Piggie books by Mo Willems.

“Every parent will know those books because kids absolutely love them,” Bisson said.

This fun musical follows two best friends, an elephant named Gerald and a pig named Piggie, who go to a party hosted by the Squirrelles, three singing squirrels who love to have a good time.

“It’s a perfect way to introduce young children to the theater,” Bisson added.

The theater’s 2nd Stage shows will be split between the theater’s temporary headquarters at 1200 Pendleton St. and the Kroc Center in downtown Greenville. That lineup includes:

“The Teddy Bears’ Picnic: A Play With me Play” is Aug. 25-Nov. 20 at 1200 Pendleton St. It teaches the very young about the importance of sharing through Mama Bear and Baby Bear, who are having a picnic.

“Click, Clack, Boo! A Tricky Treat” is Oct. 13-27 at the Kroc Center. Join the barnyward crew as they plan a secret Halloween party to teach Farmer Brown the holiday doesn’t always have to be scary.

“The Littlest Angel” is Dec. 14-15 at the Kroc Center. This musical rendition follows the newest arrival to heaven as all the heavenly hosts get ready for night of Jesus Christ’s birth.

“Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse” is Feb. 15-23, 2019 at the Kroc Center. Meet Lilly, a mouse who loves cheese snacks, her new red boots, her friends, her teacher, and especially her new purse that plays music anytime it’s open.

For more information or to purchase tickets, call 864-235-2885 or visit https://scchildrenstheatre.org.

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For more information or to purchase tickets, call 864-235-2885 or visit https://scchildrenstheatre.org.

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