In 1951, one of America’s oldest children’s theatrical organizations was founded – the Boston Children’s Theatre (BCT). This not-for-profit standalone organization is focused on “Live Theatre for Children by Children.”
Boston Children’s Theatre History
In 1920, a charitable corporation was formed for “the promotion of a better and more healthful community toward men in the military and naval service of the United States.” It was called, “Community Services of Boston, Inc.” During its time, it organized and supported canteens, clubs, recreation facilities, and leisure-time activities. It wasn’t until 13 years later that organization’s mission would shift to educating children and adults, focusing on the best and most profitable use of their leisure time. Seven years later in 1940, the organization’s name changed to “Community Recreation Service of Boston, Inc. (CRS) where it offered an array of both cultural and recreational activities, primarily focused on children, but with crafts for senior citizens as well. Due to increasing costs and financial constraints, the organization was forced to reduce its offerings to where the children’s theatre was the sole surviving entity.
Its full dedication to children’s theatre eventually led to its adoption as the children’s program of the Boston Tributary Theatre, or the “Trib.” The organization offered acting lessons and theatre techniques, performances for children that included children from the classes, as well as actors from the adult company. Unfortunately, in 1951, the Tributary Theatre ceased to exist and the CRS committed itself to focusing on programs for children in the Greater Boston area, thereby evolving into the Boston Children’s Theatre, as we know it today.
Since that time, the BCT has continued its mission to feature children in both contemporary and classic productions to over one million children. With its reputation in artistic excellence, the BCT offers highly regarded workshops, classes, summer programs, and live performances. Students of the BCT have the unique opportunity to participate in a wide variety of roles, learning all the facets of show production as they gain the knowledge of what it means to be responsible for running a true show.
Through new and innovative leadership, the BCT continues to evolve its history through the Boston Children’s Theatre Academy – a rich pre-professional training program. While the Theatre operates year round with its programs, it also provides community-wide special events, school collaborative projects, and much more.
Boston Children’s Theatre
316 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115