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Twin Cities Mom Collective

Actor Reed Sigmund: Embracing Quirks and Celebrating Differences in Frog and Toad

This post is sponsored by Children’s Theatre Company

frog and toad
Reed Sigmund in Children’s Theatre Company’s 2024 production of ‘A Year With Frog and Toad’. Photo by Glen Stubbe Photography

 

Twin Cities Mom recently had a delightful phone call with Reed Sigmund, company actor with Children’s Theatre Company (CTC), who portrays Toad, in the spring 2024 product of A Year with Frog and Toad.

For Reed Sigmund, the journey from a theater student to a celebrated actor at Children’s Theatre Company (CTC) has been nothing short of extraordinary. With 24 seasons under his belt at CTC, Reed has become a household name (playing The Grinch for 6 seasons – and 2024 will be his 7th!), known for his versatility and dedication to bringing characters to life on stage. His most recent role as Toad in A Year with Frog and Toad at CTC has garnered special attention not only for the performance itself, but also as it marks the final directorial endeavor of CTC’s Artistic Director Peter Brosius, a milestone in its history.

Reed’s connection with CTC traces back to a pivotal moment during his graduation from the University of Minnesota’s Theatre Department. Encouraged by his mentor Ken Stevens, he leaped into CTC’s performing apprenticeship program, a decision that shaped his career for the next two decades. What started as an apprenticeship evolved into a cherished association with CTC, where Reed found not just a stage but a community that supported his growth as an actor and as a person.

His journey with CTC mirrored his personal growth, especially as a family man alongside his wife Autumn, also a CTC alumna. Reed reflects on the rarity of such a trajectory, where two actors find a professional home that not only nurtures their talent but also accommodates the demands of parenthood. CTC’s ethos of inclusivity and support enabled Reed and Autumn to navigate the challenges of balancing a career in the arts with raising a family.

frog and toad
John-Michael Zuerlein and Reed Sigmund in Children’s Theatre Company’s 2024 production of ‘A Year With Frog and Toad’. Photo by Glen Stubbe Photography

Reed’s insights into his role as Toad in A Year with Frog and Toad reveal a deep understanding of the character’s complexities. Toad’s anxiety, a central theme in the play, resonates with Reed on a personal level, having experienced similar emotions in his family life. He speaks passionately about the importance of representing neurodivergent behaviors on stage, highlighting the power of theater to foster empathy and understanding, especially among young audiences.

Beyond his portrayal of Toad, Reed highlights the heartwarming dynamic between Frog and Toad, emphasizing the value of embracing differences in friendships. He believes that the essence of their relationship extends beyond the stage, serving as a lesson in empathy, respect, and resilience for audiences of all ages.

“What I love so much about Frog and Toad’s relationship, is that they are wildly different. Individuals with their own quirks. And instead of getting frustrated with each other’s quirks or being frustrated about how the other one is different from them, they really embrace and celebrate those differences.”

When asked if there was anything special children and their grown-ups should look for when watching Toad, Reed encouraged the audience to observe how Toad walks. Reed explained the significance of body language in acting, a topic he is passionate about as an acting educator. He emphasizes the importance of observing nuances in movement and gesture to effectively convey character emotions — and explains this is evident in Toad’s specific walk.

frog and toad
John-Michael Zuerlein (Back) and Reed Sigmund (Front) in Children’s Theatre Company’s 2024 production of ‘A Year With Frog and Toad’. Photo by Glen Stubbe Photography

Reed’s admiration for Peter’s directorial style was palpable as he recounted their 24-year collaboration, highlighting Peter’s unwavering support during both professional achievements and personal hardships, including a tragic house fire for Reed’s family in the fall of 2023. Their bond extends beyond the stage, reflecting a deep friendship and mutual respect that transcends professional boundaries.

Reed Sigmund in Children’s Theatre Company’s 2024 production of ‘A Year With Frog and Toad’. Photo by Glen Stubbe Photography

As Reed bids farewell to Peter Brosius’s directorial legacy at CTC, he looks back with gratitude for the opportunities that have shaped his career. His journey from a young graduate unsure of his path to a seasoned actor embodying characters that inspire and resonate with audiences reflects not just his talent but also the transformative power of theater. In Reed Sigmund, CTC has found not just a star performer but a beacon of inclusivity, compassion, and artistic excellence.

 


 

See A Year With Frog and Toad April 23 – June 16, 2024. Tickets to A Year With Frog and Toad may be purchased online at https://childrenstheatre.org/whats-on/frog-toad/ or by calling the ticket office at (612) 874-0400. Ticket prices start at $15 for kids and $25 for adults. Lap passes are available for children 3 years and younger.

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