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Creative Kids Playhouse Children's Theatre of Orange County

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Arts Education, Performing Arts Schools, Theater

Mission: Creative Kids Playhouse Children's Theater of Orange County is committed to offering opportunities for children to experience the joy and fun of performing in a musical, and opportunities for the community to experience entertaining children's theater performances. We aspire to provide quality theater education in a fun, encouraging environment, in which every child gets a moment in the spotlight.

Results: From our first show in November, 2011 to December, 2015 we have produced 92 theatrical productions with unique casts. In 2015, 1,219 students enrolled in our programming. To our knowledge, 100% of the students from our programs who have auditioned and applied to the Orange County School of the Arts Acting or Musical Theatre departments have been accepted. To our knowledge, 100% of students from our programs, who have auditioned for Drama 2 upon entering high school have been accepted as freshmen.

Target demographics: Children ages 3-17 experience theater education, and to provide quality theater productions for the community

Direct beneficiaries per year: In 2015 - 1,219 students enrolled in our programs. Approximately 9,500 people attended our performances. We produced 30 different shows with unique casts, 12 of which were full-length two-act musicals.

Geographic areas served: Various locations across Orange County, CA. Schools, Community Centers, and Churches invite us to use their facility to produce theater programming for their youth.

Programs: The Tom Thumb Players, theater for 3-6 year olds. Mainstage Theater Immersion Camps in which students ages 6-13 create one-act musicals from scratch in one week, including selecting costumes and set pieces, auditions through performances. Mainstage Two-Act Musicals, an eleven week program for students ages 6-13 that rehearse in local elementary schools and perform in local intermediate and high school theaters for a big, three performance show weekend complete with live accompaniment, lights, costumes, the works. The Excalibur Players - an advanced troupe for students in sixth through eleventh grade. Much more difficult material and higher expectations of the students. Broadway musicals, classes, camps, plays. Theater in Action! - An in-class curriculum in which we go into elementary schools an offer theater education to every elementary school student in the school. This is a six class series, with the option to add on Performance Power! in which the students apply what they've learned to rehearse and perform a number.

Community Stories

26 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

5

Board Member

Rating: 5

Founded in 2011, Creative Kids Playhouse Children's Theatre of Orange County will have produced 92 musicals, mini-musicals and plays by the end of 2015. They stay true to their taglines, "Quality theater education in a fun, encouraging environment," and "Every Child Gets a Moment in the Spotlight." Instructors are professionals in drama, dance and voice who meet each student where they are and gently nudge them to achieve more that the student thought possible. In all Creative Kids Playhouse programs a heavy emphasis is placed on each individual student having a great experience, with the belief that this leads to a great performance. Mission Statement: Creative Kids Playhouse Children's Theatre of Orange County is committed to offering opportunities for children to experience the joy and fun of performing in a musical, and opportunities for the community to experience entertaining children's theater performances In the Mainstage (6-13 year old) programming, which is the bulk of their programming, scripts are carefully selected that are appropriate for children, with character building themes and age-appropriate expectations. Everyone gets a speaking part in each mainstage production. Students of all ability levels are welcome, there are no 'cuts.' If a script allows for 40 cast members, the first 40 students who enroll will be in the musical. The students then audition so that the director can cast the show from that group and assign parts. CKP is an education -based theater. There is significant emphasis on giving students a well rounded education. This means that the leads are moved around - the student who played Cinderella in the spring musical is not eligible for the part of Dorothy in the fall musical, the parts are too similar, perhaps the student will be cast in an ensemble part or in a villain role next. Not only is this good for the student's development, it creates a less-competitive, more encouraging environment for the CKP community of students and parents. The Excalibur Players is a troupe of students in sixth through eleventh grade. They delve into more difficult materials, generally producing one big Broadway musical script each year, one play, and several classes. The Tom Thumb Players are the three-six year old students. They produce several age appropriate mini-musicals each year, and learn movement and expressiveness skills. Theater in Action! Is the in-class curriculum offered to elementary schools by Creative Kids Playhouse. PTAs often purchase this 6-10 course series to offer drama and performance education to every student in their school. School Musicals - Creative Kids Playhouse does customize after school programs for schools, and goes to the school to rehearse their students and produce school musicals. Creative Kids Playhouse does not have it's own rehearsal and performance space. Rather, it is accessible to students throughout Orange County by rehearsing and performing in various school, community, and church venues. In 2015, 1,219 students were served by Creative Kids Playhouse Children's Theatre of Orange County. Approximately 9,500 audience members were entertained by CKP productions. In January, 2016, Creative Kids Playhouse will host their first annual Children Achieving Theatre Excellence (C.A.T.E.) Awards Show & Gala, to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of their 2015 performers. Creative Kids Playhouse Children's Theatre of Orange County aspires to occupy a theater and rehearsal space of their own. Performance space and funding are the biggest limiting factors to the growth of this organization, and the reach of its mission.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter has participated in CKP programs for the past 3 years and has absolutely loved every experience. She’s participated in several different programs and camps with several different teachers, and has enjoyed them all. The founders are two wonderful moms who want nothing more than to provide awesome theater education experiences for kids. They choose age appropriate plays, wonderful teachers, and operate as conservatively as they can to keep prices reasonable. We love CKP!!

