The company produces live shows for children and runs acting, singing and dancing classes for kids.

The leaders of CATCO Is Kids want to make theatre accessible to everyone, said Joe Bishara, associate producing director.

"What we're trying to do is claim the middle," he said. "This is theatre that everybody can access."

When CATCO merged with the Phoenix Theatre for Children in 2010, the boards of both organizations had the shared goal of creating a longstanding relationship with its audiences. The company produces live shows for children and runs acting, singing and dancing classes for kids.

"It is vitally important that this theatre company is one that someone could spend their entire lifetime attending," he said. "We want to make sure we create something really neat - something that made you think or something that made you feel."

-Melissa Kossler Dutton

What prompted the merger with Phoenix?

Both boards were taking a really hard look at what the next few years would be in terms of corporate giving and grants. The Columbus Foundation had told us to plan for 10 percent less every year for the next five years. Both boards were not quite sure how we could exist as separate entities if that continued.

How do you select your productions?

There's not one set thing. Sometimes, it's a story we enjoyed telling before. Sometimes it's just what's new and trending well.

How can parents tell if a production is appropriate for their child?

We do have age recommendations that we list for all of our shows. We also have synopses of all of our shows. On our website, we post pre- and post-show questions that parents can go over with their children.

What kinds of things do children learn while participating in a theatre production?

Theatre teaches kids how to concentrate and how to cooperate. Those are the major things I learned. Kids build friendships. It builds confidence that applies in everything they do in life.

Are there roles for children who want to work back stage?

High school students can intern with us in electronics, stage management and costuming. Participation is not just confined to the stage.