The curtain comes down on Hartford Children’s Theatre

December 18, 2012 by  

Having delighted residents for 22 years, Hartford Children’s Theatre (HCT) will show its final performances at the end of 2012.

The announcement came in an article dated December 4, 2012, which quoted president Robin Zaleski as saying the decision was “very difficult.”

The theater, which is a non-profit organization, works with approximately 7,000 children each year, holding drama classes for youngsters across a range of age groups, as well as putting on live performances. Zaleski says that the closing is not the result of bankruptcy, but is due to an ongoing deficit and the struggling economy.

On a brighter note, Hartford Stage will work on its own children’s outreach and educational programs, starting in January 2013. Hartford Stage’s Studio Series serves a greater number of kids than anywhere else in the state – some 21,000 youngsters between the ages of 5 – 18 participate in its programs.

The expanded program, adopting the new name of the Children’s Theatre at Hartford Stage, will be run by director of eduction Jennifer Roberts. Two staffers from the HCT will be joining Hartford Stage – Emely Larson, HCT program manager, and Lisa Foss, its director of education, will move to the other company.

Hartford Stage could work with brochure printers to create material explaining its expanded program, and how it incorporates the work of the Hartford Children’s Theatre. It may be the end of an era for the HCT, but at least this will reassure patrons that its legacy will continue.