Previous Stories
2

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter has been participating in CKP theater productions for several years, and has loved every experience. I think she has done at least 10 shows now. As a mom, I love that the focus is on learning and having a great experience. The best singer doesn't always get the lead; they spread the leads around. And the shows are always entertaining and well done with cute sets and costumes. The staff is kind, knowledgeable, and great with kids. The two moms who founded CKP are smart, capable, compassionate women who have created a wonderful organization that helps kids have a great theater experience. I highly recommend CKP!

Samantha George K.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My daughter loves this performance group. She is in her 6th show and would sign up for all of them if we could. She has built confidence and found new friendships. She has advanced vocally as well. It is an artistic field that we wouldn’t have known to place her into at such a young age if we hadn’t gone to watch a friend perform and fallen in love with the production. We love the whole staff and each musical has been unique and fun. Thank you creative kids playhouse!

1 Connie W.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

We love Creative Kids Playhouse! Our daughter's friends have been raving about it for years, so we finally let her give it a try this past summer. She was given a fun part in The King Stag with the Excalibur Players. She loved every minute of her experience! I love the community spirit of the CKP. Even after just one show, she feels a part of the family, and anxiously helps to tech and support other productions as much as she can. I also love how the staff of Creative Kids reaches out to encourage their actors, no matter where they're performing. We look forward to her doing many more shows with this wonderful program.

1 John S.4

Client Served

Rating: 5

CKP provides an outstanding environment that allows the kids who participate to excel. My son, who has Asperger's, started in 6th grade with no acting experience and was extremely shy. He was welcomed by both the adults leading the program and the kids performing with him from the beginning.

Each role he had, starting with the smallest ones in his first plays, allowed him to gain self confidence as an actor and improve his self esteem. The workshops CKP provides allowed him the opportunity to discover areas that interest him. And the excellence of the rehearsals and performances allowed him to observe first hand quality theater arts techniques , knowledge that was extremely helpful when he started in a high school drama program.

Now in high school, my son's passion for drama can be traced back to the support he received from CKP. He is also more confident and outgoing because of them. And just as importantly, he has made lasting friendships with his fellow actors in the program that provide both enjoyment and support.

