What is Magical Theatre Company?
Magical Theatre Company is the only professional resident and touring Theatre for Young Audiences in Northeast Ohio. For more than 40 years, Magical Theatre Company has brought the magic of theatre to thousands of children. We’ve attracted designers, actors, producers and directors whose credentials have been established from Broadway to Hollywood. We are committed to presenting theatre performances at its home, the historic Park Theatre in downtown Barberton, and on the road. Children not only watch our shows, but get involved in our shows!
Our Mission: To Educate and Inspire.
Founded in 1972, Magical Theatre Company is a not-for-profit, resident and touring, educational and entertainment resource for young audiences and families. In partnership with schools and other organizations, we strive to become leaders in providing a positive cultural service. As a strong and energetic theatre serving Summit and surrounding counties, we enhance learning, growth and civic improvement through live Theatre.
Programming is made up of resident performances at the Park Theater for school and family audiences; touring productions to schools; and educational programs that include workshops, residencies, after-school programs, summer camps, and resource materials. These programs serve to introduce young people to the Theatre, provide positive messages through Drama, develop creativity, increase communication skills, build teamwork, and offer alternative methods to problem-solving.
In 1993, the Board of Trustees hired Holly Barkdoll and Dennis O’Connell to reinvent Magical Theatre Company. To do this they streamlined operations and redirected the artistic focus to be a professional company that would serve all young audiences and families. Since then, the long-standing debt has been retired, the budget balanced, and new programming introduced for middle school and high school students.
Current and recent collaborators have been the Akron Public Schools, Akron Symphony Orchestra, Barberton Citizens Hospital, Cuyahoga Valley National Park Assoc., Project Rise, and Wayne Center for the Arts.
Magical Theatre Company has been accepted into the OAC’s Presenting/ Touring Program, and is a member of the Ohio Arts Presenters Network, the Cleveland Theatre Collective, the Akron Area Arts Alliance, and Young Audiences of Northeast Ohio.
In 1997, a grant from the Ohio Historical Society enabled Braun & Steidl Architects to do a comprehensive study of the historic Park Theater. Phase I of this renovation was completed in December 2000, providing Magical Theatre Company patrons with heating and air conditioning, a restored facade, new marquee and new seats.
Magical Theatre Company received the inaugural Impact Award for Imagination from the Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation in 2010, the Outreach Award from the Akron Area Arts Alliance in 2003, and the Community Collaboration Award from Summit County Housing Network in 2003.