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History & Past Productions - Seattle Children's Theatre

History & Past Productions

At Seattle Children's Theatre (SCT), we are proud to be one of the most prominent theatres for young audiences in the United States and the world. Our mission is to provide children of all ages and backgrounds access to professional theatre, with a focus on new works, and theatre education. For many children, we are the first, and sometimes, sole, exposure they have to live theatre.

Rocky and Bullwinkle 1987

OUR HISTORY

Seattle Children’s Theatre (SCT) was technically founded in 1975, but our humble beginning actually dates back to 1971, when Seattle's theatre scene for young people was virtually nonexistent.  So, with the support of local teachers and graduate students, The Woodland Park Zoo (known at the time as “Woodland Park Children’s Zoo") joined forces with the City of Seattle’s fundraising arm, PONCHO (Patrons of Northwest Civic, Cultural and Charitable Organizations), to build the Poncho Theatre, located on the grounds of the Zoo. A grassroots effort, this theatre was truly a labor of love; a bare bones operation largely staffed by volunteers and sharing a space with various other organizations, as well as the occasional wild animals. Despite the lean resources, the productions that were mounted in our early years were very well-received.

As many theatres throughout the country have experienced, SCT lost much of our City funding in 1983. We turned to generous corporate and private sponsors to stay afloat. Longtime Seattle actor and director Linda Hartzell (Artistic Director Emerita) assumed the role of Artistic Director in 1984, and SCT quickly began to thrive, breaking attendance records faster than you can say Go Dog Go. We had become the second largest professional children’s theatre in the country; we were going to need a bigger boat. Our dreams were realized thanks to longtime Seattle philanthropist, Charlotte Martin, who established the Charlotte Y. Martin Foundation before her death. In 1990, SCT was named the recipient of a $1.2 million foundation grant, which would fund the new Seattle Children’s Theatre space on the grounds of Seattle Center. In 1993, much to the joy of enthusiastic children and families, the 482-seat Charlotte Martin Theatre was open to the public. We had arrived.

Just shy of two years later, SCT opened a second venue adjacent to the Charlotte Martin. The Eve Alvord Theatre (named for a longtime supporter of SCT) seats 274, perfect for shows of a more intimate nature. SCT continued to be the gracious recipient of generous contributions in 2000, when the Allen Family Technical Pavilion was completed. This state-of-the-art facility houses our paint, costume, prop, and scene shops, as well as our bright rehearsal and classroom spaces. The Allen Family Technical Pavilion was the first of its kind in the nation, and continues to be a model for many other theatres for young audiences around the country.

By the end of the 2018-19 Season, SCT will have produced over 269 plays, 115 of which are world premieres entertaining, inspiring and educating over 4 million children.

Past Productions