Three Tri-State Schools Awarded Fully Funded JumpStart Theatre Program

By The Children's Theatre

Cincinnati – 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 Association (EdTA), 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.

Batavia Middle School, Shroder High School (grades 7-8), and Covedale Elementary School were selected to be part of the three-year program beginning in the 2023-2024 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.

Kim Kern, Managing Director and CEO of The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati, said, “We are thrilled to welcome Batavia Middle School, Shroder High School, and Covedale Elementary School as JumpStart Theatre partner schools for the 2023-24 school year. TCT has seen over 10 schools complete this program and build their theatre programs into self-sustaining entities. We are so excited to see the 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.”

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

The selected schools make a three-year commitment, and teams of three or more teachers from each school will participate in professional development “boot camps” in a variety of areas lead by a master teacher in the fall and spring. These workshops will provide training in all areas of musical theatre production, with the goal of empowering the teacher teams to guide the programs independently.

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

About The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati (TCT):

The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati is the oldest children’s theatre in the country. Its mission is to educate, entertain and engage audiences of all ages through professional theatrical productions and arts education programming. Its vision is to awaken a lifelong love of theater in children and the young at heart. Today, the Children’s Theatre brings art to life for our audiences through three key programs: TCT MainStage at the Taft Theatre, TCT on Tour (including Workshops) and TCT Academy. Each season TCT strives to reach more than 200,000 people in our region. For more information visit

About the Educational Theatre Association:

The Educational Theatre Foundation (ETF) is the fundraising arm of the Educational Theatre Association (EdTA).

ETF’s mission is to provide all students with equitable access to quality theatre education. The Foundation achieves this mission by providing financial support to programs that expand access to and participation in school theatre for underserved and marginalized communities and funding theatre programs’ growth and sustainability.

The JumpStart Theatre program creates sustainable theatre arts programs in middle schools where there previously were none. Participating schools are chosen through a rigorous application process and receive training, materials, and budget support to produce their first full-scale musical production. The support continues for three years until the program becomes self-sustaining. Non-theatre teachers are equipped with skills and resources to produce their school’s first musical through a proven combination of bootcamp style training and hands-on mentoring. The Educational Theatre Association operates JumpStart Theatre through a national network of regional theatre company partners who are selected based on their track-record of success in running educational programs for children. JumpStart Theatre partners are Alliance Theatre, Atlanta, Ga.; La Jolla Playhouse, La Jolla, Calif.; Mountain City Center for the Arts, Frostburg, MD; Stages St. Louis, St. Louis, MO; The Children’s Theatre, Cincinnati, OH*

 *Original pilot site

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