Our Mission & History


About Us: “Theatre By Kids, For Kids”

Our Mission

Our mission is to build life-long appreciation for live theater by involving young people in all aspects of theater arts — onstage, backstage, in the classroom, and in the audience.

Our Vision

Encore Stage & Studio is the artistic home for young people in the Washington, DC area, and a national leader in children’s theatre. We are an incubator of young talent providing challenging and diverse opportunities in the arts.

Our Values

We Love Theatre. Theatre has the unique power to enrich the lives of young people by using imagination to explore big ideas. We strive to be an ambassador for the arts in our community, by providing wholesome, family entertainment at affordable prices. We are cultivating the next generation of artists and patrons.

Kids Come First. Children are at the heart of our mission, and we believe they have a vital role to play in the larger artistic community. Encore empowers, respects, and mentors children, offering them opportunities for artistic expression and growth in a safe and nurturing environment.

We Expect Excellence. We are professionals onstage and off. Encore acts with integrity and produces quality productions and classes. We expect 110% from everyone, every time. We teach our participants the life skills they need to succeed as citizens.

We Encourage Inclusiveness. We value unique perspectives and believe that an artistic community is enhanced through diversity of all types. Encore is a safe place where children can express themselves.

We Connect Communities. We are a hub of excitement with the goal of connecting our participants and our audiences with the community at large. Alliances with other organizations strengthen the fabric of our community.

Education Empowers. Theatre is the medium we use to foster creativity and promote reading and critical thinking. We believe our classes and productions complement and enrich in-school learning.

We Build Leaders. We know that leadership makes a difference. We give our participants the poise and confidence to develop as leaders, while encouraging peer mentorship and teamwork.

Our History

Encore Stage & Studio was incorporated as The Children’s Theatre of Arlington in 1967. To date, we have produced over 175 shows. Last season, over 200 young people participated as cast or crew members and almost 9,000 people enjoyed Encore’s performances.

Encore Today

Today, Encore has grown to include our production season and school year education classes and summer programs. Encore presents five fully realized productions each year under the guidance and direction of experienced theater professionals. Encore is unique in offering dramatic productions in which every actor and every behind–the-scenes technician is a young person under 18 years of age. Our summer production program, casts youth ages 15 and older, as well as college students and adult community members. Encore’s multi-age structure encourages mentoring and role modeling between older and younger participants. Our production opportunities are provided to participants at no cost.

In conjunction with, and as a foundation for, our on-stage productions, Encore offers a year-round series of theater classes, workshops, and summer camps. Stage Door, Scenes for Tweens, and It’s Elementary. Literacy and playwriting have become an important focus within our educational programming through Encore’s “Play-Ground” for middle school students.

In addition, we have recently started a number of creative programs designed to expand our reach in the community and our offerings for our students. These include the Musical Theatre Intensive, for singers in the 8th grade and older; the Encore Traveling Theatre Club, through which Encore participants attend plays at other theaters in the area, including Arena Stage, The Roundhouse Theatre, and Signature Theatre; and Evenings with the Pros, in which Encore participants take acting workshops from local professional actors.

As an organization, Encore is vital and growing. We hired an Executive Director in 2010, a Marketing Manager in 2011 and Programs Manager in 2012. We recently transitioned to an online ticket purchasing system. We are currently participating in Arlington Economic Development’s non-profit capacity building grant program this season and we were selected as a featured non-profit in the 2010-2011 and 2014-2015 Catalogue for Philanthropy: Greater Washington. We have also been accepted as part of the Federal government’s Combined Federal Campaign.

Our 2015-2020 Strategic Plan

View Encore Strategic Plan in pdf format.

Special thanks to Our-Task Inc. and Tania Eldin for the video.