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Children's Theater plans grand opening at new home

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By Sara Miller

The Colorado Children’s Theatre has spent the last four years establishing itself as a go-to place for children’s theatrical training. Directors Kerri Monnerat and Karen Tobey have created classes in musical theater, voice, dance, stage and film acting and a full playbill of performances and theatrical productions. Most importantly, they have created a community in which children ages 4 to 18 feel special and as if they are an integral part of the school.

Although Monnerat and Tobey have grown their programs rapidly, CCT had never found a place to call home — until now. On Sept. 11, CCT will celebrate the grand opening of its new location on Meadow Drive in Evergreen. The grand opening will consist of free performances, a sneak peek at classes for all age groups and a chance to meet not only the directors but current CCT students and their families.

“The new space is amazing,” says executive director Monnerat. “It is the perfect size for our classes. We have a small stage that we use for solo work or rehearsals. We have space for dance classes and private lessons. The grand opening will be an opportunity for us to show the community all of the things that we offer in theatrical education.”

The day is packed with a full lineup of free classes. The Starlets class, for ages 4 to 7, will take place from noon to 1 p.m. The Starlets combine the fundamentals of rhythm, melody and singing with listening, coordination and awareness. Next up is the Broadway Kids class for ages 6 to 10. This class teaches the essentials of voice, acting and movement, and every student will have a part in the spring production of “The Jungle Book.”

The CCT Junior Company class will be offered from 3 to 4 p.m. The Junior Company is made up of students ages 7 to 13. The Junior Company performs throughout the year in a holiday showcase and mini-tours, and will present a spring production of “Alice in Wonderland.”

The CCT Company class, for ages 11 to 17, takes place from 5 to 6 p.m. The CCT Company has been nationally recognized in children’s musical theater competitions and has performed shows such as “Fame” and “High School Musical.” The class will present “A Chorus Line” in the spring of 2011. Before their class — at 4:15 p.m. — the current members of the CCT Company will perform a montage of numbers from last season’s production of “Into the Woods.”

“Finally, we’re very excited to announce our newest class and performance group,” says Monnerat. “We’ve started a show choir which will be a full-blown song and dance troupe. The students will perform lots of contemporary numbers, similar to the style of those seen on the television show ‘Glee.’ ”

At 5 p.m., the inaugural members of the Show Choir will perform previews of numbers like “Don’t Stop Believin’ ” and “Find Me Someone To Love.”

“We had great success with a similar show choir in California, so we wanted to try it here. It’s fun to see the students so passionate about the music,” says Monnerat.

The grand opening should reveal that not only the students but the teachers and families are passionate about all that Colorado Children’s Theatre does.

“Everyone in the community is welcome to come out and see what we do,” says Monnerat. “We have a core group of wonderfully talented students, and we want to keep providing opportunities for new students to experience the same confidence and success.”

For more information, call 720-255-1228 or visit the Colorado Children’s Theatre website at www.coloradochildrenstheatre.org.

Sara Miller, a freelance writer and a resident of Evergreen, lives with her husband, two children and a dog.