Columbia Center for Theatrical Arts

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Columbia Center for Theatrical Arts
Columbia Center for Theatrical Arts Logo.jpg
Formation 1972
Type Theatre group
Purpose Musical Theatre, Youth program
Artistic director(s)
Toby Orenstein
Notable members
Edward Norton, Caroline Bowman, Peter Salett

Columbia Center for Theatrical Arts (CCTA) is a Greater Washington D.C. Area regional theater school based in Columbia, Maryland. CCTA is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that is funded, in part, by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Maryland State Arts Council, and the Howard County Arts Council from Howard County, Maryland.


Founded in 1972,[1] as the Columbia School for Theatrical Arts[2] (now Columbia Center for Theatrical Arts) it is known for its productions of musicals and new plays. CCTA was founded by Toby Orenstein. She was asked by businessman and builder James Rouse to create a non-profit theatrical arts school for the then-new Maryland city of Columbia.[1][2] Its mission is to educate through the arts.[2][3] CCTA has three distinct departments: it offers a conservatory, theatrical arts productions, and outreach programs.[3]

Theatre Programs[edit]


The conservatory offers performing arts-based programs to the local community. These include different programs for children in primary and secondary school.[3] The Young Columbians are a performing troupe created by CCTA. The conservatory has been the recipient of five grants from the National Endowment for the Arts.[3]

Outreach Programs[edit]

The CCTA has a number of incentives such as fundraising, scholarships. The Labor of Love is an annual event that raises money for the AIDS Alliance of Howard County.[2][4] Another project was the Labels Project in 1992 which was formed to educate young people on how to combat bias and prejudice by supporting individuality, celebrating diversity and teaching adolescents tactics for resisting peer pressure.

CCTA’s Outreach Programs are aimed to help make theatre arts available and accessible to local students in need. Partnerships now exist with Baltimore City Public School System and the Loyola University Maryland.[5] CCTA performs the original play Ben Carson, M.D. to local youth.[6] CCTA has a program for students with special needs at Glenelg High School, under the direction of Kassidy Sharp, and the Kennedy Krieger Institute of Baltimore.[7][8]

Recent productions[edit]

Past productions include the 2016 world premiere of Magic Under Glass, the musical, based on Jaclyn Dolamore's book.[3][9][10] Performance venues include the White House, Wolf Trap, Walt Disney World, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Merriweather Post Pavilion, The Fillmore, Lake Kittamaqundi, Howard Community College, Toby's Dinner Theatre, The Ellipse, House of the Temple, the Washington D.C. Temple, and others.[1][6]

Board of Directors[11][edit]

  • President: Toby Orenstein
  • Chairman: Janet Davidson Gordon
  • Vice Chairman: Carolyn Kelemen
  • Secretary: Mindy Hirsch
  • Treasurer: Harold Orenstein
  • Members: Mary Armiger, John Astin, Steve Duffy, John Harding, Sarah Otchet, Melissa Rosenberg, and Jack Wilen
  • Honorary Board Member: Edward Norton

Notable People[edit]


Community Partners[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Kelemen, Carolyn. "Columbia Center for Theatrical Arts celebrates 45 years with reunion, free performance". Columbia Flier. Retrieved 2017-10-12. 
  2. ^ a b c d Shird, Shannon (2008). "Maryland State Women's Hall of Fame: Toby Orenstein". Retrieved 2017-10-12. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "About Columbia Center for Theatrical Arts - Columbia Center for Theatrical Arts". Columbia Center for Theatrical Arts. Retrieved 2017-10-12. 
  4. ^ Solomon, Libby. "This Week in Columbia History: 'A Labor of Love' raised money for AIDS". Columbia Flier. Retrieved 2017-10-13. 
  5. ^ Holzberg, Janene (2012). "Toby's founder Orenstein wins award for community work". Howard County Times. Retrieved 2017-10-12. 
  6. ^ a b "Baltimore Outreach Programs - Columbia Center for Theatrical Arts". Columbia Center for Theatrical Arts. Retrieved 2017-10-12. 
  7. ^ Jones, Katie V. "Glenelg's 'Aladdin' creates its own magic". Howard County Times. Retrieved 2017-10-12. 
  8. ^ Howard County Public School System (2017-05-12). "Discover HCPSS – Inclusive Broadway Theater at Glenelg High School". Retrieved 2017-10-12. 
  9. ^ "MAGIC UNDER GLASS-The Fantasy Rock Musical". Retrieved 2017-10-12. 
  10. ^ Schelle, Crystal (2016). "Smithsburg writer has novels turned into musicial [sic]". Herald Mail Media. Retrieved 2017-10-12. 
  11. ^ "Board of Directors - Columbia Center for Theatrical Arts". Columbia Center for Theatrical Arts. Retrieved 2017-10-12. 
  12. ^ Kubatko, Jill (2016). "The 2016 Cherry Adler Award goes to Columbia Center for Theatrical Arts". Maryland State Arts Council. Retrieved 2017-10-12. 

External links[edit]