Together, we can create theatre that inspires!

Arlington Children’s Theatre is dedicated to creating equitable, quality theatrical events, workshops, and experiences that educate, inspire, and enrich the lives of children ages 7-18, their families, and the community. We produce a variety of plays and musicals each season and offer exciting workshops and vacation day programs that center on the educational process and the theatrical and interpersonal development of each individual participant.

ACT’s Mission Statement:

  • ACT embraces by opening its doors to all who wish to participate regardless of background, experience, or acting, dancing or singing ability.

  • ACT enriches by providing a safe, welcoming space where children can be exposed to new experiences, different points of view, and challenged beyond their current selves.

  • ACT educates formally through its workshops, programs and high-quality productions led by staff with years of experience and dedication to theatre. ACT also educates informally by helping give children the freedom to express themselves, and develop the communication, teamwork, and conflict resolution skills necessary to see a complex production with many personalities come to life.

  • ACT entertains by creating excellent, professional-looking and -sounding productions that everyone can enjoy and be proud of: the ACTors, their parents, the artistic staff, and the local community.

  • ACT encourages by supporting everyone in the ACT community and teaching them to be resilient, humble, and to persevere.

About Us

ACT Co-Founder and long-time Board Member Deb Butler used to call ACT the “soccer team for kids who don’t play soccer.” That spirit of teamwork has always been at the very center of ACT. It is also that sense of ACT being a refuge and a community that continues to this day, even for soccer players.

ACT began as a place where parents and other adults volunteered to help children create live theater. The organization has used a variety of spaces in Arlington over the years—the First Baptist Church, the Regent Theater, the Masonic Temple, Town Hall, the Church of Our Savior, and Rocky DiRicco’s Karate Studio—finally settling into a home-base in 2008 at Arlington Center for the Arts. In 2016, ACT moved to Trinity Baptist Church, while continuing to use performing spaces at Minuteman High School and Lexington Christian Academy.

Through the years, ACT has evolved from doing one show a year in 2001 to 5 to 6 shows a year, plus vacation camps, a fully-enrolled summer day program, and multiple workshops. ACT was a parent-driven volunteer organization from its inception until ACT hired former ACTor Colleen Rua as its first Artistic Director in 2006, followed by Matt Lundeen in 2012, Joseph C. Walsh in 2018, Anthony Bruno in 2020, and Christin Rills in 2024.

Christin Rills: Interim Artistic Director (she/her)

Christin Rills is a seasoned theatre professional holding a Masters in Theatre Education from Emerson College and a Bachelor of Arts in Theatrical Performance from Louisiana State University. She has 25 years of experience as a professional performer, choreographer, director, and educator. She is a licensed theatre educator in both Massachusetts and her home state of Louisiana. She currently serves as an Adjunct Professor at Emerson College and Bridgewater State University.

She has an extensive list of credits as a director, performer, and choreographer but some of her favorites include “The Three Penny Opera”, “A Christmas Carol”, “Sleeping Beauty”, “Matilda Jr.”, “Newsies Jr.” and ComedySportz Boston.

In addition to her performance and teaching roles Christin enjoyed serving on the board for the Massachusetts chapter of the Educational Theatre Association for two years as their workshop coordinator showcasing her commitment to advancing theatre education in Massachusetts. Furthermore as a founding member of the University Theatre Alliance at Louisiana State University Christin played a key role in fostering theatrical collaboration and creativity.

Recently appointed as Artistic Director at ACT Christin is looking forward to continuing to shape the future of the ACT, blending a rich artistic background with a passion for education in the theatre community.

Christin’s greatest joy is witnessing moments of “theatre magic” through the eyes of her students and audience.

Bonnie Gold: Director of Development/Interim Theatre Administrator (they/them)

Bonnie Gold is a skilled communications and institutional advancement professional, adept fundraiser, and lifelong artist with a rich blend of experience and passion for the arts. Their various roles have included teaching and leadership positions at Camp Wigwam and The Chestnut Hill School, shaping their knack for community building and youth engagement.

While at The Chestnut Hill School, Bonnie oversaw impressive fundraising campaigns that consistently surpassed goals. Notably, they rallied the community during the pandemic to raise over $615,000, significantly exceeding the initial target goal. Bonnie’s multifaceted approach to fundraising, including personalized outreach, phone-a-thons, and creative video appeals, consistently resonates with donors, sparking generous support even in challenging times.

As the Director of Media and Communications at Temple Emunah, Bonnie implemented a comprehensive online member portal and revitalized the synagogue’s website, enhancing the organization’s digital presence and community accessibility.

Beyond their “9-5” roles, Bonnie’s commitment to arts and theatre is personal. As a professional actor and comedian, they’ve lived a life immersed in creativity and performance, further fueling their dedication to arts organizations. They carry their BA in Theatre Arts from Goucher College into every aspect of their work, allowing their love of the arts to inform their innovative development strategies. 

Drew O’Connors: Technical Director (he/him)

Drew is thrilled to be serving as the Technical Director for ACT. With a passion for working with kids, Drew has been involved in several youth and touring theatre companies as a scenic carpenter, audio engineer, and technical director for over a decade. Drew’s love for theatre and dedication to the craft is evident in the quality of their work. He is excited to be a part of this organization and looks forward to bringing their expertise to the stage. Drew is the founding instructor of the Multimedia Engineering Program at Minuteman Regional Vocational Technical High School, where he helped to design and build their state-of-the-art, fully-configurable performance venue.

David Allen Flowers: Resident Music Director (he/him)

David Flowers is a music director, conductor, and composer in the Boston area. In addition to his role as assistant professor at the Berklee College of Music, he has recently served as music director for productions at the Priscilla Beach Theatre, the Stonehill College Theatre company, the Marblehead Little Theatre and as pit-conductor for the Weston Friendly Society. He is proud to be serving as the Resident Music Director for the Arlington Children’s Theatre, which he has called his home theatre since MD’ing ACT’s “Matilda”, in 2022.

David Atkins, President

Mary O’Neill, Treasurer

Alyssa O’Rourke, Secretary

Jennifer Dilts

Angela Gunn-O’Neil

Rua Kelly

Sarah Teeven

Arlington Children’s Theatre
115 Massachusetts Avenue
Arlington, MA 02474

Office Hours: 5pm – 8pm (Mon – Thu)

General Inquiries and Lost & Found: info@arlingtonchildrenstheatre.org(781) 316-8090

Artistic Director: Christin Rills

ACT Board: David Atkins, ACT President

Scholarships: Mary O’Neill, ACT Treasurer

Sponsorship & Advertising: Bonnie Gold, ACT Director of Development