William Shakespeare once said that "All the world's a stage," and, as any actor will tell you, this is undoubtedly true. Still, it's nice to have a place to practice and the Casper Children's Theater finally has a home of their own.

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CCT held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday, letting the crowd of onlookers know that there were lights, there were cameras, and it was time for some action.

It was the end of a two-year journey, and the beginning of a new one.

"We started in 2019, just acquiring the building, raising funds to build it," stated Audrey Egan, one of the program directors of the CCT. "Then, once we did that, we had to raise enough funds to renovate it, because it wasn't a theater at first. So we had to create the theater and get that up and running."

Egan said they were ready to get the ground running in the fall of 2020, but the global pandemic turned their comedy into a tragedy.

"We were ready to go last fall, but COVID-19 kind of stopped that," she said.

But, the show must go on. And go on it shall. Casper Children's Theater has an incredible season planned this year, featuring productions of 'High School Musical Junior,' 'The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe,' 'Annie Junior,' and many more. All of these shows, plus 'KinderDramas,' various workshops, and more will all offer kiddos the chance to discover themselves. It will show them a side of themselves that maybe they wouldn't have discovered otherwise.

Acting teaches children structure, memorization skills, listening skills, and more. But, more than that, it gives them a chance to gain confidence in themselves. It teaches them to express themselves, to love themselves, to be wholly and fully, unequivocally themselves.

"It's really heartwarming," Egan said. "All of these kids are going to come here and want to be here. They're gonna come after school and drop off their backpacks and all of their friends are here and they're going to have a great time. One of the things we know about kids who do theater is that they tend to be kind and empathetic and they tend to want to make the world a better place. So opening our doors to as many kids as we can get in, so that they can go out and spread is the best feeling in the world. It's all I need."

The Casper community must have agreed because the Thursday preview/open house/ribbon cutting ceremony featured a packed house. Various kiddos offered performances on the newly-christened Wind City Dental Stage. There were burgers and hot dogs, a photo booth and much, much laughter. It was a great night for all involved and Egan can't thank the community enough for showing up to support the Casper Children's Theater.

"It's truly incredible," she stated. "I feel like we didn't know how incredible it was until tonight. We are so excited to just have a home in the community that we can open the doors to everyone from the community. We've just been working so hard and this is it. This is home."

Photos from the Open House can be seen below:

Casper Children's Theater Open House