From start to finish, this year’s lineup promises to surprise and delight audiences in the way only live theatre can. Civic Theatre’s 2019- 2020 season is brimming with American classics, brand new musicals show for families to enjoy, and powerful shows for adults. 

Bruce Tinker, Executive, and Artistic Director states, “What I love about this season is the opportunity to present all the plays that will be new to our audiences anchored by A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE, one of the greatest plays ever written.   Our season is full of well-loved stories, charming musicals, and a dose of holiday magic.”

There’s an exhilarating sense of anticipation when you’re waiting for the curtain to rise.

You won’t want to miss a moment of it. Welcome to our 2019/2020 Season!

Related Information

Season Ticket Packages are on sale now and may be purchased online at, by phone at 616-222-6650, or in person in Civic Theatre’s box office.


Chronological listing for 2019-2020



A musical adventure weaved together by the legendary songbook of Johnny Cash; not just a reflection of his life but also an examination of the universal human story.

Travel the times and tales of a young couple starting with the genesis of their love story and ending with the golden years of their life. An ensemble of 8 introduces a singing, dancing nod to the man in black including, “I Walk The Line”, “A Boy Named Sue”, and of course, the tune that inspired the title of this musical portrait, Ring of Fire. The familiar tunes serve as an anchor for a deeper narrative on love, generational living, struggles, and redemption.

Recommended for adults


  • Created by Richard Maltby,Jr.
  • Conceived by William Meade
  • Orchestrations by Steven Bishop and Jeff Lisenby
  • Ring of Fire was originally produced on Broadway by William Meade, CTM Productions, Bob Cuillo, GFour Productions, and James B. Freydberg

Civic Theatre School of Theatre Arts Presents

The power of sisterhood and the beauty of believing in yourself come together in the magical tale of Anna and Elsa.

Tucked away in the kingdom of Arendelle live Princesses Anna and Elsa. Anna is a fearless, spirited dreamer. Elsa is timid but kind and unlike any other royalty; she harnesses magic in her fingertips capable of creating worlds of ice and snow. Sadly, Elsa is frightened by her powers which results in isolating herself from Anna and closing the gates in fear of the outside world. When the day comes for her coronation, Anna is thrilled at the prospect of new guests while Elsa works through her dread of being in the public eye for the first time in years. When an icy outburst causes a never-ending winter and Elsa’s quick retreat, Anna sets out to find her. A cast of loveable characters joins her quest including the ice salesman Kristoff, his reindeer sidekick, and a comical snowman Olaf. Young and old alike will fall in love with this story of discovering your potential, adventure, and unconditional love.

Recommended for ages 6 and up


  • Music and Lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
  • Book by Jennifer Lee
  • Based on the Disney film written by Jennifer Lee and Directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee
  • The original Broadway production of Frozen was directed by Michael Grandage and produced by Disney Theatrical Productions


A modern-day classic about the importance of identity, different meanings of the word family, and the magical charm of the holiday season.

When little orphan Buddy accidentally crawls into Santa’s bag, he is transported to the festive North Pole. With no understanding of his origin story, Buddy lives a blissfully unaware life among his family of elves. This all comes to an end when his disastrous toy making efforts force the admission that he is a human. With a little encouragement from Santa, Buddy heads to New York City on a quest to find his birth father and discover his true identity. Despite some bumps along the way, his enthusiastic cheer encourages his new family (and the whole city) to remember the true spirit of the holiday season…“ the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.”

Recommended for ages 10 and up


  • Book by Thomas Meehan, Bob Martin
  • Music by Matthew Sklar
  • Lyrics by Chad Beguelin
  • Based on the New Line Cinema film by David Berenbaum

A tragic drama from the mind of Tennessee Williams about a young woman’s delusion, volatile relationships, and the madness in between.

Blanche du Bois is fading, quickly. With her heightened sense of self-stripped by the loss of her work and family home, the Southern belle leaves her small-town existence for New Orleans to live with her sister Stella. Her extended presence proves difficult for Stella’s husband Stanley, whose relationship with his wife is already hanging in a delicate, brutish balance. As the web of truth and lies continues to grow and dysfunction swirls around her, Blanche continues her dismissal of reality in exchange for romanticized delusions. All proves too much for her unstable brother-in-law who uncovers the truth behind her days as a schoolteacher in Missouri, unraveling Blanche to her core.

