Based on the classic Italian story, this novel production incorporates the audience’s imagination to reinforce the universal importance of telling the truth. Desperate for a son, lonely puppeteer Gepetto crafts a wooden boy. Pinocchio, however, is not content with his stilted life, so after making a promise to his father, he heads off to school, believing that’s the key to becoming a real boy. Along the way, Pinocchio is readily sidetracked by diversions that he hopes will result in more money, friends and fun. Though he gets tricked out of his only possessions, Pinocchio eventually overcomes his scheming foes with the help of a clever cricket and a helpful fairy.

“Nearly everyone knows the popular Italian folktale, and all will be intrigued by this unconventional presentation. This is a timely show about the importance of being truthful and keeping promises. We learn, along with Pinocchio, what it means to be loyal and how to become a real and whole person.” – SCT Artistic Director Linda Hartzell

Charlotte Martin Theatre

Age Recommendation
For Ages 6+


This production has past.

“A refreshing and enchanting production”

Miryam Gordon

More Info

Age Recommendation: For Ages 6+
Appeal for Younger Ages: Funny, adventure fantasy shared through contemporary storytelling
Appeal for Older Ages: Moral dilemmas, deceptive tricks and humorous puns

Discussion Topics: Selflessness, Trust, Trickery, Storytelling

Running Time: 1 hour 45 minutes (including 15 minute intermission)

Cast and Design Team

Bringing this story to life is CTC’s ensemble cast of Jason Ballweber, Maggie
Chestovich, Elise Langer, Doug Neithercott, and musician/composer Victor Zupanc. Local
understudies include Molli Corcoran and Allen Galli. The design team includes CTC’s Joseph
Stanley (Scenery), Mary Anna Culligan (Costumes), and Rebecca Fuller Jensen (Lights).


Pinocchio, an exuberant wooden puppet, dreams of going to school to become a real boy - so his Papa, the poor toy-maker Gepetto sacrifices his coat in exchange for a schoolbook and lovingly sends him on his way. Almost immediately, Pinocchio gets distracted by a travelling puppet show and trades his book for a ticket to see the performance. The Puppetmaster, thrilled to find a puppet that moves without strings, forces the wooden boy to stay and perform with the show. But when Pinocchio begins to cry for Gepetto, he gives him five gold coins and sets him on the road back home to his father.

Upon leaving, Pinocchio meets sly Fox and Cat who lead him into believing they can help miraculously multiply his coins. Instead, they con him into paying for their huge dinner. Later disguised as robbers, they try to steal all his remaining coins and eventually leave Pinocchio tied to a tree in the snow. Luckily, Pinocchio is rescued by a good fairy. The fairy’s magic potion makes him feel better, but also makes his nose grow longer with every lie he tells. Pinocchio’s nose keeps extending as he relates how he lost his coins. After he promises to tell the truth, the fairy lifts the spell and Pinocchio heads home to his Papa.

Before he gets far, he re-encounters Fox and Cat who once again lead him into believing they can help multiply his coins and successfully rob him of his money. With no food, no money and no shelter, it seems things can’t get worse - until Pinocchio believes his Papa has drowned at sea. With no reason to go home,  Pinocchio finally arrives at school, only to be deceived into going to Playland where instead of finding a delightful wonderland, Pinocchio gets turned into donkey. In donkey form, Pinocchio escapes to the ocean where he transforms back to a puppet, just before getting swallowed by a whale. Inside the sea creature’s belly, Pinocchio is surprised to find his Papa. Happily reunited, Pinocchio works hard to save his Papa, having finally learned how to be a real, honest and loving son.