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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.