The Children's Playhouse Theatre digital collection includes advertisements, programs, tickets, sketches and other materials created and collected by Irene Belcher that document the performances and history of the Children's Playhouse Theatre in Muncie, Indiana from 1943-1967.
Irene Belcher operated an educational theatre program for school age children locally for over thirty years. She opened her first children's studio in the 1930s, across from the old City Hall building, on the southwest corner of Jackson and Jefferson streets. From there she moved to the third floor of the Chamber of Commerce building, on the corner of Jefferson and Main Street, where she had the entire top floor. She was also active in children's theatre groups nationally, being one of the original twenty members who formed the National Children's Theatre Conference in 1944. She served several times as advisor for children's theatres throughout the country.
The items in this collection document the operations of the Children's Playhouse Theatre from the recruitment of students and patrons through the performance of classic productions including Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp, Alice in Wonderland, Cinderella, The Emperor's New Clothes, Heidi, Peter Pan, Sleeping Beauty and many more. Advertisements and flyers display methods used for promoting involvement in the theatre and selling tickets. Sketches and notes created by Irene Belcher document the planning of set and costume designs. Finally, programs record the participants and locations of Children's Playhouse Theatre performances.
The materials in this digital collection are part of the Irene Belcher collection in Archives and Special Collections which includes additional material documenting Irene Belcher's work with the Muncie Civic Theatre and other performing arts and community organizations.