101 Stories: Mikki Graff

By The Children's Theatre

Celebrate TCT’s 101st season as it comes to a close as we applaud and appreciate those who contributed to the organization’s magic throughout our century-long journey.  During 10 weeks of recognition, we honor individuals who have been instrumental in the success of TCT, and who have not only helped TCT grow in mission, but also thrive, thanks to their passion.  It is these people and their moments in our history that shaped TCT to become what it is today. We encourage you to consider giving a gift in their honor to ensure the sustainability of TCT’s mission for the next 100+ years. 

Mikki Graff and Family at the Family Gala

Since the 2002-2003 MainStage season, The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati has been fortunate to work with one of Cincinnati’s premier graphic design firms, Graff Designs.  Mikki and Daniel Graff have been big fans of the organization. Mikki Graff has carefully crafted the company’s visual look and feel throughout the years, which has been instrumental in TCT’s success. 

Mikki recently shared some thoughts about her experience with TCT. 

What prompted your involvement with TCT?  

“I was invited to a school performance of Noah’s Ark in 2001. I was immediately transported back to my own childhood school field trips spent with The Children’s Theatre at the Taft Theatre. Afterward, I met with Jack and Susie Louiso (then Artistic and Managing Directors) to talk about the next season. Their excitement was infectious. I was hooked.” 

Can you share a moment or turning point in your work with TCT that enhanced or changed the program? 

“In 20 years, I have watched TCT grow from producing three MainStage shows per season to four Broadway-caliber performances. They created a touring team to take productions directly into schools and community spaces. Their academy class offerings have exploded. They’ve outgrown renting space in office buildings and built their own amazing facility with classrooms, practice studios, and a theatre. But none of this compares to the pivot they made when the COVID pandemic shuttered the 2020-21 season. Without hesitation, they reimagined what the “theatre experience” could mean by producing multiple streaming performances, interactive pick-a-path shows, and numerous virtual classes. For children spending a year cut off from every other normalcy, The Children’s Theatre kept their commitment to educate, entertain and engage.”  

What do you love most about your work with TCT? 

“Each season, we concept a theme and work with a different artist to create the show poster. I love looking back at all of the posters to see the many different ways we’ve imagined the shows—my favorite was the season when the illustrations were made entirely out of clay.” 

What else would you like to share about your time at TCT?  

“The Children’s Theatre has been a huge part of my children’s artistic development. They love musicals. They are always singing around the house. They want to perform for others. I am grateful for what TCT means to them.” 

Would you honor Mikki Graff with a gift to recognize the impact made on TCT?

MainStage illustrations created in clay by artist Paula Pindroh for the 2012-2013 season.

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