Our Mission

We create exceptional theatre experiences, inspiring generations to explore the wonder of their world.
 

History of Children's Theatre of Charlotte

From our humble beginning in 1948, Children's Theatre of Charlotte has grown to become one of the most respected arts and education organizations in the country.
Here's a look back at some milestones for the Theatre over the years.

1948

The Junior League of Charlotte establishes Children’s Theatre of Charlotte as volunteer-run children’s programming in the wake of World War II.

1953

The Garden Circus premieres, the first show produced in-house by the newly incorporated “The Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, Inc.”

CTC on Morehead St.

1971

The Theatre opens its first permanent home at 1017 Morehead Street, converting a former Veterans of Foreign Wars office.

1972

Local troupe the Tarradiddle Players begin bringing live theatre to audiences across the region.

1980

Education programs expand, establishing school year classes, summer camps, and our community involvement program.

Tarradiddle Players logo

1989

Children’s Theatre of Charlotte establishes the Tarradiddle Players as its resident touring company.

1995

The Theatre’s volunteer legacy group formed in 1948 officially adopts the name ENCORE!

1997

The Theatre forms a creative partnership with Charlotte Mecklenburg Library to create a children’s learning center as both organizations expand.

Voters approve bonds to construct ImaginOn

1999

Voters approve a bond referendum to help fund the children’s space in uptown Charlotte. The county breaks ground for the new building in early 2003.

2002

OnStage launches, providing a professional theatre experience for students enrolled in School of Theatre Training.

The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe

2005

ImaginOn opens and The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe debuts in the McColl Family Theatre, followed by The Velveteen Rabbit in the Wells Fargo Playhouse.

2007

The Arts & Science Council of Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Inc. presents the Theatre with the McColl Award, honoring the creative process while preserving the legacy of Hugh and Jane McColl.

2011

The Theatre is recognized for 40 years of enriching the lives of young people through live theatre with the Thomas DeGaetani Award presented by the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT).

2016

Inspired by work on Spelling 2-5-5, the Theatre begins offering Sensory-Friendly Performances for each Mainstage play.

The Last Stop on Market Street

2018

Last Stop on Market Street debuts as the first newly commissioned work in the Theatre’s ongoing initiative The Kindness Project.

2018

China National Children’s Theatre invites students from our education program to perform at the eighth China Children’s Theatre Festival.

2019

Children’s Theatre teams up with Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte for a first-of-its-kind joint commission. The Second Story Project centers the story of one night’s events told from two points of view, adult and children.

2020

The Theatre responds to the COVID-19 pandemic with online education programming and streamed performances, continuing to engage families with quality programming.

Where We Were, Where We Are

CTC on Morehead St.

Morehead Street

A former VFW Club owned by the City, dedicated volunteers transformed this facility’s dance floor, bar, and other areas into a working theatre by adding a stage, light booth and elevated seats in the auditorium. They also created a scene shop, costume shop, make-up and dressing rooms, prop room, offices and classrooms. These areas were again renovated and expanded in the mid-80’s to meet the needs of the growing organization.

ImaginOn from 7th St. and the Lynx Light Rail Line

ImaginOn

ImaginOn: The Joe and Joan Martin Center is children’s learning center, a collaboration between Children’s Theatre of Charlotte and Charlotte Mecklenburg Library. ImaginOn houses the Spangler Children’s Library, Teen Loft, and Tech Central for Charlotte Mecklenburg Library system and features Children’s Theatre of Charlotte’s office space, two state-of-the-art venues, a costume shop, a scene shop, educational classrooms, and rehearsal space.

The McColl Family Theatre

McColl Family Theatre

This space includes a 20-player orchestra pit and a rear projection booth, providing the Theatre’s first stage built and dedicated solely to professional productions. At capacity, the McColl can accommodate 563 audience members, and has featured the magic of Mary Poppins flying above the audience and Jon Stewart hosting the Daily Show for the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

The Wells Fargo Playhouse

Wells Fargo Playhouse

Originally the Wachovia Playhouse, the 248-capacity venue offers a more intimate experience, featuring colorful stadium seating and a convertible thrust stage that brings the performance directly to the audience. The Wells Fargo presents the same state-of-the-art equipment and professional talent to student productions, presenting productions, and theatre for the youngest of audiences.