Mission & History

The mission of Oregon Children’s Theatre is to create exceptional theater experiences that transform lives. We believe theater and storytelling can educate, empower, inspire, and entertain in remarkable ways.

Our vision is that all children, families, and communities have opportunities to learn and grow through theater and the arts. Each year, OCT reaches more than 120,000 children and families through:

  • Unforgettable theater productions that bring joy and learning to families and school groups.
  • Acting Academy programs that teach the craft of theater while fostering life skills.
  • Dynamic performances, classes, workshops, and residencies in schools and in the community that use theater and storytelling to teach and inspire.

Oregon Children's Theatre (OCT) was originally created by Sondra Pearlman as the "Theatre for Young People" under the auspices of the Portland Civic Theatre in 1988. When Portland Civic Theatre closed in 1990, Pearlman formed Oregon Children's Theatre, which became a resident company of the Portland Center for the Performing Arts in 1991. Oregon Children's Theatre celebrated its one-millionth patron during the 1999-2000 season.

School Audience/Educational Outreach

Oregon Children's Theatre's audience is comprised primarily of school groups from 17 Oregon and four Washington counties. School attendance averages more than 75,000 annually, with ticket prices ranging from $6-$8.

The educational aspects of OCT's program include a colorful poster and study guide. The study guide includes curriculum-related activities, which can be incorporated into classroom instruction prior to attending a performance. In 1990, OCT initiated an outreach program which brings more than 5,000 economically disadvantaged and/or culturally diverse students to productions at no charge each year. An in-school workshop is conducted at each outreach school to enhance the students' theatre experience. OCT also provides additional in-school workshops, including Loud and Clear. Loud & Clear is specifically designed for teachers to help their students meet CIM & CAM benchmarks for public speaking.