CTM's mission is to create vibrant theater experiences

that engage, educate & inspire young people and their communities.


Founded in 1965, CTM is a Madison institution providing exceptional theatre productions for family audiences. By casting adult and child actors in professionally produced plays, we have occupied a unique niche, for decades, as Madison's premier theater for all ages. The Overture Center, and its predecessor the Madison Civic Center, has been our home for over 30 years. CTM is committed to making theater accessible to all ages, ethnicities, income levels, and abilities. We do this by offering diverse programming, varying price points (including free), and collaborating with other organizations.

CTM performs fresh adaptations of literary classics as well as new works by contemporary playwrights. Our goal is to provide an entry-level theater experience for young children as well as a track by which they may stay engaged on and offstage into and through their teenage years. Every production includes student matinee performances, drawing over 13,000 students, as well as an ASL-interpreted performance for the hearing-impaired. At least two productions a year include special Sensory-Friendly performances for children with autism and sensory processing disorders. We perform five productions a year: four in the intimate 350-seat Playhouse Theater as well as A Christmas Carol in the grand Capitol Theater.

As a theater for young audiences, education is at the core of all we do. Our year-round educational program includes classes for pre-K through grade 12, enrolling over 1,100 students per year. CTM partners with Goodman Community Center and Lussier Community Education Center to provide free after-school theater education classes to children from low-income families. Goals of this program are for students to develop a sense of pride in accomplishment, a greater sense of community and ensemble, a deep connection with their own creative problem-solving skills, and a deeper appreciation of literacy. CTM also works with area schools through two in-school residency programs: Young Playwrights (YP) for high school students and Young Playwrights for Change (YPC), a national competition for middle school students. These programs culminate in an annual Young Playwrights Festival, showcasing new works from each school.

CTM is breaking ground this year on a Madison Youth Arts Center, which will house all facets of our operation: classrooms, rehearsal halls, production shop, administrative offices, and performance spaces.  This 65,000 sq.ft. facility will provide a permanent home for CTM and Madison Youth Choirs (MYC) as well as provide space at an affordable cost to other local youth arts organizations.