Build a sustainable musical theatre program in your school with JumpStart Theatre!

By The Children's Theatre
Disney’s Aladdin JR at Oyler School

Three Tri-State Schools Awarded Fully-Funded JumpStart Theatre Program

After a three-month selection process, The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati (TCT) has named the newest tri-state area schools that will partner with the JumpStart Theatre Program.  The Educational Theatre Foundation (ETF), in collaboration with New York City-based companies iTheatrics and Music Theatre International (MTI) created JumpStart Theatre, a three-year scalable program designed to build sustainable musical theatre programs in underserved schools that previously had none.

Hartwell Elementary, Liberty Bible Academy, and Summit Academy Cincinnati Community School were selected to be part of the three-year program beginning in the 2019-20 school year.

The selection process included a formal written application, site visits to the schools and interviews with administrators and the faculty who would be spearheading the program. 

Disney’s The Little Mermaid JR. at Felicity-Franklin Middle School

Kim Kern, Managing Director and CEO of The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati said, “After a rigorous application and interview process, we are thrilled to welcome Hartwell Elementary, Liberty Bible Academy and Summit Academy as JumpStart Theatre partner schools for the 2019-20 school year.  All that applied were wonderful candidates and will be invited to the boot camp trainings and to apply again for the 2020-21 school year.  We are so excited to see the continued momentum of this program, and to work alongside the Educational Theatre Foundation to continue the growth locally while they expand the reach and impact nationally.”

The selected schools are incredibly enthusiastic about beginning the process:

“We are excited to partner with JumpStart Theatre.  This is a great opportunity to showcase the talent of our diverse student population and welcome in our parents and community.  Students will now have another avenue to display their creativity through drama, art, music, technology and more.  We are ready to put this in motion!”

Antwan Lewis, Principal of Hartwell Elementary

“Liberty Bible Academy is thrilled to be a part of the JumpStart Theatre program starting in the 2019-2020 school year,” said Julie Weber, LBA 5th and 6th Grade Teacher and JumpStart Theatre On-Site Director.  “The JumpStart Theatre team’s knowledge and training will help us build a sustainable program for years to come, and we can’t wait to watch our middle school students build confidence and strengthen their character because of this enriching opportunity.”  

Hairspray JR. at Aiken

Lisa L. Singleton of Summit Academy Cincinnati Community School, said “We are very excited to get this program off the ground.  We plan to partner our lower school students with the upper school students.  This will open so many doors for our students who would not otherwise be exposed to theater.  Learning to make costumes; make props for the set and even mix the sounds for the production.  Students can be on stage or behind the scenes.  Our hope is that families will want to be involved as well.”

Each selected school will receive services and materials valued at $12,000 in the form of training, mentoring, and production support for a show for their community. Students will be involved in every aspect of the production, and TCT and ETF will also host an annual JumpStart Theatre showcase, bringing all the participants together to share their work.

Annie JR. at Clark Montessori

Three teachers from each participating school are taught the techniques and skills to develop and manage a musical theatre program (everything from casting, to rehearsal schedules, to staging/choreography and technical requirements, to cultivating parent/community engagement, to achieving economic sustainability) through a series of three, full-day professional development “boot camps” each year of the three-year program, plus an ongoing mentoring/coaching relationship with an experienced theatre teaching artist.

For questions about the JumpStart Theatre Program and application process, visit or email