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.
I have attended a number of shows produced by the Columbia Center for Theatrical Arts - CCTA - and the quality of performance remains consistently high year after year. CCTA includes a tiered system of programs based on age for children and youth. While the youngest casts do a very fine job and have some obviously wonderful coaching, the true stand-out is CCTA's Teen Professional Theatre whose participants are accepted by audition. The level of professionalism exhibited by these young actors, dancers and singers is remarkable. In addition, the costuming and sets are geared at a professional level and the pit bands for musicals have been outstanding. CCTA is definitely a five-star gem that has a major impact on the quality of life in the Baltimore-Washington area. Many thanks to the dedicated staff and with appreciation to Toby Orenstein who created CCTA and continues to guide and support this exceptional educational program.
My daughter was introduced to this wonderful organization about 6 months ago through their audtioning class, then went on to be invited to be a part of their Jr. Professional Theatre. She has learned so much and has so much more confidence on the stage and so much more understanding about the journey of being in a theatre show through the staff and the programs offered by CCTA. What I am the most impressed about this organization is the stress they put on the group, rather than the individual. That being a part of a performance is a team effort, not just individuals doing their part. Lastly, their ability to provide scholarship support to children and families that wouldn't otherwise be able to participate just puts them over the top !
My parents were very involved with the Columbia Center for the Theatrical Arts as patrons, volunteers, and enthusiastic supporters. I have been involved also in watching the School grow. the performances from groups of all ages are always outstanding, and have entertained attendees and participants for decades. The impact on children's self-esteem, abilities, and sense of confidence has been remarkable! This is truly a GRAT non-profit serving familiesa dn communities!