By Jim Reiter
Children’s Theatre of Annapolis recently broke ground on an expansion of its Bay Head Road facility to include a new lobby, a black box theater, classrooms, and more. The additions will complement the existing 235-seat main stage theater.
CTA has been producing theater for 5- to 18-year-olds since 1959, and according to President Michelle Bruno, the organization’s facilities will continue to be available to others. “This is a community space,” Bruno said. The organization currently provides space to local dance studios and plans to provide space in a new lobby for local artists to display their works.
The changes “have been in discussion for years,” said Bruno. The goal is to renovate the organization’s current annex into a black box theater, add two classrooms, office space, the lobby, and outside, a rain garden. The new classrooms will allow CTA to expand its educational offerings, while the black box theater will provide a place to stage smaller productions and other performances that don’t need a bigger stage and auditorium.
The CTA board worked to secure grants from the state and county to help finance the expansion. “We are really grateful we live in a state and a county that values the arts,” said Bruno, adding that Del. Heather Bagnall, a CTA alumna, helped the organization connect with the grant-providing departments.
Bagnall and County Executive Steuart Pittman joined the CTA Board at the groundbreaking, where Pittman shared the impact his own experience in theater has had on him. “When I look back on being able to get in front of a group of people and talk—it was just such a big turning point in my life that it feels really good to make it possible for others,” he said.
CTA anticipates that the expansion will be complete in fall 2023.