Children’s Theatre of Annapolis was established in 1959 by a small group of volunteers who wanted to provide professional level theatrical opportunities for children ages 8 to 18. Early productions had small casts of 8 to 15 children with rehearsals and performances held at local schools and churches. Over time CTA developed larger productions, enlarged cast size, expanded to two full productions per year, and added workshop training. As the organization grew, finding rehearsal and performance space became a challenge.
In 2000 the Department of the Navy advertised for a tenant to utilize the buildings on a Nike missile site near Annapolis. This was the opportunity CTA had been searching for in our effort to establish a permanent home, and a major turning point for CTA which linked us from our past to our future. With the site secured CTA now had facilities for costumes, props, set construction, and much needed rehearsal space, but still no stage to call home.
The Anne Arundel County Government then acquired the entire missile site property and developed plans to transform it into the Bay Head Park which would include ball fields, bike paths, and our future theatre – the theatre complex started to become reality. A financial gift was presented to CTA in1999, this generous donation that made our dream of building a theatre possible. Through an active capital campaign and fund raising initiatives financial support has been received from: the State of Maryland and Anne Arundel County governments; national, state, and local grants; corporate and private foundations; and individual and corporate donations. These gifts and the continued support of our membership and corporate sponsors brought us closer to our dream.
WHERE WE ARE NOW
Today CTA stages two or more full productions annually with casts of 30 to 40 children on the Main Stage of the theater complex. Workshops, technical stage training, internships, and apprenticeships in the theatrical arts are just some of the continuing arts education held throughout the year. Approximately 7500 families in the greater Baltimore Washington Annapolis region are impacted by CTA annually.
In addition to arts education for 5 to 18 year olds, CTA provides a scholarship program. Graduating high school seniors who are members of CTA may participate in the Miriam Wolfe Scholarship, which was established in 1988 in memory of former CTA member Miriam Wolfe who was a victim of the bombing of flight 103 over Lockerby Scotland. The purpose of the scholarship is to encourage and recognize CTA high school seniors who will pursue an interest in the arts as a part of their continuing education in college.