Officials from the Hartford Children's Theatre announced they will close and end all programs, including educational programs, at the end of the month.
Hartford State officials also announced it will expand its children's theatre education and outreach starting in January.
For months, Hartford State and HCT have been working together to ensure the Hartford area will continue to have drama education and in-school classes for children ranging from 5 to 18.
Even though the HCT has run a successful program for the past 22 years, the institution, such as many other nonprofits, has struggled to raise enough money to stay open.
"It was a difficult decision," said Robin Zaleski, HCT's board president. "It's been a very tough couple of years with the recession for many nonprofits, especially in the arts."
To make sure the legacy continues, officials at the Hartford Children's Theatre created a partnership with Hartford Stage. Program directors there said they will add more classes for children between the ages of 5 to 18.
"It's really an expansion of what we're doing but a continuation of what they've done so well in the past," said Hartford Stage Managing Director Mike Stotts.
Hartford Stage Will also hire two employees from the Hartford Children's Theatre to start up the new programs. Hartford Children's Theatre Education Director Lisa Foss, who is one of those employees, said the transition is bittersweet.
"It's very sad that we're that we're losing a little piece of what had been going on here in the past," Foss said. "The best way to look at it is, here's an opportunity for us to develop something really great in the future."
Hartford Stage officials said offering the children's theatre program as part of its education department will strengthen its position as the leading provider of theatre programming for children and youth in Connecticut.
The new expanded programs for youngsters will now be called children's theatre of Hartford stage. Classes begin in January at the Classical Magnet School
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