Summer Theater for Kids
Apple Box Children’s Theater (ABC) is a community theater that provides an affordable venue to put every child—regardless of race, creed, gender, or ability—on stage in order to boost their confidence, enhance teamwork skills, and build responsibility and accountability in their characters.
Apple Box Theater is proud to partner with Western Oregon University and Central High School to provide educational opportunities that last beyond the performances. Students at CHS and WOU gain practical experience running a show while participating. The resources, including people, shared between the three create a stronger and more sustainable community around theater in Monmouth/Independence.
Our history and purpose
Started by WOU (then called Oregon College of Education) professor Bob Page in the 1970's, Apple Box Children's Theater was re-established in his memory by Rob and Barbara Harriman in 2010. It was a labor of love for them, and relied entirely on volunteers to run. In 2020, Apple Box established a partnership with Central High School and Western Oregon University which leverages the CTE path at CHS with the Theatre Education program at WOU. While the need for volunteers will never cease, this partnership provides a path to move forward in a more sustainable fashion, while providing valuable experience to students in both programs.
The purpose of Apple Box Children's Theater is primarily to have fun! Added benefits are that children gain confidence and develop their abilities to work on a team, as well as learn about the history of theater, classic literature, and what it takes to put a production on.
Apple Box does not have any paid staff and relies entirely on volunteers to run. Because we want to keep our program free, we ask families to help with the production of the play. There is no minimum service hour commitment, as we know that families vary in the flexibility they have to help, but ask that you try to contribute to the extent you can.
Here are some ways we need help:
Pizza & Cast/Strike party
For descriptions of what these entail, see this document.
What to expect during the experience
Our program is free. It is funded primarily by a grant from the Polk County Cultural Coalition and by donations. Costumes, props, and all of the training is provided. Typically, a water bottle and shoes to wear during the performances (often brown sandals or boots) are the only thing you will need to provide for your child. T-shirt purchases and contributions towards the cast party are optional.
We are funded by grants and donations. Now we accept donations year-round!