Columbia Center for Theatrical Arts (CCTA)

Rating: 4.88 stars   32 reviews

Issues: Arts & Culture

Location: 6655 Dobbin Road, #4 Columbia MD 21045 USA

Mission: To educate through the arts by creating theatrical experiences that inspire thought, action, creativity and change.
Results: For close to 40 years CCTA has provided high quality theater arts programs to the children of the Baltimore-Washington area. For the past eight years our focus has been on expanding our Outreach Programs for under-served communities. It provides free performances, after school classes and a summer camp program for children who are often left out of mainstream arts programming. This includes low and moderate income youth, children for whom English is a second language as well as children with special needs.
Target demographics: Children ages 3 - 18
Direct beneficiaries per year: Children in the Baltimore-Washington area
Geographic areas served: Baltimore-Washington, DC Region
Programs: CCTA’s activities can be divided into three distinct areas: The Conservatory, Theatrical Arts Productions (TAP) and Outreach Programs. • THE CONSERVATORY: Features performing arts-based programs designed to nurture and develop the whole child. Students learn through exercises and assignments that not only teach basic acting technique but also encourage them to learn through personal exploration and application of skills. Scholarships are available based on talent and financial need. Programs include Tots and Kids On Broadway musical theatre classes; After School Programs offered at area schools; Performing Arts Camps designed for children ages 6-18; and ourTeen Professional Theatre – a nationally recognized program that provides a unique and intensively creative experience to highly motivated and talented young actors. Special workshops include a Master Class Day for serious middle and high school actors as well as a College Audition Workshop for students considering a career in the performing arts. • THEATRICAL ARTS PRODUCTIONS (TAP): CCTA is dedicated to producing professional productions that relate to school curriculum, reflect current social issues and reinforce good values. These productions are enjoyed by thousands of students each school year. The 2010-11 season features: Seussical, The Musical; Ben Carson, M.D.; The Diary of Anne Frank; and original production of Winnie The Pooh. • OUTREACH: CCTA’s Outreach Program is designed to make theatre arts available and accessible to underserved students in our region. These include: The Ben Carson Project – which has brought over 17,000 BCPSS students to free performances of CCTA’s original and inspiring production, Ben Carson, M.D. since its creation in 2004; and The After School Theatre Project (Howard County and Baltimore, MD) – Free/subsidized after school theatre arts programs for low and moderate income youth; Performing Arts Camp-Baltimore offering an intensive summer theater experience that culminates in performance; and Broadway Kids-Loyola, a partnership with Loyola University Clinical Centers that delivers speech and social therapies to students with special needs via a musical theater class.
2013 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 52-1066100
410-381-0700
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

Almost eight years ago my family had the pleasure of being introduced to the world of Columbia Center for Theatrical Arts and Toby Orenstein. Over the years we have thoroughly enjoyed watching our two daughters perform and thrive on stages across the region and beyond. CCTA has given my youngest, Shelby Chase Smith, the opportunity to sing, dance and convey timely, socially and globally important stories to broad audiences spanning several counties and states. A highlight was receiving the opportunity to attend an unforgettable event entitled "Broadway Comes To the White House" where Shelby had the honor of meeting the President of the United States as well as dozens of Currently performing Broadway stars. The confidence my children have gained goes beyond performing. As a Creative Writing major, Shelby has had to command an audience at the podium on many occasions. Her public speaking skills, over-all confidence and self-esteem has improved greatly as a direct result of her participation in CCTA programing. My older daughter, Chelsea, is working on her second show at the world renown LaJolla Playhouse in San Diego, CA. It is because of the exposure to the Arts that Toby and her impeccable team, headed by Executive Administrator Melissa Rosenberg, so lovingly, generously and professionally shared with her and continue to share with all who come seeking theatre knowledge, that she has been able to build a pretty nice resume, working directly with such notable TONY Award winning Artist such as Steven Sater, Duncan Sheik and Moises Kauffman. Without a doubt, It is largely due to how warmly our family has been embraced by CCTA that Chelsea Diggs Smith's sights are set on the Broadway Stage. We have no doubts she'll make it!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

