Seattle Children's Theatre Programs
Through public and school performances, theatre education and outreach, SCT continues its long-held dedication to the bright minds and vibrant spirits of young people, empowering them to make new discoveries about themselves and the world around them through innovative art. Since its inception, Seattle Children’s Theatre has produced 220 plays, 109 of which have been world premieres (as of 2012) commissioned in partnership with the country's leading playwrights. These plays have been produced around the country and across the globe, earning SCT the reputation of having improved the caliber of plays available for young audiences.
Under the leadership and vision of Linda Hartzell, Artistic Director since 1985, SCT has become one of the most respected theatres for young people in the country. SCT has been recognized nationally as a leader in the field in Time Magazine and The Wall Street Journal. Locally, Linda has been named artist of the year multiple times by both the Mayor's office and ArtsFund.
Access for Students and Families
A core component of SCT’s mission is to provide accessibility to professional theatre for all socio-economic groups. Seattle Children's Theatre strives to keep ticket prices at levels affordable to families, while maintaining significantly reduced ticket prices for school groups and free tickets for low-income students. Through support from the community, SCT provides almost $1 million in free and subsidized tickets to students during a season, and more than $10 million in free and subsidized tickets over its history. Approximately 5 million patrons have experienced SCT; over 2 million of them have been schoolchildren and teachers.
Education is an integral aspect of everything we do at SCT and we provide many ways to enhance the educational experience. For each performance, Seattle Children's Theatre provides a post-play discussion with the cast after each show, as well as a suggested reading list and activity in the show program. Teachers are encouraged to use complimentary online Educator Resource Guides with educational articles and activities for each production that tie the play themes into grade-appropriate curriculum. SCT serves the community through our Education Outreach programs which provide in-school and afterschool artist residencies as well as professional development opportunities. These in-depth arts education programs include partnerships with community volunteers in low-income schools; teacher training to help infuse drama to benefit core instruction; and a variety of long-term and short term drama education classes. Our Drama School reaches 3,500 students in a wide range of classes, camps and productions, designed to help young people expand their imaginations, build self-confidence and develop their creative abilities. Taught by theatre professionals, classes are offered to students ranging in age from 3½ to 19 and introduce students to all aspects of theatre including acting, playwriting, directing, musical theatre, filmmaking and technical studies.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
SCT is leading the country in the emerging field of toddler theatre, creating interactive, participatory experiences for children as young as six months of age. In this unique blend of early childhood education concepts and performing arts, the audience is center stage with performers weaving their way through the audience and engaging patrons. For these productions, we remove the potential barriers for young children to attend theatre – removing the need to sit still, in one place; eliminating the dimming of lights, and literally transforming the audience from removed observers to active participants in each performance.
SCT is also continually looking for ways in increase support for schools and help augment arts education to our area’s youth. This past season, we initiated a partnership with Curtis Transportation such that SCT could make busing arrangements for school field trips to the theatre. We also adjusted school show performance times to better align with changing school start times.
As a nonprofit, subsidizing school group visitors, raising contributed income for general operating support is a critical need for SCT.