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When The National Theatre for Children (NTC) was founded in 1978, it was on the premise that making a difference in kids’ lives will positively impact the world.

43 years later, it may seem like much of that initial world has changed. Surely, the methods of engagement in schools and the strategies to connect communities that once built this company have weakened over the last four decades. One might even assume that anything that’s lasted that long can’t possibly be relevant anymore.

Allow me to boldly declare: That couldn’t be further from the truth.

True engagement has simultaneously never been more important nor has it ever been harder to manufacture as a society. As we muscle through this ongoing global experience that has declined typical connective opportunities between clients and customers, colleagues and co-workers, and families and their communities, we must fight to adapt, customize and return to our pursuits of joy.

Just like everything we do at NTC, I believe that starts with the kids.

When my husband Ward first created Small Change Original Theatre in 1978, he knew it needed to be free to guarantee access to schools. He also knew the value it offered organizations to be able to get into their communities, have an impact on what was known of their industry and nurture positive relationships with customers outside of a billing cycle. 

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What we would discover as we went is that our model provides equitable programming to districts and regions who might suffer from disproportionate enrichment opportunities. Now our clients get to be an active part of solving one part of that puzzle in their communities while sponsoring inclusive experiences that can reach any K-12 student in their area.

We know that theatre can teach, entertain and inspire. We also know that theatre has endured for over 2,500 years because of its innate ability to convey infinite unique stories and make memorable collective experiences for its audiences. We’ve been doing exactly that this whole time; unique shows for clients and memorable experiences for schools. The past few years have brought opportunities for innovation and customization, too. Our NTC team inspired me as they taught and entertained, launching our full livestream season in the fall of 2020 and our hybrid season of in-school shows, livestream shows, and on-demand videos by the fall of 2021.

The National Theatre for Children researches and represents one issue after another — water conservation, electricity safety, water pollution, health care, smoking prevention, energy efficiency, nutrition, recycling, financial literacy, renewable resources, emergency preparedness — proving that theatre is limitless in how it can engage. Since the beginning, over 36 million children have been taught, entertained and inspired by NTC.

As for me, I am honored to be at the helm of this next chapter of NTC as the new CEO. I am eager to see what the next decades bring as the world also starts its next chapter. I want to thank you for your part in our journey at NTC. While many things seem perpetually in flux, I remain resolved on the fundamental belief of our company: making a difference in kids’ lives will positively impact the world.

I invite you to join me and the world’s most creative, intelligent and hardworking staff, to step out of the box and beyond the screen, in taking the first step to help make that difference for kids everywhere. We’re ready to work with you.

Teach. Entertain. Inspire.

Margaret Eames