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President's Annual Report
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President's Annual Report 2020 - 2021

President's Annual Report

Click here for the report in Pdf format



The Children’s Theatre, Inc.  
President’s Annual Report  
2020 – 2021

We at The Children’s Theatre, Inc. are reflecting on our 26th season. It was a year of recovery as the world, and our community in central Delaware, were recuperating from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We were finally able to get back into Reith Hall, but it was about halfway into when a normal season would have started. Despite this we were still able to put on two shows.
We were able to put on one show during our regular season timeframe, Disney’s Lion King Jr. (May 2021). It was a fun-filled musical put together with a lot of help from the local community and parents. The costumes and set pieces were very elaborate and we had some help on the musical side from a local group of Sankofa drummers.
And thanks to our volunteers at The Children’s Theatre, Inc. we managed to put on a second show (one planned for last season) during the summer. It was the classic and delightful tale Jack and the Magic Beans (August 2021). The actors and their families were excited to have something to do during the summer and they put on quite a show. The elaborate costumes, magic beanstalk and booming voice of our giant made for lots of laughs and enjoyment for our audience members.
Steven Mercer  
President, Board of Directors
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.  
Luckily, funding came by the way of our grants from Kent County Fund for the Arts and The Delaware Division of the Arts in order to afford our successful Disney’s Lion King Jr. production and our Jack and the Magic Beans summer show. We are most appreciative of their continued support.
Our productions are supported in part by 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

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The good news is that our grant writers have done it, once again! The Children’s Theatre, Inc. received funding for the 2021-2022 season from these same state and county organizations. The Delaware Division of the Arts awarded us $2,700 for this season. We also received a $2,500 grant from The Kent County Fund for the Arts for use in our musical production.  As stated earlier, we are grateful for the opportunities and support that we have received from these organizations.
Special thanks go to Craig Horleman who wrote coverage for the Disney’s Lion King Jr., Gary Emeigh who took phots for both the Disney’s Lion King Jr. and Jack and the Magic Beans and Dee Emeigh who wrote the Jack and the Magic Beans article. We thank the Delaware State News for their enthusiastic support and press coverage of our productions.  
Our Disney’s Lion King Jr. sold out to a pandemic-reduced audience at the Schwartz Center for the Arts, for a total of three shows, with an additional two school showings. Jack and the Magic Beans sold a total of 219 tickets for our evening and matinee performances.
Report of Visitor Count of State-Owned Buildings
Event    Visitors    Notes
Workshops    45    20 Workshop 1, 25 Workshop 2
Auditions    120    40 children Lion King, 20 children Jack and the Magic Beans, 1 parent per child (60 children + 60 parents)
Play 1- Musical    2,800    (35 children + 35 parents) x 40 practices (70 x 4 x 10)
Play 2    798    (19 children + 19 parents) x 21 practices (38 x 21)
Directors    162    Directors attending the practices (2 x 21) and (3 x 40)
Return of sets, props, & costumes to OBC    40    Parents and children assisted in moving set pieces to and from Old Brick Church to the Schwartz Center. (20 people x 2 days)
Cast Parties    188    Actors and family members in Reith Hall
Total Visitors    4,153    
2020-2021 SEASON  
Disney’s The Lion King, Jr. (May 2021)
Thirty-five children performed in this popular musical at The Schwartz Center for the Arts. We broke tradition with this show. Due to the pandemic we had limited seating and sold out our two regular shows rather quickly. We added an additional show and sold that one out, too. In addition, we put on two school shows, again due to limited seating. With great musical accompaniment, including a team-up with local Sankofa drummers, a large, African-themed set and colorful and creative costumes the audience loved the show.

Jack and the Magic Beans (August 2021)
Nineteen children performed in this classic tale at The Schwartz Center for the Arts. Hundreds of theater goers enjoyed this whimsical show. Amid the “fee-fie-foe-fum,” there were moments of laughter and drama. The cow and chicken costumes were big hits, as was the magic beanstalk as it soared toward the rafters at the end of Act I. The audience was even offered magic beans by the bean seller during intermission.
Our corporate and organizational sponsors for this brief season were (in alpha order):
The Delaware State University
Dover City Council
Edelman Spine & Orthopaedic Physical Therapy
Forney’s Too
The Law Offices of Baird, Mandalas & Brockstedt
Law Office of Laura A. Yiengst, LLC
Northgate Laundromat
Papen Farms, Inc.
Pizza Delight by Giacomo
S&S Auto Detailing
Additionally, we had several parents, grandparents and theater fans who also donated to our organization, out of the love of the arts and/or their family.
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. Please consider making your tax-deductible donation through our website,, our Facebook page, or through your purchase at Amazon Smiles. We thank you in advance for your generous support.  
Each year, we offer scholarships to two deserving high school seniors for $500 each. This scholarship is named The Kaitlyn Clendaniel Memorial Scholarship.

NickoSmThis year we awarded the scholarship to Nikolas Mandalas, a senior in the Capital School District. After reviewing his application, letters of reference, community service and commitment to The Children’s Theatre, Inc., Niko Mandalas was a perfect candidates for this award, which is now in its eighth year.  
Niko is attending Temple University where he is majoring in Business Management. We wish Niko the best of luck as he begins his college studies, and we invite him to visit us during his semester breaks.

The Children’s Theatre’s proposed 2021-2022 Season
Synopsis: The Herdmans are the worst kids in the history of the world–so when they crash Sunday school and demand parts in the Christmas pageant, the whole town panics. There’s not supposed to be biting or cigar-smoking in Bethlehem, and while these kids have never even heard the Christmas story, they definitely have rewrites! Soon everyone is calling for reluctant director Grace Bradley to cancel the whole thing. It’s up to the Bradleys and the Reverend to help their community see the Christmas story and the Herdman kids through new eyes in this buoyant musical adaptation of the funny and touching holiday classic. Auditions dates: October 4 & 5, 2021, Performance dates: December 4 & 5, 2021, Program Venue: Schwartz Center for the Arts, Dover, DE
Synopsis: The Princess and the Pea story revolves around the search for a ’true princess’ for Prince Peter.  The kingdom can remain free only as long as there is a Royal King and Queen on the throne, but only a ’true princess’ can pass the test, marry the Prince and succeed to the throne.  She must be able to feel a small pea through twenty mattresses.  The search for a royal princess carries Peter through a host of exciting adventures that will entertain youngsters from start to finish. Auditions dates: January 17 & 18, 2022, Performance dates: March 12 & 13, 2022, Program Venue: Schwartz Center for the Arts, Dover, DE  
Synopsis: The Wizard of Oz: Youth Edition is a one-hour adaptation of The Wizard of Oz, specially tailored for elementary and middle school-aged actors. The materials have been prepared to help your school or organization mount the best possible production and to give your young cast and crew an exciting and rewarding experience. Auditions dates: March 21 & 22, 2022, Performance dates: May 14, 15 & 15, 2022, Program Venue: Schwartz Center for the Arts, Dover, DE
TICKETS: All seats for all public shows are $10. Audition information is available on our website and Facebook page.



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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


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