Lexington Children’s Theatre (LCT) is a fully professional, non-profit organization dedicated to the intellectual and cultural enrichment of young people. Our mission is to create imaginative and compelling theatre experiences for young people and families. Founded in 1938, LCT is one of the oldest continuously operating theatres for young people in the nation and is the State Children’s Theatre of Kentucky, a distinction granted to LCT by The Kentucky Legislature in 1986. Annually, LCT serves over 130,000 children throughout the Commonwealth through our Main Stage performances, Education Department, Touring Productions, and Satellite Theatre based in Rowan and Elliott Counties. Through these programs, LCT’s goal is to reach every child in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, regardless of geographic or economic barrier.
Lexington Children’s Theatre was an all-volunteer organization until 1971. Productions provided recreation and artistic experience for child actors and adult amateurs, with occasional appearances by adult touring companies. The first professional director was hired in 1971, and in 1979 the Board began moving LCT toward resident professional status. A part-time resident ensemble of professional theatre artists was formed in 1984, which became full-time in 1985. We are now a fully professional theatre employing full-time and part-time actors, teachers, directors, designers, administrators and technicians. In 1995 we undertook a significant fund-raising campaign to raise money to renovate a building to become the permanent home to all of our programs. The $3,250,000 construction project was completed in time for the 1998-99 season and provides permanent space for our performances and classes. Thanks to generous donations from the late Lucille Caudill Little and W. T. Young, the building is now debt free. In 1998, we also formed the Resident Professional Intern Company to provide professional training to aspiring theatre students of college age and to supplement the professional staff.
On our Main Stage, LCT produces a ten show season primarily for school audiences during the week and public audiences on the weekends. Selections are made from contemporary dramatic literature for young audiences and scripts based on classic, contemporary, historical, and folk literature.
Since 1980, LCT's Tour Company has provided the best and most affordable opportunity to expose young people in Kentucky to professional theatre. In 20142015, LCT's Tour Company reached over 65,000 students.
LCT's Education Department offers year round classes, summer camps, and residencies in our facility as well as in facilities throughout the Commonwealth.
Our Shooting Stars Youtheatre provides summer performance opportunities, theatre classes, and in-school residencies at no charge for the young people in Eastern Kentucky’s underserved Rowan and Elliott counties.
Serving Central Kentucky's underserved is a top initiative for LCT, and is accomplished through a number of venues, including but not limited to our Family Pay What You Can series, ticket subsidies for children who receive free and reduced lunch, and scholarships for our education classes.
In the fall of 2015, we launched the Learning Stage Series, which was created to give young people more and varied performance opportunities. Our interns and contract artists have been the main drivers of the artistic aspects of these shows, serving as directors, choreographers, and designers. The Learning Stage series has been a hit from the start - every performance of both productions sold out.
The rest of our season has been equally exciting – we debuted a world premiere, Puss in Boots, written by Associate Artistic Director Jeremy Kisling, brought back an old favorite in Larry and Vivian Snipes’ Old Dry Frye, and brought down the Opera House with childhood favorite Junie B. in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells.
Another new initiative for LCT this season were our “Discover More” events. Eager to extend the arts experience for our public performances beyond the production, LCT partnered with various community organizations to present a celebration or educational event that tied in with each show on our season. For example, for our production of The Legend of John Henry, we partnered with The Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning and hosted a poetry writing workshop.
We were thrilled, for the second year in a row, to receive funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, this time to support our production of Duck for President. We also received funding from the Blue Grass Community Foundation to continue our drama and literacy program at William Wells Brown, where each child in kindergarten through second grades received a free copy of Duck for President, a ticket to the show, and a drama workshop provided by our theatre education professionals, all at no cost.
LCT is looking to expand its programming offerings and access in our 2016-2017 season with two new ventures – a brand new Theatre for the Very Young program (theatre programming for children ages birth – two), sensory friendly programming for young people with social and cognitive disabilities.
