Our Next Show Is.... The Spell of Sleeping Beauty!
Auditions Dates: Wednesday, 7/10/24 and Wednesday 7/17/24 doors open at 6:30pm to fill out registration forms, doors close at 7pm

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2015 - 2016 Year in Review with Photos

C R O S S E N ’S


R       Year in Review 2015 - 2016




   This ends my tenure as president of this wonderful organization. It has been my pleasure to serve for the past two years. (Please check out last year’s 2015 report to see what you may have missed. It is posted under THE YEAR IN REVIEW 2014-2015 on the menu.) While here at the 2015-2016 YEAR IN REVIEW, why not check out this past season. A great many of our goals have been met, as we forged on with our mission.


The mission of the Children’s Theatre, Inc. is to foster and encourage children in the development of and commitment to the highest standard of theatre through instruction, direction, and production of quality performances, whereby, its audiences may gain an appreciation for the arts.



   Fortunately, we received grant funds for the 2015-2016 season: ($1,700) from DE Division

of the Arts, which allowed us to focus on all four regular season shows. The $2,500 helped with the extraordinary expenses incurred with a Broadway musical. With our SHREK production, we were able to rent a carousel horse for Farquaad to ride, along with some special effects, i.e., a Pinocchio nose that could actually grow. Costuming, sets, props, and choreography were also costly. But, our outreach to school children at a reduced ticket price filled The Schwartz Center for the Arts to capacity for our school performance; indeed, it was a win-win for all.


   The good news is simply this: our grant writers have done it, again. The Children’s Theatre, Inc. received the same amount of funding for the 2016-2017 season from these same state and county organizations. Those adjudicating the grants were looking especially for collaboration with other non-profit organizations. They were delighted with our Maurice Sendak partnership with the Delaware libraries this summer. We are grateful for the opportunities and support these organizations have granted us




The Children's Theatre Inc. is supported, in part, by a grant from the
Delaware Division of the Arts
, a state agency, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. The Division promotes Delaware arts events on www.DelawareScene.com.



SHREK: the MUSICAL (November, 2015)

   We started our season with a production that saw two of three performances SOLD OUT! The third show was almost sold out and record numbers saw a show that had not been done in this area, which added to its appeal. We had 47 young people take to the stage from ages 8-18 for the popular tale of SHREK: The MUSICAL. Our ogre, donkey, and princess(es) received rave reviews as did our entire cast of characters. Due to a Schwartz scheduling conflict, we benefited by switching our reserved dates. Thus, this show set a new record for gross gate receipts. Our “split” netted us $6,780.00. SHREK, on many levels, was a success.


Snow Queen (January 2016)

Hans Christian Anderson’s SNOW QUEEN was scheduled for the January weekend that found our little Delaware in a State of Emergency blizzard. The Schwartz was forced to cancel all performances, but luckily was able to reschedule this beautiful production for the following weekend. Our Snow Queen dazzled the audience with her “FROZEN” tale. Gerde and Kay had quite an adventure as they met with good and evil characters.


Alice in Wonderland (March 2016)

Alice in Wonderland captured its audiences with an adventure fit for a queen—The Queen of Hearts, that is. Alice reduced to a tiny size went down the rabbit hole and met all of Lewis Carroll’s classic characters: the White Rabbit, the Mad Hatter, the King and Queen of Hearts, the March Hare, the Duchess, and the Cheshire Cat, to name a few. “Off with their heads!” was the Queen’s constant threat. Decks of cards, executioners, Red and White Queens kept this show lively from start to finish.



Rumpelstiltskin wove his magic spell on our season’s final production, Rumpelstiltskin Is My Name.

As often happens, a neophyte to theatre, walks in to audition and lands a title role. Never before on stage, Ace Clark, memorized countless lines and took on the posture, voice, movement, and total characterization of this wicked fairytale creature. He was supported by a fantastic cast of medieval characters, who sought to destroy his magical powers.




Tommy Price, former member of The Children’s Theatre, Inc. returned from his position at Disney World in Orlando, Florida to recreate his original modern, interpretive dance piece to Todrick Hall and Pentatonix’s, “The Wizard of Ahhhs!” in time for Dover Days. This free show at the Schwartz had parade route audiences stop in to see any one of our three performances. Obviously, they met all the familiar characters from L. Frank Baum’s Wizard of Oz.


Almost three years ago, The Children’s Theatre, Inc. was asked to partner in the summer of 2016, with the Delaware Libraries to perform something from Maurice Sendak’s works while the Maurice Sendak Memorial Exhibition was on loan to the State of Delaware. John Clendaniel, then president of the board, asked if we could accommodate this request. We were thrilled to be the theatre group of record. Activities were planned by many organizations and Sharon Crossen, Ami Leaming, and Sydney Palmer took a musical for six characters, Really Rosie by Maurice Sendak with music by Carole King and expanded it to a cast of 14. This troupe opened the exhibit in Dover at the Schwartz, then performed in Sussex County at the Milton Theatre and in New Castle County at the Brandywine Hundred Library. We played to terrific audiences loaded with little children, parents, and grandparents. Mr. Mercer designed a flexible set that parents transported up and down the state. We thank all involved for giving up four weeks of intense rehearsals.




