Elmhurst Children's Theatre

Elmhurst Children's Theatre Logo

Elmhurst Children’s Theatre is a not-for-profit children’s theatre company. Dedicated to serving the children of Elmhurst, ECT provides a unique experience in all aspects of live theatre by promoting a supportive and positive working and learning environment.

Children in fifth through eighth grade who live in Elmhurst or attend District 205 or parochial schools in Elmhurst may audition for ECT productions. ECT stages two main stage productions, a summer show and the Unintentionally Hilarious Sketch Comedy Group each year, hiring professional directors and relying on parent volunteers to manage productions and rehearsals and create costumes and sets. Classes are offered throughout the year for children in first through eighth grades.

Elmhurst Children’s Theatre’s 501(c)(3) not-for-profit status provides tax deductible donation opportunities to our community. Your generous donation funds scholarship, outreach and experience to children of Elmhurst, providing opportunity for growth through the experience of live theatre.

Elmhurst Children's Theatre (ECT) has its roots at Elmhurst College. From 1937 until the outbreak of World War II four successive directors presented plays for children in Irion Hall. In 1948, Dr. C.C. Arends, director of both Elmhurst College Theater and Elmhurst Community Theatre productions, offered sponsorship of a community children's theatre. This group was to become Elmhurst Children's Theatre.

Flyers were sent home with students in Elmhurst's then six public and two parochial schools. On the evening of April 1,1948, 200 interested parents arrived at Elmhurst College's Irion Hall to hear Winifred Ward, Northwestern University drama professor and founder of Evanston Children's Theatre. She described the goals and organization of a modern American theatre for children, which would be sponsored by local PTAs. She spoke of how a child's imagination is expanded through the unique experience of live theatre. In 1925 Ward had modeled Evanston Children's theater after the Moscow Theatre for Children, which she had previously visited.

The crowd was inspired and formed a committee to organize this new group. Elmhurst PTA Council voted to lend its support. At the recommendation of Arends and Ward, nationally known children's playwright and director Rosemary Musil was hired as Elmhurst Children's Theatre's first director. On November 6, 1948 ECT presented it's first season production, Musil's "Hurricane Island," at York High School. Over the next 26 years Musil directed and wrote plays for ECT. According to accounts in the Elmhurst Press, the public was delighted with the professionalism of the performances.

Today ECT proudly continues the tradition of its founders, bringing the Elmhurst Area community together to enjoy high quality productions and enriching the lives of children through the performing arts. 

Once sponsored by Elmhurst's PTA Council, ECT now is an entirely self-supporting, and 501c3 not for profit organization, sustained through participation fees, class tuition and ticket sales.

For more information, visit www.elmhurstchildrenstheatre.com

P.O. Box 64, Elmhurst, IL 60126