Lexington Children’s Theatre's purpose is to provide young people high quality aesthetic experiences in theatre arts. We strive to provide our young patrons with performances that entertain, educate and challenge their imaginations. Our programs are designed to aid the aesthetic, personal and social growth of our young audience. In addition to providing entertainment, they encourage appreciation of theatre and of the arts in general. Our presentations offer young audiences comprehensible samples of real-life and imaginary experiences and invite them to participate both sympathetically and actively in the world of our performances. Through participation in theatre young people learn valuable personal and social skills and further their understanding of themselves, their peers and their community.
Our work lifts characters off the page and breathes life into them for our young patrons. In doing so, we hope to challenge our audiences to view stories and life experiences in a different way.
Einstein said “imagination is more important than knowledge.” The work of the Lexington Children’s Theatre provides young people across the Commonwealth with the opportunity to experience one of the most powerful educational experiences imaginable. As I watch young audience members, I am struck by how engaged they are in this rich, complex expression of life. Whether they are on stage or in the audience, they are influenced by the magic that theatre gives us.
I “inherited” my love of Lexington Children’s Theatre from my parents who both served on the LCT board of directors. It is my pleasure to serve as board president for such a vital organization and to support the work of the dedicated staff members who work behind the scenes to produce the amazing experiences of theatre and education that impact so many young lives each year. Please join me in supporting an organization that provides so much to our entire community as it encourages and grows the imaginations of young people all over Kentucky.
Larry Snipes serves as Lexington Children’s Theatre’s Producing Director and CEO. After completing his MA in Theatre for Young Audiences at Alabama’s University of Montevallo, Mr. Snipes worked for two years as a professional actor and director in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. He has directed a multitude of productions for LCT and written several plays including Jack and the Wonder Beans, Cows Don’t Fly and other known facts, and Old Dry Frye. He is a member of the Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC) and a past conference chair for SETC, and is a member of TYA-USA (Theatre for Young Audiences. Along with his wife, Vivian, Mr. Snipes is the winner of the 2010 Sara Spencer Child Drama Award, and 2012 Orlin Corey Medallion winner from the Children’s Theatre Foundation of America.
Artistic DirectorVivian Snipes studied interrelated arts at the University of Maryland and the University of Kentucky. Prior to moving to Central Kentucky she performed with several children’s theatre touring companies in the Washington, D.C. area and taught in the Montgomery County Maryland School’s Interrelated Arts Program. Since arriving at Lexington Children’s Theatre in 1979, at one time or another she has been a teacher, set designer, costumer, production manager, administrator, actor and director. She has also written several plays including Alice in Wonderland and The Snow Queen.Additionally she has co-authored several other works with husband, Larry Snipes, including The Fisherman and his Wife, Cows Don’t Fly and Other Known Facts, and Old Dry Frye. She is a member of the Southeastern Theatre Conference, the American Association of Theatre Educators and ASSITEJ (the International organization for Children’s Theatre and its advocacy). Along with her husband, Larry, Ms. Snipes is the winner of the 2010 Sara Spencer Child Drama Award, and 2012 Orlin Corey Medallion winner from the Children’s Theatre Foundation of America.
LCT’s Tour Company currently produces two shows in both the spring and fall semesters that can be performed for age appropriate audiences. One production is designated for Kindergarten through fourth Grade and the other for grades 4-8. Each production is designed to be performed for a max of 300 students per show. LCT’s professional Tour Company is trained and has the ability to set up two stage productions in one school day in one location.
LCT supplies educational packets to each school so that teachers may extend the learning experience into the classroom. Students and teachers are able to discuss the show in detail, reflecting on important messages, and their experience with the show. LCT strives to use culturally and historically rich scripts and stories, creating educational experiences for the children involved. Program evaluation forms are distributed to teachers at all performance and classroom residencies.
Satellite Program in Rowan and Elliott Counties.
LCT collaborates with a number of businesses, organizations, and agencies in the Bluegrass, including but not limited to Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Kentucky, the Children's Charity Classic, the Explorium of Lexington, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Whole Foods Market, the Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center, PNC Bank, the Jewish Federation of the Bluegrass, Countdown to Kindergarten, the Lexington Art League, and many others.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
Copyright © 2014 Blue Grass Community Foundation
499 East High Street, Lexington, KY 40507