Creative Theatre Experience has offered unique opportunities to students in 1st grade through 12th grade since 1981.

Creative Theatre Experience began as senior research project for Tracey Foster while she was a student at the University of Washington. Tracey designed CTE as a six-week project where the students would learn about acting as well as do activities that would help them grow as individuals.

The first workshop attracted 40 children and was offered through the North Thurston School District. Tracey’s mother, Lois Wofford, a music teacher for the school district, acted as the musical director and was Tracey’s mentor for the project.

Over the first few years, Tracey and Joe Goodrich collaborated to write and present a number of original works, as well as putting on productions of well-known musicals The very first musical was “Peter Pan” in 1981. Then in 1982 CTE performed “The Rescue of Snow White,” an original work by Tracey and Joe, who wrote songs, provided accompaniment, and acted in the show.

Sparkle Plenty arrives on the scene!

It was right before that first show that Sparkle Plenty came to become a permanent part of CTE. She is the little theater fairy who helps calm the jitters and helps each child sparkle on-stage.

Collaborative leadership gives many the chance to shine

At the end of the 1998 season, Tracey decided it was time to explore new horizons. At this point it looked like the end of the program. However, a group of parents, Board members, interns, and students came together to keep CTE going. They restructured how CTE would operate, making the transition to collaborative leadership. This was not easy, but CTE continues to operate while having a number of Artistic Directors since then.

A safe and loving environment

CTE remains an educational experience more than a “the show’s the thing” style program. It is often described as a safe and loving environment where children are given the opportunity to grow to their potential. Classes are offered in art, drama, music, and other aspects of the performing arts. Students continue to develop the sense of community that was one of the original tenets of the program.

Over the years, CTE has performed hundreds of productions from short skits to Broadway musicals
Shows have included:
Peter Pan
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
The Wiz
The Day My Dad Thought I Was From Outer Space
Lord of the Flies
The Warriors Journey
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
Starlight Express, which was actually staged in a roller rink.

Many of the pieces have been the original work of students, interns, and faculty members.