Story Hour with Ms. Jackie at the Dover Public Library




Melissa Brenner, founder of First State Improv, assisted by Erin Rich hosted two instructional theatre camps offering various activities for The Children’s Theatre, Inc., one in June and one in August. Both camps were filled to capacity (and beyond) as these talented children turned on their creative juices. No props, costumes, sets, were needed…just pure imagination and communication skills. At the end of each camp, an evening presentation demonstrating their skills was offered to parents and friends of the campers.




Our coffers were enhanced with donations in categories: $50 (BRONZE), $100 (SILVER), $150 (GOLD), $200 (PLATINUM), and $500 and up (DIAMOND). We look forward to these and additional sponsors for the 2016-2017 Season.


James & Marina Rogin *

Ami Leaming

Law Office of Laura A Yiengst, LLC

Joseph & Sharon Crossen

Northgate Laundromat

Estate of Shirley Clark


Platinum Sponsors

Patricia Parsons–Beetschen


Gold Sponsors

Michael & Sara Soules

Edelman Spine & Orthopaedic Therapy


Silver Sponsors

Ross Jahren

Kathleen, Paul & Viktor Kress

John & Deborah DeMarie


Bronze Sponsors

Cassidy Yiengst

Kylie Yiengst

Brad and Karen Sawicki


If you or your business would like to be a sponsor to our tax exempt organization, please send your check to The Children’s Theatre, Inc. c/o Treasurer, P.O. Box 823, Dover, Delaware 19903. All donations are tax deductible. Your name will be printed on all programs for the 2016-2017 season. We thank you in advance for your generous support.


*Founding members, Marina and Jim Rogin donated the Flatforms (risers, portable staging) that we purchased this summer at for a total of three with their $2,400 donation. These will last a lifetime, and will give our directors elevation opportunities, galore. We thank them for their generosity and vision with this gift, something from which our children will truly benefit.

   As reported at our August 31, 2016, Annual Meeting, our financial picture remains strong according to our treasurer, Matthew Hartigan. An exit audit has been scheduled as officers change.


   Scholarships were presented to two deserving seniors for $500 each. The scholarship committee recommended Riley Anne Evans and Rose Slavin for this honor. Their applications, letters of reference, community service and ecommitment to The Children’s Theatre, Inc. made them perfect candidates for this award, which is now in its third year. Riley Anne will begin her nursing degree, while Rose will continue her studies in Theatre Arts. We wish them the best of luck as they begin their college studies, and we invite them to visit us during their semester breaks.

Riley Anne Evans    



Rose Slavin







Brought back last season by popular demand are our volunteer awards. Plaques for our Volunteer-of-the-Year 2015-2016 honorees were presented to Ali Bing, Jacqueline Pierce, Quianna & Jaime Nieves, and Kathy Szramka as they were called to the stage at the Schwartz Center for recognition during our final production. We thank them and all of our volunteers for giving of their time and talent. Please contact any board member to see how you may become a volunteer.


This year, our administrative assistant, Patricia Beetschen, provided us with blasts concerning auditions and production information. Our data base continues to grow; if you are not on our email list, please notify us through our website www.thechildrenstheatre.org or Facebook/thechildrenstheatre,inc.


On June 15, 2016, a celebration of The Children’s Theatre’s, Inc.’s founders took place in our rehearsal space at Reith Hall. Plaques were presented honoring the five original members who had the vision to bring opportunities for children to experience theatre arts and audiences to enjoy fare that was appropriate for children and families. After 21 years, our organization continues to grow and prosper. We thank Ted Ressler (deceased), Marjorie Ressler, Marina Knipe Rogin, James Rogin, and Anne Evans (deceased) for their dedication to children and the arts.







Pictured above are founders Jim and Marina Rogin, and former Children’s Theatre President, Diane Radnich as she presents the founders’ plaque to Marge Ressler at her residence. The new signage is also visible on our rehearsal space. It has been in the works for several years; after many hurdles, it took shape and now adorns our front edifice. We thank Kent Signs and Kathy Szramka for the design.

Gov. Carper presents proclamation to our Founders in 1995






(Front row, from left) Terry Price and Pam Lloyd, (Middle row, from left) Diane Radnich, President at the time of the transition; Sharon Crossen, and Ami Leaming (Back row, from left) Kevin Sellers, Brad Sawicki, and Tom Gladu. Absent from the picture, John Clendaniel, Gwen Stubbolo,and Marjorie Ressler and Trish Suter


The Children’s Theatre’s 2016- 2017 Season

TICKETS: All seats for all public shows are $10. Seats are reserved. Our school show has a $5.00 ticket price. Tickets may be purchased through the Schwartz Center for the Arts at 302-678-5152 or

online at www.schwartzenter.com or in person at the box office is 226 S. State Street, Dover, DE.




