Fantasy Playhouse: Spotlight on the Future

By: Emily Rodrick and Megan Nivens-Tannett
Fantasy Playhouse Children’s Theater and Academy

According to Americans for the Arts, students who take 4 years of arts score 150 points higher on SAT than students who only take ½ year or less. Low-income students highly engaged in arts are 138% more likely to graduate highschool and twice as likely to graduate college as their peers with no arts education.

Fantasy Playhouse Children’s Theater and Academy (FPCTA), who’s committed to closing the gap to students’ access to the arts, has launched a Capital Campaign that will fuel the future of theatre and arts in our region and they need your help to make this happen. The non-profit experienced over 400% growth since 2014, outgrowing their current building on Long Avenue, in Huntsville. Coupled with FPCTA’s long-term vision of presenting in a venue that is family-focused and fully accessible inspired FPCTA leadership to take action and announce plans to build a new home in West Huntsville.

“The impacts we see from our programming create generational change that better our community and inspire the next generation of leaders to step into the centerstage of their lives,” Mockensturm said. “The new Fantasy Playhouse campus will be a high-profile, accessible arts and culture destination for families, building on our organization’s legacy and providing the exact theatre arts education programming opportunities that families relocating to our area expect for their children.”

The new 5.5 acre campus is complete with a 355 seat theater with an arts access room for nursing mothers, vocal toddlers, or sensory sensitive children and fully equipped production support areas that double as technical theatre teaching classrooms. The goal is to bring all of FPCTA’s education and live children’s theatre production programming under one roof that will contribute the best kind of economic development along the Holmes Avenue corridor, which runs parallel north of Governor’s Drive in West Huntsville. Currently, FPCTA’s main productions are produced at the Von Braun Center Playhouse Theater and summer camp programming split between the Long Avenue office and Bob Jones High School.

“FPCTA’s new building project will be more than a physical expansion. It will expand Fantasy’s impact so more children will experience live theatre as performers and as audience members. They will find opportunities to explore a world outside of their own and consider new possibilities for their own futures. That’s why the City of Huntsville has committed to support this project.” said Dr. Jennie Robinson, Huntsville City Council Representative for District 3.

Although support has garnered $4 million, impacts from COVID slowed fundraising progress down and supply chain issues have severely increased construction costs from $9 million to $16 million. FPCTA is planning to make up the traction over the next year. .

“The vitality of this project depends on our community’s quick and intentional giving. I encourage all who have benefited from FPCTA’s programming through the years to step up and continue the magic for the next generation.” said Lauren DeLorme, Director of Capital Giving.

If you would like to donate or more information, click here.

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