Recently, a couple of my son's friends at CKP commented to him that he was so quiet when he started, and now he can't stop talking. I too can't stop talking - about the excellence of CKP and how it has improved my son's life.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Wonderful group of of dedicated volunteers! they provide a positive place for young people to learn theatre. The shows are excellent and my daughter can't wait for each new show to be announced. If you have kids interested in theatre, this is the place for you.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Creative Kids is always focusing on each child's growth and success. This group is professional, yet each child gets to be a star! My daughter started at age 7 and continues to do at least 2-3 musicals each year because she loves it, she's 14 now and continues to love it and grow. We will be forever grateful to the owners who took my daughter and helped her find her passion!!!!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Creative Kids Playhouse truly delivers on their commitment to giving each child the support, training and life skills that go beyond the stage. This group has become more like family. The directors and staff are professional every step of the way, from registration and auditions to costuming & blocking and rehearsals and even snack bar planning! It’s a wonderful place to bring a child that’s already enjoying the theatre arts, but also for the child that is unsure and even shy or completely reluctant to be on stage - CKP will foster what needs shine in your child. This is quality theatre education with an emphasis on building character in the child and embracing families.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughters have been with Creative Kids for several years. The teachers love kids and theater. They give everyone a chance to be a lead in the show versus always casting the same people. My kids have learned confidence and are comfortable on stage.

1 Laura L.9

Client Served

Rating: 5

Creative Kids Playhouse has changed my daughter’s life. At 13 years old, she was struggling to find her “talent.” We heard about CKP, and enrolled her in a summer camp. She hasn’t stopped performing since! She has gained confidence, which greatly helped with her transition into a high schoo in a new school district. She auditioned into advanced drama in high school, and has performed in many shows both at high school and through CKP. After a recent CKP show, my daughter said: “This is the most fun I’ve ever had!” Wow! Thank you, CKP, for all you’ve done to make this possible!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son has been in three shows with CKP and has had a blast! Being a part of a cast and learning from the pros has had a big impact on his self-confidence and attitude. He has improved his vocal, dancing and speech skills. The kids are all tremendously positive and kind. I highly recommend CKP if you are looking for a theater experience for your child or teen! You will wish you had done this sooner!

2 Michael E.3

Board Member

Rating: 5

We have been so blessed to be part of the CKP community. So much so, that when asked to participate on the board, I couldn't say no. This organization is a premier children's theater education that proves shows of the highest caliber. Their mission is so uplifting that we get to see so many top performers and not just a select handful. Kids come first and staff provides a supportive and loving experience for our young actors. We love CKP and it has meant to so much to many families in our community.

2 Jenna Olp K.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Great musical theater experience for children. My daughter absolutely loves it and the program is well run.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Creative Kids Playhouse is a blessing and AMAZING! My daughter has been with this family for years and continues to grow in her relationships, her self esteem, and her abilities. What I love most about CKP is that they cater to all kids no matter what their experience is. Our kids get to learn, be challenged, and encourage others to learn and be challenged. I can't say enough beautiful things about CKP. I wish I had the space and time to write how much CKP fills my heart and exceeds my expectations on educating, growing, and loving our kids.

1 Karen378

Client Served

Rating: 5

Amazing organization that builds confidence, positivity and community. I’ve seen them transform shy and nervous kids to confident and bold performers — this includes my daughter. Am eternally grateful for the support they continue to provide my
kids as they continue with their theater education. I love that with this group the kids learn that every part is important and it’s not all about the lead roles to make a great show.

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3

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter will be doing her third full length musical with CKP this spring and has done 2 summer camps with them as well. She absolutely loves this program and it's been great to watch her grow and shine on stage. What I appreciate the most is that she has learned that every part is important, supporting or lead, and it's not about the solos or number of lines that a part has that makes the show. Instead, it is about everyone working together to make the show come together and that everyone has a chance to shine. The staff and teachers are wonderful and do get to know the kids individually. (Also the convenience of having it as an after-school program at her school can't be beat!)

