New season includes a world premiere and two West Coast premieres

Oregon Children’s Theatre has announced its 2013-2014 season, which includes a world premiere, two West Coast premieres and an OCT original production.

As a West Coast premier, the theater company will present “The Magic Tree House: A Night in New Orleans” Oct. 19 through Nov. 17, directed by Stan Foote.

The “Magic Tree House” books have been taking readers on adventures for more than 20 years. In “A Night in New Orleans,” based on the book “A Good Night for Ghosts,” explorers Jack and Annie travel back in time to Jazz Age New Orleans to meet and inspire a young Louis Armstrong.

With original music composed by rhythm and blues legend Allen Toussaint and performed by a live jazz band, the whole family will enjoy this production. Best-selling author of the Magic Tree House series, Mary Pope Osborne, will attend the play’s opening and participate in public events during her visit to Portland.

“Charlotte’s Web” will run Jan. 25 through Feb. 16, directed by Lava Alapai. The word is out, he’s “some pig,” “radiant” and “terrific.” This is a timeless story of friendship, loss and love. The classic book by E.B. White has captivated young readers for generations.

When an affectionate pig named Wilbur is saved from slaughter and sent to live on a nearby farm, he finds a barnyard full of animals who quickly become family. But it’s the most unlikely of friends that prove to be his best — a spider named Charlotte who uses her skills to save Wilbur’s life once more, while hers is slipping away.

“Zombie in Love” — a world premiere musical — will be presented March 1 through 23, directed by Marcella Crowson. Even zombies need love. Mortimer is looking for love in all the usual places — like the gym and the bus stop — but nothing works. When he takes out a newspaper ad to find a date to Cupid’s Ball, Mortimer is sure he’ll find the ghoul of his dreams waiting by the punch bowl. Haunting tunes and monster mash moves are sure to thrill audiences of all ages.

“Zombie in Love” is the 10th original script to be premiered by OCT.

“The Giver” returns eight years after its world premiere on the OCT stage in 2006, April 26 through May 18, directed by Matthew B. Zrebksi. More than 200 productions have been created since its OCT premiere.

Jonas’ world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear or pain. There are no choices, individuality or emotions — they are against the rules. When Jonas turns 12, he is selected to train with “The Giver,” who is the keeper of the entire community’s memories, both good and bad. Now Jonas must shoulder the burden of memory and learn the harsh truths of what it means to live a life of sameness.

A West Coast premiere of “Fancy Nancy: The Musical” opens May 10 and continues through June 1. Don your most glamorous attire, pour a spot of tea and join OCT for the most elegant musical of the year. Nancy and her pals, Wanda, Rhonda, Bree and Lionel, are excited to be dancing in a school recital.

Nancy is sure she will be cast as a shimmering mermaid, but ends up as an ordinary, dreary tree. When Bree lands the coveted role, Nancy realizes that being fancy comes in many forms — all it takes is a dash of imagination, camaraderie and a little joie de vivre.

“Fancy Nancy” was originally produced at New York’s Vital Theater, the same company that originally brought the popular “Pinkalicious” to the stage.

OCT will also offer productions by the Young Professionals Company, dedicated theater students ages 13 through 18 who have been selected to participate in the yearlong mentoring program.

Other featured performances include “The Complete Works of Shakespeare” Nov. 1 to 3 and Nov. 8 to 10 and “A WWII Radio Christmas” Dec. 6 to 8 and Dec. 13 to 15, and improvisational theater by Impulse! OCT’s Improv Troupe.

For season tickets, call the box office at 503-228-9571.

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