Engaging Northern Colorado in Live, Family-Friendly Theatre and Performing Arts Education for Over 60 Years
The mission of Fort Collins Children's Theatre is to engage the Northern Colorado community in live, family-friendly theatre and story while providing safe spaces for personal and cultural growth.
Affordable live theatre
Youth performing arts education and mentorship
Accessible to marginalized populations
High production quality
Enriching the lives of adults and youth through learning and performing opportunities
It was the 1950's and a group of civic-minded women were pondering the idea that children should have the opportunity to be exposed to live theatre, regardless of their family's ability to pay. They realized that the closest theatre offerings were in Denver, over an hour away. So, they decided to create Fort Collins Children’s Theatre (FCCT), a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing people together in the mission to provide quality live theatre for the children and families of Northern Colorado.
A Board of Directors was formed and they began producing live theatre in Fort Collins for a diverse audience of children and those young-at-heart. In 1978 FCCT had the honor of being the first local theatre group to stage a show on the Main Stage of the Lincoln Center with their production of Sleeping Beauty. In addition to The Lincoln Center, Fort Collins Children’s Theatre has brought theatre magic to life on stages throughout the Front Range, including Colorado State University’s Johnson Hall and some of Poudre School District’s school auditoriums.
During the early 1980's the Board of Directors started a summer program for children aged 9-12, called the Peanut Butter Players, which ran for several weeks and ended with a short exhibit. Later, the summer program 'Jam Revue' was added for children aged 12-15 years. During this program the participants had the opportunity to act, learn technical skills, and experience the business of theatre backstage. Today FCCT typically runs three summer programs for youth.
With more than 60 years of service to Northern Colorado, we are able to reflect on the founders of our organization and all that they created as a legacy to our community. In addition to these inspiring women, countless other volunteers and professionals have made this organization what it is today. To them all we owe our deepest gratitude and most enthusiastic applause.
The Fort Collins Children's Theatre
Board of Directors
Stephen Gillespie, President - Central Support, Marketing/Fundraising
Frances Leary, Vice President - Central Support, Artistic Advisory, Marketing/Fundraising
Nicole Jernigan, Treasurer - Central Support, Marketing/Fundraising
Deanna Mae, Secretary - Central Support, Artistic Advisory, Marketing/Fundraising
Jennifer Mayhew - Central Support
Sydney Johnson - Artistic Advisory
David Austin-Groen - Member at Large
Cary Dickens - Member at Large
As a volunteer-powered organization, our board members serve multiple roles in keeping our endeavors prosperous, and mission realized to bring quality musical theatre productions and opportunities to children and families in our community. Whole board meetings are held every month to make decisions and formulate new ideas. Additional sub-committee meetings such as fundraising, outreach programs, summer workshops, artistic advisory, and marketing are held as needed.
It takes a village to keep our productions and programs going. Each of our board members brings a welcome skill to the organization, whether it's a background in theatre, education, or business. We all bring a passion for children and theatre.
If you would be interested in learning more or participating as a board member, send us an email via the contact in the footer, and your question will be directed to the right member.
The Debbie Dixon Endowment Fund
A collaboration with the Community Foundation.
Debbie Dixon, long time production manager and patron of Fort Collins Children’s Theatre, passed away in January of 2015. A Stephen Sondheim line says “To die loved is to have lived.” Debbie certainly was and did. Her dance across earth’s stage couldn’t have been more full of life and love, and of course, music.
Debbie lived her passion; her occupation and vocation seamlessly integrated, from the Lincoln Center box office to Company member of Foothills Civic, Mostlies and Openstage theatres, to production coordinator for Opera Ft. Collins and FCCT, to enthusiastic audience member. Her roles were many and varied as she wove her particular and unique colors into the tapestry of Ft. Collins’ Performing Arts Community; Singer, actress, producer, patron, techie, props mistress, planner, board member, fund-raiser, grant writer, archivist, historian, writer, editor, muse, and more rolled up into one incredible bundle of energy. Her legacy is evident in all of us who were touched, encouraged and inspired by the beautiful song that was her life.
In her honor, FCCT has set up an endowment fund with the Community Foundation under her name. With your donations, her memory and dreams for FCCT remain vibrant and secures our future of bringing quality, live musical theatre to the children and families of our wonderful community.