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

All 3 of my children have been participating in CKP's theater programs for the past 6 years and we have been so impressed with this organization. It's no wonder they have grown as fast as they have and are producing such a large number of shows. They truly love these kids so much, are always very affirming of them, they make it fun for them and the kids all love being together because of that. The thing that I love the most about CKP is that they care first and foremost about teaching the kids important character lessons. Each and every script they choose has some type of character lesson in it and they do not produce musicals that do not align with their values. In addition, I love that they do not choose the same kids to always play the lead roles so different kids get a chance at being a lead. In fact, every child has at least one line in each of the Mainstage productions they do (Mainstage is the younger chilren). They place kids in roles where they can grow and learn new elements of theater that they haven't been exposed to yet. They are very purposeful with their casting. Also, durng rehearsals, unlike many theater programs, the kids are never just sitting around. If they are not on stage working on a scene, blocking or learning a dance, then they have staff that is keeping them busy with theater games that teach them elements of theater. Lastly, CKP is a soundly run business organization so it never feels confusing or chaotic. Having worked in the business world for years, I've seen both well run and poorly run organizations and CKP is definitely run very well. The two owners are a great compliment to each other with backgrounds and strengths that balance each other, one being more of the creative lead and the other being more of the business lead. I cannot recommend CKP highly enough, especially if you have a child that is shy or not as confident in front of others. One of my children in particular was this way and it's quite amazing the progress she has made from literally hiding behind someone in her first production while quietly say her line to loudly proclaiming her lines during her last production in an animated and convincing manner appropriate for the character she was playing.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Creative Kids Play House is amazing because they give all kids opportunities to get spot lights at stage and all of kids there are so kind and respect to others.
I can trust them to let daughter learn not only about play,but also working together to create something.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was looking for something artsy to do with my young kids, they started as Tom thumb actors, they looked forward to their acting class every week... Jennifer was awesome. She made it fun! The production is appropriate for that level. Then they moved on up to mainstage and it's such a smooth transition to the next level of acting including performing on a stage. I wish I didn't have to go through the city to register them and I wish they had their own location, running around town to different venues and costume warehouse adds a little more stress to the parents. Also they really try to built cohesiveness amongst the cast and families, as they have cast parties.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is wonderful organization that knows how much exposure and participation in the arts can make a difference in a child's life. Proud to know the wonderful woman who founded this children's theatre.

2 Mandie D.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Creative Kids Playhouse has been an amazing experience for my daughter, she is in her fourth year with them. Before we started with CKP, he teachers were constantly telling me that she wouldn’t speak in class, refusing to do presentations. I heard about CKP, and signed her up for Alice in wonderland. She was nervous, didn’t want to sing, didn’t want to dance, and definitely didn’t want lines... 3 months go by, and show day comes, and she loved it! She was hooked! We are now in her 20th production with CKP, she has had lead roles, dancing roles and speaking roles. She is one of the first to raise her hand in school and is a social butterfly! Thank you CKP for inspiring, teaching, and becoming family to my daughter! We love you all!

Previous Stories
3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I would give 10 stars if I could! My daughter has been in two plays so far and lives it! It has broken her of her shyness & public speaking isn't a problem anymore! They build the children's confidence, the kids support each other and the plays always turn out amazing! I'm looking forward to many more years with them!

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter has done two plays with Creative Kids Playhouse and had amazing experiences both times. Miss Jennifer makes rehearsals so much fun, and all of the children learn to sing and perform in a non competitive environment. Every child has a role to play in the show and all children are encouraged and praised for their efforts. I cannot recommend the Creative Kids Playhouse programs enough. My daughter is thrilled to invite all of her friends and family to her performances. Participating in the Creative Kids Playhouse plays has given my daughter a great sense of pride, fostered her natural talent and allowed her to meet new friends who share her passion for singing, acting and creating.

4

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am very proud to be a part of Creative Kids Playhouse. I love to see the growth in the children each time they come back to do a show. It is amazing the boost in confidence from their first show to the second, and so on. Our staff works very hard to meet the needs of each individual child. To let them know that their ideas and their input is important to group as a whole. The kids become very close to their cast mates and truly help and support each other. Our staff is amazing. Many are currently working actors and musicians, all have extensive training and all truly care about the children they teach.

3 Melia K.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Creative kids playhouse is amazing for kids!! They build confidence and teach kids responsibility and performance. My kids love their programs.