Why New York City Children’s Theater?

NYCCT fosters creative, independent, and empathetic minds with a full spectrum of theater activities built around children’s books, including: professional productions; audience engagement activities; online programming alongside arts-in-education programs in schools, homeless shelters, libraries, and community centers across NYC.

Because Theater Should Be For Everyone

Our innovative education programs and award-winning, world premier productions have delighted children for over 25 years. But what’s the use of unprecedented programing without unparalleled accessibility? To defray the high costs in NYC that can bar many children from access to our top notch programing, our Send a Family to Theater and Send a Kid to Theater accessibility programs offer families and school groups the opportunity to engage with NYCCT productions at no cost to themselves. Studies show that if a child and a caregiver engage with theater, the child is much more likely to attend theater as an adult. Your gift will help us build the theater-makers and audiences of the future.

Because Young Minds Have Big Questions

Theater can spark ideas, convictions, and questions in young minds. NYCCT knows expanding young minds doesn’t begin or end with the show. We create online and in-person activities that engage children’s creativity and questions before they take their seats in the theater and long after the applause has ended. Our digital playspace, Creative Clubhouse, helps young people develop critical thinking, empathetic problem-solving skills, and social growth through fun, interactive, book-based classes and activities. As we do for all of our programs, we choose books and artistic collaborators that represent the diversity of New York City so program participants have the opportunity to see themselves in the story.

Because Parents Can't Do It Alone

And since we know parents are some of the biggest champions of big things happening in young minds, we created our Start the Conversation series to offer grown ups tools and language to engage big topics with their children. Adults can find expert guidance on our Family Resource Page, where they can learn how to apply a trauma informed lens to education and child-care with our Trauma Informed Toolkit, or seek out entertainment and advice from theater celebrities and professionals during our Meet The Parent series.

Because School is a Place to Build Community

NYCCT award-winning education programs teach literacy, artistic skills, emotional intelligence, empathy, and cooperation. We serve thousands of Pre-K through 5th grade students every year, in over 100 schools, community centers, and homeless shelters in all five boroughs of New York City. We strive to create creative learning environments for all students, cultivate communities of respect and inclusion, and empower students to be agents of positive change.

Because Learning Doesn't Stop with Literacy

Our trauma-informed Literature At Play curriculum offers students the opportunity to explore a story by acting out the experiences of some of its characters. It is often students’ only chance to explore how their experience connects to what happens in a story and make meaning from the words they read on the page. In order to serve the needs of the children we serve in the NYC Shelter System, NYCCT worked with a team of psychologists, social workers, drama therapists, and our own teaching artists, to ensure that the fun after-school program we offer also meets their social and emotional needs. The Trauma Informed Toolkit for Educators, available to professional educators across the country shares best practices for teaching with a healing-centered approach and includes the voices of a range of experts in the field; experts who have helped us build a compassionate, sustainable practice for engaging children living in crisis. The techniques we promote in this series support all children in learning emotional management, focus, and engagement strategies for learning.

Because We Know We're Not Done Growing

At NYCCT, we know a child’s entire world is about building—building new knowledge, new skills, new friendships—and we are never going to stop building along with them. We are proud to create theatre and music programming that is rooted in trauma-informed, culturally-responsive and anti-racist principles for all of NYC’s children.

Your Support is Critical

Your donation, your word of mouth, and even your kind thoughts help move our mission forward. We are grateful for your interest and your understanding. Join our efforts, because we have the how, and we know you can see the why.

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