No Really, It’s Free!

Whoever coined the phrase, “there’s no such thing as a free lunch,” clearly has never heard of The National Theatre for Children. NTC prides itself on performing educational theatre in schools across the country at no cost to schools whatsoever. We accomplish this feat by partnering with sponsors – utility companies, financial agencies, outreach foundations – who provide us with the funds to produce educational shows. Schools receive free programming, our sponsors reach their communities with important societal messages, and NTC continues its 40-year mission to serve educators and be an educational resource for schools; we believe that’s the definition of “win-win-win.”

Whether it be about energy conservation, safety education, financial literacy or any other topic, NTC’s mission is to create educational theatre that is beneficial to all parties concerned. Sometimes that means walking away from a potential sponsor who doesn’t share our values. We work for organizations that want to be associated with teaching societal issues to 6-18 year old students, their parents and educators. In this way, NTC has complete confidence in the motivation behind our programming.

Since we partner with sponsors who want to reach their local communities, we work with them in determining which schools they’d like us to visit. That can create a double-edged sword for scheduling schools. On one side, there may be schools who contact us that we are not approved to schedule. On the other side, eligible schools get an exclusive, specialized program from which our sponsor chose them to directly benefit. However, if a school does reach out to us and their eligibility is unclear, we talk with our sponsor in hopes of getting that school approved.

That’s how NTC is able to provide our programs at no cost to schools. Often, the programs offer more than just a performance, such as educational student playbooks and teacher guides, digital games and activities, and more. Below is an example of just some of the activities in our elementary energy conservation playbooks. Feel free to check out more educational materials for you and your students to use at And no really, it’s free!


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