Our Mission

It is our mission to positively affect the lives of our students. With an emphasis on strengthening self-esteem and awareness, individuals are challenged to grow artistically and personally through professional training in a non-competitive, validating, interactive environment where energy, teamwork and trust are key!

Our distinctive approach enables us to build a close ensemble and inspire students to share in a creative process filled with pride, accomplishment and joy. All programs are designed as intermediaries between Educational Theatre and the professional stage. Our high theatrical standards, belief in the empowering effects of the theatrical process and unparalleled commitment to all participants enable us to achieve our mission year after year.


Many people see the word “opera” and assume that a “Civic Light Opera” presents opera, as in “grand opera” that was established as an art form in the late 1500’s. However, in the words of George and Ira Gershwin, “It Ain’t Necessarily So!”

A Civic Light Opera is a theatre company that typically presents what is referred to today as Musical Theatre; productions that tell story through a combination of song, dance and dialogue (ex: A Chorus Line, 42nd Street, Annie). Though some productions may place a heavier emphasis on one aspect or another (ex: Les Miserable has very little dialogue, minimal dance and tells story primarily through music and vocals), all Musical Theatre productions incorporate all three elements.

*Civic Light Operas, of course, are not limited to Musical Theatre productions. Many companies, including Children’s Civic Light Opera, produce a variety of theatrical genres.


Founded in 1987, CHILDREN’S CIVIC LIGHT OPERA (CCLO) is a unique performing arts program specializing in Acting, Musical Theatre, Educational Theatre and Exploratory Creative Dramatics for children, teenagers and young adults. We celebrate each student.

Through classes and workshops, we open doors for creative expression and performance, we encourage students to discover unknown talents and cultivate the undeveloped ones and we inspire students to uncover and apply their full theatrical and personal potential.

We teach participants to have trust in and rely on themselves, both as individuals and as part of an ensemble. We provide opportunities for students to experience the power and magic of live theatre as performers and observers, thinkers and commentators. Our belief is that each student is capable and does have talent, therefore we encourage and welcome our participant's ideas and suggestions and see each individual as an equal contributor to every project.

We teach skills that can be applied both on, and off of "the stage," and use theatre as a vehicle to develop well-rounded, capable performers and well-rounded, capable people. Because we create a safe, supportive, energetic, engaging, validating and nurturing environment, our students feel comfortable and are able to explore, experiment with, and exercise their theatrical and personal skills and apply them in rehearsal, in performance and beyond.

We are dedicated to providing quality experiences and opportunities for all those involved with Children’s Civic Light Opera. Our high theatrical standards, belief in the theatrical process and unparalleled commitment to all participants enable us to achieve our mission year after year. The stage is our classroom.

“The school of the future will, perhaps, not be a school as we understand it – with benches, blackboards and a teacher’s platform – it may be a library, a museum, a conversation or a theatre.” ~ Leo Tolstoy

 Why Children's Civic Light Opera?

Children’s Civic Light Opera: a place to be your truest self.

  • At CCLO we are a creative, collaborative community.
  • CCLO is an Educational Theatre Company that truly understands the value of experiential, active and thoughtful learning. We do not believe in rushing, minimizing or dismissing the production process; process and product receive equal billing.
  • CCLO uses theatre as a vehicle to provide participants with tools for individual and group success not only on stage, but off of the stage, as well. Learning at CCLO can be applied across a broad spectrum and is frequently reflected in school yielding higher test scores, greater involvement in school activities and more confidence in the classroom.Conservatory-level training without Conservatory-level competition. We develop well-rounded and capable performers, as well as well-rounded and capable people.
  • CCLO’s theatre programs are designed specifically around the needs and experiences of children, teens and young adults. We get to know our cast members on an individual basis and help them to uncover abilities and conquer hesitations. 
  • CCLO continually develops ways to incorporate and apply creative learning and we work hard to make the process of learning enjoyable, appealing and successful for every student at every skill level. 
  • CCLO has an unyielding “Ensemble Philosophy.” Productions are tailored to incorporate each participant’s strengths and uniquenesses.
  • Company members, their families and our staff develop strong, long-lasting friendships at CCLO.
  • Energetic, organized and experienced staff members who have professional experience in theatre and are trained educators, as well.
  • CCLO brings words like supportive, nurturing, accepting, tolerant and validating to life.
  • CCLO believes in the power of generating and sharing creative energy and we instill in our students an understanding of, and appreciation for, the tremendous ability theatre has to touch people’s lives.
  • CCLO: Not just a product for the stage, a process for all the stages of life.

The CCLO Promise

Learning, growing, achieving; every student will thrive!

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