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  

CCTA is a non-profit of the highest caliber. In this organization, individuals give above and beyond of their time, talent, and energy. They give kids a safe place to explore and create. Through their special guidance. kids not only deepen their appreciation for the arts, but they learn about themselves, how to work with others, take chances and HAVE FUN! Every child should have the opportunity to experience a CCTA production at least once in their lives.

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

Expand fundraising efforts to try to reach out to more kids.

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?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

My son has attended Columbia Center for Theatrical Arts Summer Programs for many years and he looks forward to attending each summer. He has made many new friends that he stays in touch with throughout the year. The staff is always so compassionate and kind. Kids get to work with instructors who have performed on Broadway to really challenge their acting skills. I can't put into words just how much CCTA means to me and my son. Not only does he get acting/singing instruction but he has also gained many life skills that he will carry with him well into the future! Thank you Toby for CCTA and to your wonderful staff for all you do for our kids and the community! The scholarships that you provide make the arts available to kids who wouldn't have the opportunity to attend the program.

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

Was this review helpful? 
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

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 4 stars  

First class organization!

Our son has been involved with this program and I have worked with this organization on many levels. They work they do with kids of all ages and levels is amazing.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of advisors?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 4 stars  

Working with kids of all ages, all talent levels, etc....CCTA is first class. The theatrical arts education that each student receives is a huge asset to the community as both children and adults benefit. Go see a production and I think you'll agree!

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?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
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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