Recommended for adults due to sensitive material and strong language


  • A play by Tennessee Williams

From the world of Roald Dahl comes the tale of an extraordinary girl who uses her intellect and fantastical abilities to change the course of her own destiny.                                                           

Precocious Matilda lives in a world of imagination with no boundaries. She needs to. Her mom is a self-absorbed dancer. Her father is a deceptive swindler. The headmistress at her school, Miss Agatha Trunchbull, is a tyrannical disciplinarian. Her only reprieve is getting lost in the worlds found in her imagination or her books and time with her teacher, Miss Honey who takes interest in her intellect and wit. With the help of her new ally and a touch of magic, Matilda manages to navigate everything from family drama to unifying her classmates against Miss Trunchbull’s evil ways. A scrappy story that celebrates how different life can be when you take a stand for your future. 

Recommended for ages 8 and up due to some mature material and mild language 


  • Book by Dennis Kelly
  • Music and Lyrics by Tim Minchin
  • Based on the book, Matilda, by Roald Dahl

A heart-filled, thoughtful look into the complicated world of kindergarten from the perspective of its sassy resident Junie B. Jones.

Adapted from Barbara Park’s best-selling books comes to this comedic play based on the character Junie B. Jones. Today is not Junie’s day: someone stole her new furry mittens! However, things start looking up when she finds a multi-colored pen on the ground that she falls in love with. The pen is truly fabulous, but presents an ethical dilemma for our spunky heroine…do the rule ‘finders keepers’ apply here? Delightfully full of humor, the play examines issues like right and wrong, friendship, and making the right choice. Enjoy a front row seat to the urgent thoughts and loveable characteristics of Junie in this page to stage production.

Recommended for ages 6 and up


  • By Allison Gregory
  • Based on the book series by Barbara Park

A musical retelling of L. Frank Baum’s Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Set in the context of modern African-American culture, this show shattered barriers on Broadway and beyond.

Restless in her Kansas existence, Dorothy finds herself ready to explore the world. A powerful tornado grants her wish and transports her to the whimsical land of Oz. Along the yellow brick road, she meets an otherworldly cast of characters: Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Cowardly Lion. This unlikely trio ends up helping Dorothy as she makes her way to the Emerald City to meet with the Wizard. Their trek isn’t without hiccups including a battle with the Wicked Witch of the West. Featuring titles like, “Ease on Down the Road”, “Home”, and “Believe in Yourself” The Wiz is a bedazzling production full of R&B, jazz, gospel, and pop about the significance and beauty of home.

Recommended for ages 10 and up


  • Book by William F. Brown
  • Music and Lyrics by Charlie Smalls
  • Adapted from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

The smash hit that took over the Disney Channel full of upbeat songs and lessons learned about love, life, and finding your way in high school.

Life at East High is all about living in the status quo. The Jocks, Brainiacs, Thespians, and Skater Dudes all have their respective roles and are expected to stay in them. While on vacation, star athlete and resident heartthrob Troy, meets brainiac and new girl Gabriella. A round of karaoke causes the clique boundary lines to get a bit blurry when they both decide to audition for the high school musical. Perceiving this as a potential threat to their compartmentalized existence, both of their friend groups discourage the idea. Will Troy and Gabriella cave to peer pressure or push past expectations in the name of being who you are?

Recommended for ages 8 and up


  • Book by David Simpatico
  • Songs by Bryan Louiselle, Faye Greenberg, David N. Lawrence, Greg Cham, Matthew Gerrard, Robbie Nevil, Ray Cham, Andrew Seeley, Randy Petersen, Kevin Quinn, Adam Watts, Jamie Houston, Andy Dodd
  • Music Adapted, Arranged and Produced by Bryan Louiselle
  • Based on a Disney Channel Original Movie written by Peter Barsocchini

William Shakespeare’s iconic fairy tale about unrequited, puzzling love set in a mystical forest presented in one act.

Set in a magical forest near Athens, this beloved romantic comedy finds its home. Under the cover of moonlight come mistaken identifies, attempted spells, magical creatures, and confused actors. Noted as one of Shakespeare’s most popular works, it’s responsible for some of his most well-known quotes including “though she be but little, she is fierce” and “Lord, what fools these mortals be.” This whimsical fantasy brings all the humor, wit, and heart you expect from this legendary author.

Recommended for ages 10 and up


  • Play by William Shakespeare


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Civic Theatre expresses thanks to the following sponsors and partners:




Season Sponsors: The Beusse and Porter Family Foundation,

National Endowment for the Arts and Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs


See events calendar for specific days and times:

For information on the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre or to purchase tickets:

Call 616-222-6650 or visit

The Grand Rapids Civic Theatre’s mission: We are committed to enhance the cultural life of West Michigan by creating opportunities for people to enjoy live theatre performances using community artists, and to provide access to a comprehensive theatre arts education program for all ages.