JumpStart Theatre Program

By The Children's Theatre

Stay tuned for applications for the 2024-2025 School Year

Are you a middle school teacher in the Tri-State area looking to start a musical theatre program at your school? You may be eligible to participate in the JumpStart Theatre Program and do so for free! Learn more and apply today for funding for the 2024-2025 school year.

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 Foundation 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

How it works

Schools are rigorously screened on multiple criteria, most notably, passion and commitment. Participant schools receive the materials, funding, expert training, and experienced teaching artist mentor support to produce one full-scale musical production each year on a three-year path to sustainable capability.

Schools that apply must be middle schools or feature grades 5-8 within their school.

Training & Ongoing Mentoring

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.

Timeline for 23-24

January 2023Application opens
March 31, 2023Application closes
Early April 2023Interviews for schools who have applied and site visits for finalists
April 2023Selected schools notified & orientation for selected schools
May 2023Planning for 2023-2024 school year (submit show selections, bootcamp dates determined, contracts signed)
Fall 2023Program begins at selected sites

About the Educational Theatre Foundation (ETF)

The Educational Theatre Association is an international association with approximately 125,000 active members whose mission is shaping lives through theatre education. EdTA is home of the International Thespian Society, which has inducted more than 2.3 million students since its founding in 1929. The Educational Theatre Foundation (ETF) is the fundraising arm of EdTA, providing financial support to enhance theatre education and expand access to school theatre programs for every child. Learn more about ETF.


Contact Mary Wright, Development & Volunteer Manager, mary.wright@tctcincinnati.com or call 513-569-8080 x14.

JumpStart 23-24 Sponsors:

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