CMT News

The Show Must Go On

— Summer 2020 —

Children’s Musical Theaterworks has a rich 20 year history providing the youth of our valley a unique Broadway-like experience. Historically, CMT presented a five show season. Due to budget limitations after the economic downturn in the early 2010’s, the five show season was reduced to a four show season. The addition of our popular fundraiser, “CMT’s Got Talent,” added an exciting option for our kids to get involved with, as well as new acting classes to supplement the excellent training that performing in a show offered. Due to further budget cuts and a lack of financial support for the arts, CMT made the tough decision in 2020 to cut down to a three show season. Our 20th anniversary would have been one to remember, with popular titles such as Aladdin JR. and Les Mierables…that is until something no one imagined could happen…happened. 

 

COVID-19 brought changes to the world that no one saw coming. When the pandemic hit us all, CMT took quick action to cancel spring classes and move to an online training platform. While this alternative filled the gap for a time, we had high hopes for the summer.  Unfortunately, the pandemic did not agree, and in May we made the tough decision that we were dreading, cancelling our two summer shows. We knew that the cancellation would break the hearts of our young performers and season ticket holders, but we had to face reality and do what was best for all.

After monitoring the CDC guidelines, as well as local, state, and federal lawmakers, and consulting with a local physician, we determined in late May that a modified, limited and socially distant program would be possible. Our modified summer program allowed for a limited number of children to participate and receive training, while also providing working parents a safe place to leave their children.

 

Our Summer Theater Camp for ages 6-13 offers just this. While masks and social distancing are a part of our new protocol, we have an exciting program in store for our kids.

 

Aladdin JR. and Les Miserables will be moved to the summer of 2021 so that we can do them justice and not deny the chance for all to participate in those productions.

 

As a group at CMT we are all so disappointed that we can't do more, but this is the best for both our CMT families and staff. We look forward to the day when we can all be together again on that stage. As of now, we plan on moving forward with Matilda in the winter. Check back often for updates, and thank you for supporting CMT and the arts!

Help CMT Find a Larger Storage Space

— Summer 2019 —

As many of you know, CMT is known for the large and elaborate sets that bring a “Broadway” feel to the stage for the hundreds of children and teens who perform with us each year. We are looking for your support as we begin the search for a new storage and shop facility. Our goal is 8,000-12,000 square feet, and our budget is very low. Any connections you may have would be greatly appreciated! Maybe there is a generous barn or warehouse owner out there in the community looking for a non-profit to support? Or possibly an unused shop that someone you know may have available. Any leads can be emailed to cmtworks@sbcglobal.net.

Thank you for your support!

COVID-19 brought changes to the world that no one saw coming. When the pandemic hit us all, CMT took quick action to cancel spring classes and move to an online training platform. While this alternative filled the gap for a time, we had high hopes for the summer.  Unfortunately, the pandemic did not agree, and in May we made the tough decision that we were dreading, cancelling our two summer shows. We knew that the cancellation would break the hearts of our young performers and season ticket holders, but we had to face reality and do what was best for all.

Friends and Supporters:

Some of you may recall “The Great Fire at Derrell’s Mini Storage” back in 2013 that caused the loss of CMT’s 12,000 square foot storage facility. At that time, the generous family at GW School Supply offered a free temporary solution, which later evolved into a rental agreement for CMT. The new space was much smaller – only 8,000 square feet, but we downsized and made it work, while continuing to bring our actors and audiences an amazing visual experience.

Last year, our friends at GW sold the building to an investor, and the rent was drastically increased, forcing CMT to downsize yet again, to 4,000 square feet beginning August 1, 2019. This means that we will effectively lose all of our storage area, leaving only the shop.

 

This is quite a blow to CMT, as part of our program is funded by set rentals (we rent our big beautiful sets to other local theaters and schools). Further, it means that we can no longer recycle sets or larger set pieces, which translates to longer build times, larger set budgets, etc.

CMT's Home In Jeopardy

— Fall 2017 —

On October 21, 2017, on the morning of our annual fundraiser, Executive Director Judy Stene received devastating news in the form of a letter from the City of Fresno, that the Memorial Auditorium, our home for over 17 years, was being closed to CMT effective December 31, 2017 due to a recent inspection that uncovered potential safety issues. This letter came without any prior notice, after CMT had secured rights and made plans for the 2018 season. This news was presented to our guests, staff, performers and the media that day at the fundraiser, resulting in an outpouring of support from the theater community as well as the community at large.

 

Fortunately, the City of Fresno listened, and extended an invitation to meet immediately that week with industry experts and city officials, to determine the extent of the safety issues. During this meeting, it was determined that the issues were already known by CMT and had been worked around for several years, ensuring the safety of our performers, crew, and guests. Based on these new evaluations, the City of Fresno offered the use of the theater for the 2018 season, allowing time to seek funding to make necessary repairs. CMT is in the process of actively seeking major donors interesting in naming rights, to ensure that this beautiful historic building is preserved for all to use and enjoy.

The Memorial Auditorium is the only full sized stage in the local area with full fly lines, dressing rooms to accommodate casts of 100 kids, and the stage size to hold a cast of 100 as well as the large sets that our productions require. In addition, our vast costume and prop department is home to 1000’s of costumes that are utilized by other theaters and schools all over the valley. These unique characteristics are what make CMT what it is, and set it apart from other local theaters. Without this theater, CMT will cease to exist as is, valley children by the 1000s will lose field trip opportunities, and hundreds of kids will no longer have a guaranteed opportunity to perform, learn and grow.

 

This past December, our production of Annie was viewed by approximately 2000 school children for school field trips, and our 8 public performances provided valuable entertainment to families all over the Valley. Our audience members, cast members and their families dine at downtown restaurants and coffee shops, and provide a general presence in the downtown area, bringing over 10,000 people to the theater and downtown during our 2017 season. Further, our office and box office hold staff are excellent stewards of the facility year round. We know that the community finds great value in our program! 

More facts about our program:

 

• Over 3,300 program alumni. Past alumni include Golden Globe winner Chris Colfer (Glee), Michael Willet (United States of Tara; MTV’s Faking It) and Chicago Fire’s Miranda Mayo, among other On- and Off- Broadway stars.

 • Prestigious inclusion in Disney Theatrical’s website showcasing our costuming and sets. The theater was a vital part of this recognition.

 • Entertaining over 112,000 audience members of all ages and 74,000 local school children and summer camp attendees.

 • Community outreach including the distribution of over 4700 free tickets to organizations that represent our community’s at-risk youth.

• Making a difference Downtown—It has been proven that communities that offer the arts (particularly to youth) are the most attractive to new residents and businesses.

 

Please contact us to find out what you can do to help keep the theater open for CMT and all of the other Valley organizations that utilize it! Check back for news updates!

Find us: 

2425 Fresno St. #101, Fresno, CA 93721

Tickets: 866.973.9610

Info: 559.835.6875