San Carlos Children’s Theater is a non-profit organization committed to educating youth in all aspects of theater production and engaging its extended community, all while nurturing creative expression, self-confidence, teamwork, and an appreciation for the arts.


Since its inception in 1990, San Carlos Children’s Theater has become a leader and family favorite in youth theater, producing more than 180 shows,  training more than 12,500 aspiring young actors, and entertaining over 25,000 Bay Area families.  SCCT provides students ages 4-18 with quality theatrical experiences which foster creative and critical thinking skills, develop leadership, build self-confidence, and teach teamwork in a supportive, safe environment. We strongly believe that the process is just as important for the student as the product, and strive to help performers discover more about themselves as they learn the fundamentals of performing arts and technical production. Through after-school drama classes, musical theater camps, specialized workshops, and full-scale productions, SCCT nurtures each student’s imagination and creative aspirations to help them reach their full potential and develop a life-long love for the arts.

SCCT is committed to the community and providing exceptional theater training to students throughout the Peninsula. In addition to our independent performing arts programs, we provide after-school theater programs to public schools in San Carlos, Redwood City, and Belmont. SCCT believes in giving back to the community and each year hosts a variety of free family activities (e.g. movie nights, scavenger hunts, virtual game nights), as well as participating in local community events like San Carlos Hometown Days, San Carlos Farmers Market, and Belmont’s Save the Music festival.

Our non-profit organization is led by an Executive Operations Director and Executive Artistic Director, along with an all-volunteer Board of Directors.  SCCT’s skilled staff also includes an experienced team of drama teaching artists, vocal directors and choreographers, and a part-time Technical Director, Costume Designer, Set Designer, Accountant and Marketing Manager. Students are routinely encouraged to participate in theater leadership by joining SCCT’s  Youth Advisory Board, as well as working as junior assistant directors/choreographers, technical crew assistants, or class/camp aides.

SCCT Believes It’s Important To…

  • Apply a holistic developmental approach
  • Foster a sense of inclusion & camaraderie
  • Value process, as well as product
  • Create pride and a sense of accomplishment
  • Collaborate with local schools
  • Supply professional, caring, creative educators
  • Participate in and give back to the local community
  • Produce quality entertainment and fun for all ages
  • Develop life-long skills in communication, presentation & collaboration


  • 1,300 Students
  • 48 Classes / Camps
  • 4 Mainstage Productions
  • 1,200 Social Media Fans
  • 3,300 email subscribers
  • 520 Volunteers
  • Voted “Best Special Interest Camp” and “Best Theater Class”  on the Peninsula 2020 (Bay Area Parent Magazine)


San Carlos Children’s Theater (SCCT) strives to promote racial equity, justice, inclusion, and the opportunity to thrive, for all. SCCT recognizes that existing systems of power give privilege and access to resources and lead to inequities and oppression. We are committed to educating our staff in order to use diversity, equity, and inclusion values and practices. As we continue to learn best practices, we pledge to champion these values in our organization and programming. 

Opportunities – What are we doing to become a more diverse and inclusive organization?

  • Educating staff through professional development. 
  • Creating accessible programming for underserved communities.
  • Continuing to make current programming accessible by making scholarships more visible, offering different options for payment.
  • Actively recruiting diverse teaching artists, board members and students.
  • Seeking funding for programs to serve communities with limited access to arts programming.
  • Identifying, addressing and removing misconceptions and barriers in our organization, including process, practices, programs, and services.
  • Working to create partnerships with programs that serve disabled, diverse or underserved communities. 
  • Soliciting ideas, programs, and solutions built upon a range of perspectives. Individuals bring with them a diverse set of perspectives, work and life experiences, as well as religious and cultural differences. Respecting these differences, building on them and valuing the individuality benefit all involved in the theater.
  • Instructors infusing programs with acceptance, kindness, inclusion, respect. 
  • Offering professional development for instructors and board members. 
  • Creating accessible performances.  
  • Offering free community outreach projects such as scavenger hunts and Sing-A-Longs.

If you would like to be included in the conversation about diversity, inclusion and racial justice, contact donna@sancarloschildrenstheater.com.

San Carlos Children’s Theater acknowledges it is located on the unceded territory of the Ramaytush Ohlone peoples who are the original inhabitants of the San Francisco Peninsula.


“My daughter took her first SCCT class last night called “Creating Character”…this morning she said ‘I want to go back to class tonight. It was so fun! A week is too long to wait!’”  – S. Casey

“I’m so happy our kids are getting to have this experience.” – N. Kaufman-Cohen

“We had the best time while in the show. Thanks to all for a most wonderful production!” – K. Stevens

“I  appreciate SCCT’s commitment to performing arts education. My children love all the great experiences and making new friends at the theater.” – S. Toth

“SCCT has always been a second family to us…We really appreciate the many opportunities it provided our kids to grow in a loving, encouraging fashion.”  – J. Richards

“I loved growing up at SCCT! It was a lot of fun and I learned important skills that I use today in my college classes and presentations.” – K. Harris

“Eron, you are an amazing teacher. My kids love you! – I. Tillier

“Thanks so much for the experience! R. loved it!” – R. Waks Bennett

“A lot of what you taught me has strongly influenced my current success in life. Being in computer science most developers are plagued with being shy… but I’ve managed to avoid that and I think a large part of that was acting with SCCT as a kid….I really appreciate all that I learned at SCCT and use it frequently.” – K. Spector

“SCCT is a community treasure with exceptional teachers who helped my children develop life skills like teamwork and collaboration.”- C. Du Bois, Sequoia Union High School District Board Member


San Carlos Children’s Theater began in 1990 as a program of the San Carlos Parks and Recreation Department. After receiving strong community support, an independent Board of Directors was formed in 1991, and a full-time Artistic Director was hired soon after. The theater is now an independent 501(c)(3) corporation. With a mission that embraces artistic excellence and education, the theater has grown from a few children’s workshops in 1990 to offering a full-schedule of classes every quarter and producing approximately 12 productions a year. Our performing troupe Broadway Rising Stars dazzles community audiences with its Broadway-style routines throughout the year.

SCCT has received Bay Area Parent Magazine’s ‘Best of the Best’ award for outstanding theater education every year since 2007, and has been recognized by the City of San Carlos with a special arts proclamation and designation of an official San Carlos Children’s Theater Day.  In addition, SCCT Executive Operations Director Donna Avanzino is a recipient of the San Carlos Arts and Culture Achievement Award for her work in promoting and enhancing artistic and cultural contributions within the City. Our students have gone on to be successful in a range of fields from performing arts to teaching to engineering to finance, but all agree that their training with SCCT was invaluable, and provided them with the confidence, critical thinking skills,  collaboration techniques, and clear communication know-how that are so important in both school and the workplace today.

The theater’s stability after 31 years results from the loyal dedication of its staff and volunteers. Without the hard work and financial support of such individuals year after year, SCCT could not have developed into the shining star that it is today, offering award-winning programs and enhancing the quality of life for thousands of Peninsula families every year.

Thank you for your interest in San Carlos Children’s Theater and welcome to our theater family!