Education Theses

Date of Award

Fall 11-4-2020


The purpose of this thesis is to collect a formalized history of Nashville Children’s Theatre (or NCT), a nonprofit arts organization, between the years of 1977 and 2019. Previous theses by students at other universities have recorded NCT’s history prior to 1977, but much of the company’s evolution during the time since has only been kept via a loose oral tradition amongst employees, an oral tradition that becomes increasingly distorted and destroyed as staff members and volunteers come and go from the organization or pass-away. This thesis project collected memories from 18 individuals who worked for, volunteered with, performed at, or otherwise came into contact with Nashville Children’s Theatre during the above-stated years; interviews were conducted to collect stories and to probe matters of the theatre’s history which have become unclear over time. Questions included how the participants first encountered NCT, what their favorite memories of the organization are, why they left the organization (when applicable), and several other topics specific to their role and their period of interaction. This thesis also sorted through long-neglected archival materials of the organization, attempting to both organize them and synthesize their information into the narrative formed by interviews. The narrative covers how NCT went from a volunteer-led, largely-amateur theatre in the 1970s to a completely professional organization in present day through evolution of its management and volunteer structures; strategic planning for growth of its programs, staff, and facility; and facing organizational threats with creative solutions.


Dr. Joy Kimmons

Committee Member 1

Dr. John Murray

Committee Member 2

Dr. Joy Kimmons

Committee Member 3

Shawn Knight


Education, Department of


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Document Type



Master of Education (MEd)

Degree Level


Degree Grantor

Belmont University