565 W. Tuscarawas Ave, Barberton, Ohio

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 our 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

Scene from play
A Christmas Story scene
Lyle the Crocodile

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 1992-93, 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 are Akron Children’s Hospital, Akron Public Schools, Akron Symphony Orchestra, Akron Zoo, Barberton City Schools, Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and Project Rise. Magical Theatre Company has been accepted into the Ohio Arts Council's Presenting/ Touring Program, and is a member of the Ohio Arts Presenters Network.

In 2015, Magical Theatre Company completed a $2.0 million renovation to its home, the Park Theater, which was built in 1919. This provided updated electric and plumbing service, new restrooms, lobby, seats, carpet, wall coverings, a catwalk, ceiling panels, theatre rigging and lighting, as well as dressing rooms and laundry facilities.

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.

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