Auditions: Tuesday, September 6, and Wednesday, September 7:00 2016 at 6:30 P.M. at the Schwartz

Performances: Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016at7:00 P.M. and Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016 at 2:00 P.M.


SYNOPSIS: The Spell of Sleeping Beauty by Vera Morris"In the kingdom of Never Nod there’s celebration.  A princess has been born to the King and Queen.  Her name is Briar-Rose.  Unfortunately, that nasty witch, Evilina, who lives in Tumbledown Castle with a giant spider for a companion, is not invited.  She shows up anyway and pronounces her revenge.  At age 16, the princess will cut her finger on a spinning wheel and fall into a deep sleep from which she’ll never awake.  Some good witches counter the curse by saying the princess can be awakened by the kiss of true love.  The King bans all spinning wheels.  Evilina is not so easily defeated and, on that fateful birthday, the princess does, indeed, cut her finger on a spinning wheel.  It’s up to Prince Alexander to come to Briar-Rose’s rescue — and the court’s too.  They’re all asleep!  The prince must fight a Wall of Thorns, a False Princess and, most frightening of all — the awesome Dark Knight!  This captivating, frolicsome version of the always-popular classic has it all — charm, action, romance, comedy, thrills, plus zany and lovable characters.  Suitable for all age groups."



Tuesday,November 15, 2016 and Wednesday, November 16, 2016 at 6:30 P.M.at the Schwartz

PERFORMANCES: January 14, 2017 at 7:00 P.M. and January 15, 2017 at 2:00 P.M.

SYNOPSIS: This is the delightful, classic tale of the greatest optimist of all time...  Pollyanna.  But it’s much more than that.  It’s the story how a little girl’s faith in her father’s promise — that you can find something good about anything that happens — guides her steadfastly through circumstances that most adults would find formidable.  Pollyanna becomes an orphan, and she is placed into the care of her purely pessimistic and domineering aunt.  Talk about difficult circumstances-the clash of hope and doubt meeting under the same roof!  The town itself isn’t much better.  Led by a ’fire and brimstone’ pastor whose favorite Bible verse is ’Woe unto you,’ folks are always complaining, feeling sorry for themselves and viewing their existence as dark and dreary.  Yet, Pollyanna faithfully plays her ’glad game,’ innocently teaching it to others wherever she goes.  The hired help, such as maid Nancy, cook Mrs. Durgin, and gardener Old Tom, seem to catch on first.  Other townspeople like hypochondriac Mrs. Snow and her sarcastic daughter Millie slowly learn the joy of the game too.  Charmingly narrated by Jimmy Bean, another orphan, we also meet the hermit-like John Pendleton and Dr. Chilton, who had closed his heart to taking risks...  that is, until he met Pollyanna.            


 AUDITIONS: Tuesday, January 17, 2017 and Wednesday, January 18, 2017 at 6:30 P.M. at the Schwartz

 PERFORMANCES: Saturday, March 25, 2017 at 7:00 P.M. and Sunday, March 26, 2017 at 2:00 P.M.

                                     School Show: 9:30 A.M. Monday, March 27, 2017

SYNOPSIS: A tuneful, heartwarming story, it is based on the real life story of the Von Trapp Family singers, one of the world's best-known concert groups in the era immediately preceding World War II. Julie Andrews plays the role of Maria, the tomboyish postulant at an Austrian abbey who becomes a governess in the home of a widowed naval captain with seven children. She falls in love with the children, and eventually their widowed father, Captain Von Trapp. As Maria decides   not to become a nun, she brings a new love of life and music into the home. When the Captain is ordered to accept a commission in the German navy, but he opposes the Nazis. He and Maria decide on a plan to flee Austria with the children


AUDITIONS: Tuesday,March 28, 2017, and Wednesday, March 29, 2017, at 6:30 P.M. at the Schwartz

PERFORMANCES: Saturday, May 20, 2017 at 7:00 P.M. and Sunday, May 21, 2017 at 2:00 P.M.

Robin Hood

SYNOPSIS: Enjoy the adventures of Robin Hood. He and his merry men steal from the rich and give to the poor. See how Robin and his followers fight against the evil Prince John who has taken the place of King Richard the Lion-Hearted. We will meet Robin’s sweetheart, Maid Marian, and Lady Merle who plots to keep Prince John in power while Robin and his men try to make it safe for King Richard to return to power.

This 2015- 2016 year in review was prepared by Sharon Crossen on August 30, 2016, and presented at the annual meeting.





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The Childrens Theatre, Inc. organization is supported, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. The Division promotes Delaware arts events on www.DelawareScene.com.


Funding in part also provided by The Kent County Fund for the Arts.