About

World Class Theater Featuring Local Talented Youth

Now celebrating 50 years of artistic excellence

Our Mission

The mission of CMT San Jose is to train and educate today’s youth through musical theater to set and achieve high artistic and personal goals, and to inspire them to become exemplary artists, patrons and citizens of tomorrow.

Who We Are

Inclusiveness and quality are the two touchstones of CMT’s vision. CMT remains dedicated to providing the highest possible caliber of musical and theatrical training to children from ages 4 to 20, spanning all abilities. We stand behind our promise never turn a child away, regardless of financial or physical limitations.

As a nationally acclaimed theater organization and the oldest performing arts organization in San Jose, the company is a key provider of arts education and offers life building opportunities for youth in Silicon Valley improving test scores, class attendance, and self esteem. CMT remains committed to its mission and proud to be a part of its vibrant arts and cultural community.

What We Do

Each season CMT mounts 10 core productions at the Montgomery Theater in downtown San Jose: five Rising Stars productions (cast members between the ages of 8-14), three Mainstage productions (cast members between the ages of 14-20), and two Marquee shows that showcase the talents of  top emerging Bay Area performing artists, including many CMT alumni.

CMT offers a range of ancillary programs. Our education and outreach programming incorporates curriculum-based performing arts as a teaching tool and develops young audiences for musical theater. Our Production Workshops are a unique eight-week preparation process based on a clear artistic vision and the belief that each performer, at every skill level, can accomplish something remarkable. Our Audition Master Classes, Guest Artist Series Studio Classes and Summer Camp provide exceptional musical theater training in voice, acting and dance, culminating in performances designed to showcase the young performers’ talent and hard work. Our Student Audience Matinees bring audiences of young people to the theater for affordable weekday matinees of our productions, many of whom are experiencing the gift of live theater for the very first time.

Impact

CMT is proud to be the oldest performing arts organization in Silicon Valley. Each season, nearly 40,000 youth and their families join us as participants in our programs, onstage in production workshops, or as theater patrons. CMT prides itself on being a reflection of the community it serves, with an ethnically diverse staff, board of directors, and community of participants.  The organization has been awarded 10 grants from the National Endowment for the Arts for its artistic excellence and in 2016, Artistic Director Kevin Hauge received an honorable mention by the Tony Awards for Excellence in Theater Education.

History

CMT was founded in 1968 by John P. Healy, Jr., a 17-year-old musical theater performer who dreamed of a theater company where every young person who auditioned would have the opportunity to perform onstage.

 

History of CMT

Healy—with support from his parents and community leaders—created Cabrini Community Theater. Thirty-five children and teenagers from Healy’s neighborhood including his younger siblings appeared onstage in a production of Robin Hood—written and directed by Healy. The group performed at a local church with parents pitching in to build sets, sew costumes and take tickets. A full story about our company’s beginnings are here via Mr. Healy’s obituary.

Within a couple of years as word of the company’s unique casting policy spread, the group had grown to more than 300 performers from all over the city and the company changed its name to San Jose Children’s Musical Theater. In the late 1970s the company offered its first summer Conservatory of Performing Arts classes—establishing itself not only as a performing outlet but also a first-class training organization.

In 1996 the company hired Kevin R. Hauge as its first full-time Artistic Director. Under his direction the company began to successfully produce more sophisticated, technically demanding shows that are usually undertaken only by large regional and professional theater companies. Highlights include West Coast premieres of new Broadway titles including Billy Elliot, Sister Act, American Idiot, Miss Saigon and Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida. Under his leadership, the company has taken on new innovative initiatives including its NEA funded Second Screen Experience during its 2016 Mainstage production of RENT and the 1998 production of PULSE and 1999 production of 2101. Both of the latter productions were part of T.A.D.A (Theater as Digital Activity): Full scale musicals written online with terminally ill patients at Children’s Hospital and produced by CMT performers.

Now in its 50th season CMT is preparing for a bright future. Throughout our history, we have seen how quality youth theater fills a number of vital needs in our community.  An early introduction to the arts not only helps youth develop the skills, confidence and perspective to succeed in their education and adult lives, but also provides positive alternatives and inspiring role models to help them make healthy life choices. The thrill of being a part of something great does the rest.