CHILDREN’S THEATRE ASSOCIATION began in 1934 when 20 young women saw the need for live theater for children in the Bay Area. With support from the Junior League and the S.F. Unified School District, their dream became reality and the group began taking the shows to the schools. Since then they’ve also performed at The Palace of Fine Arts and the Cowell Theater at Fort Mason. They will stage six Saturday performances for the public on January 23 and 30 and February 6 at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the Cowell. Here we talk with CTA’s Peggy Haas about the organization. ctasf.org
Tell us a little bit about this year’s program. This year’s production of The Adventures of Pinocchio is based on the book Pinocchio by Carlo Colladi and the production by the Prince Street Players Ltd., with adaptation and lyrics by Jim Eiler and music by Jim Eiler and Jeanne Bargy. Our own Adelaide Hornberger has further adapted the play to suit our young audiences.
What is the overall mission of the organization? This is our 81st year of providing free live theater to Bay Area children. We strive to encourage theatrical excellence and expose young children to the wonder and magic of live theater.
What makes the Children’s Theatre Association unique? CTA is made up of multitalented, devoted, ageless women who all have a common goal: to showcase familiar fairy tales for the more than 7,500 young Bay Area schoolchildren who would normally not have the opportunity to be exposed to live musical theater. We live by the motto “the show must go on.” And the show has gone on for 81 years. It has become a tradition for families to attend our performances and for attendees to become a part of the group.
Sounds like a real family affair? Our membership includes granddaughters and great nieces of the founding members’ daughters, and daughters-in-law and strangers who become the closest of friends. CTA began in San Francisco and now has a very large Marin contingent. Being a member of CTA is being part of a family/ sisterhood who truly care for one another and volunteer to bring their talents to the melting pot that is San Francisco. Magical productions are created for children. Everyone benefits.