We are in our first year at CCTArts, and I have never seen my daughter bond to a completely new group of people so fast and so hard! She loves her friends at CCTArts to the point I may have to make her get a job to help pay for gas because we spend our weekends constantly visiting them from a neighboring county. They support each other not only within the framework of CCTArts, but also in their individual school shows, other community theatre projects and garage bands. I'm guessing we'll be part of this family for many years to come.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

Our daughter participated in the CCTA summer camp programs for approximately 7 years. We couldn't plan our summer vacation until we received the camp schedule - CCTA camp was a must! She enjoyed acting, singing, dancing and meeting up with old friends year after year. For 10 years, she was also an avid dancer with a private studio. She's now in her sophomore year at college studying deaf communications to become an interpreter for the deaf. I wholeheartedly believe that her love for drama and dance, along with the guidence provided by the CCTA staff, have given her the stage presence and confidence to stand up in front of large groups of people to excel in her love of sign language and the deaf community.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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Rating: 5 stars  

We have been a partner with CCTA for many years supporting their work with Baltimore City school children. During this time CCTA has expanded their programs in Baltimore City to include several successful afterschool programs which provide students the an opportunity to participate in theatre productions as well as seeing a live performance at the dinner theatre. We are proud to support CCTA as they help at-risk students receive exposure to the arts! Sincerely, Wright Family Foundation

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

My three children have all participated in CCTA programs and they have all been wonderful - exceeding anything else of similar type that we have tried. I have also had the opportunity to help out behind the scenes on a few of their outreach programs and cannot find the words to say just how great they were!

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I can't say enough good things about CCTA programs. Both of my daughters have participated in summer camps and spring break camp, and have enjoyed it very much. The professionals running the camps are engaging for the kids and the productions are great. We have also attended the teen professional productions and have been very impressed. We will continue to participate in CCTA programs!!

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

The encouragement, guidance, advice and experience gained as a result of our daughter's participation in CCTA TPT program over 3 years were instrumental in preparing her not only for musical theatre college auditions but also provided valuable life skills.



In addition, the workshops she was able to take and the mentoring she received from the staff involved with the shows, along with the amazing guest speakers/performers really helped her set high goals for herself and define herself as an actress.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

What parent isn't excited, and a bit overwhelmed, as we witness our child's transformation from a tentative middle schooler to self-confident college student? The CCTA team contributed significantly to help in this transition!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Hope they could find more grant funding so that their programs would be available to even more students than they currently serve.

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Rating: 5 stars  

Aida, Beauty and the Beast, Les Miserables, Ragtime.....every performance was so inspiring musically, visually and spiritually. Some of the children were there on full scholarship, and would never be able to participate otherwise. One of the performances was filled with children who were brought in from Baltimore City, who would never have had the chance to see a live show otherwise. Seeing them fully engaged and watching their reactions to the music, dance and clever antics on stage was truly one of the most uplifting things I've ever been a part of. I am getting teary eyed, again, just thinking about it.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've personally felt that my life has been made richer by my experiences at CCTA.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Honestly, I'm at a loss here. I can't think of anything that would make this organization any better. (and I usually have a lot of suggestions when I'm asked this question)

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Rating: 5 stars  

I was in last year's production of Hairspray! I had a great time! Not that I didn't think we could pull the show off in seven days, but I was amazed at how well everyone performed. Even though they pushed us hard during the days of rehearsal leading up to the shows, we had so much fun together! I made a lot of friends that I still talk to. I'm part of my school's drama company, and it was really great working with new directors. This was a wonderful experience. There's only one thing I would change. I live in Northern Maryland so the drive down every morning to Comlumbia was a long way for my dad to drive me. He was happy to do it because doing Hairspray was my dream show. If the camp was held in two locations or moved to another location, one closer to the Toby's in Baltimore, I think I'd be more apt to do more things with the CCTA and I could probably get more of my friends to also participate. I would totally recommend to anyone to do one of these shows! They are wonderful!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my growth as a performer.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

hold it in another location in Northern Maryland.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Some

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

How did you find this group?

There was a flyer at Toby's in Columbia. My dad went there for his job and saw it. Because it was Hairspray, he told me about it.

What, if any, change in your life has this group encouraged?

It has given me more experience on stage, which has helped me become a better performer and become more confident in myself.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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Rating: 5 stars  

My daughter attended thie workshop this summer and it was a blast she loved it the staff was great and the kids that she got to work with awsome she loved it.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my daughter learned alot

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

nothing

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