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A One-of-a-Kind Family Arts Center is Set to Open in Downtown Portland This Spring

Northwest Children’s Theater’s New Home — The Judy — will house performances, classes, movies, and more!

Presented by Northwest Children’s Theater March 29, 2023

The Judy Grand Opening, April 29

Northwest Children’s Theater (NWCT) is moving to Broadway! The Judy Kafoury Center for Youth Arts, lovingly called The Judy, is located at 1000 Broadway in downtown Portland, across the street from the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. What was once a four-screen movie theater is now transformed into a multi-venue arts center for youth. Upon entering The Judy, you will descend the stairs (or elevator) into a grand lobby which houses the entrances to four main spaces: The Stage, The Black Box, The Studios, and The Cinema. With onsite maker space, extensive concessions, and an attached parking garage, this new home will allow NWCT to grow their programs while also providing generous rental and partnership opportunities.

Grand Opening: The Judy’s grand opening will showcase local artists and a tour of NWCT’s new home. This event is free to the public!

The Judy Grand Opening

Saturday, April 29, 12:00 – 1:30pm
All ages welcome!

John Ellingson as Gerald and Kristin Robinson as Piggie in Elephant & Piggie at NWCT

The Stage: The Stage is akin to a traditional proscenium-style performance space. It features 240 comfortable, cushioned bench-style seats to allow families to sit in the configuration that is most comfortable for them. Seats are raked to allow for ideal sightlines no matter where you are sitting. The first show on The Stage will be Elephant & Piggies: “We Are in a Play!” Written by Mo Willems with music by Deborah Wicks La Puma, this family-favorite features “bestus friends” Gerald the Elephant and Piggie the Pig. Together, they tackle friendship’s big questions: What happens when two friends want to play with ONE toy? What DO you wear to a fancy party? And will ANYONE say “Banana?”

Elephant & Piggies: “We Are in a Play!”

Elephant & Piggie's: "We Are in a Play!" 

April 29 – May 28, Saturdays & Sundays at 11am & 2pm
Most enjoyed by ages 3 and up

The Black Box: The Black Box is a flexible performance space with up to 120 seats on movable risers that can be configured in a multitude of ways. Catalyst: NWCT’s Youth Company will present Cinderella as the first show in The Black Box! This NWCT original musical tells the story of Cinderella like you’ve never heard it before. A tap-dancing extravaganza featuring a big band jazz score by local composer Ezra Weiss, Cinderella explores the challenges of being true to yourself while trying to live up to family expectations. This heartwarming story filled with flashy production numbers and toe tapping tunes will send audiences home saying, “I just wanna dance!”


Catalyst: NWCT's Youth Company presents Cinderella

May 5 – 21; Fridays at 7pm, Saturdays at 12pm & 4pm, and Sundays at 2:30pm
Most enjoyed by ages 5 and up

The Studios: There are three studio spaces at The Judy. These flexible rooms will be used for classes, camps, rehearsals, and more! Each room is equipped with built-in sound systems, and two of the three rooms feature high ceilings and basic theatrical lighting.

Spring Theater Classes

April 8 – June 4, Saturdays & Sundays
Ages 4 – 14

Summer Camps

June 19 – August 25
Ages 4 – 14

The Cinema, which seats 190 guests, will host Family Movie Nights on Friday evenings and daytime showings on Saturdays and Sundays beginning later this spring. Families and community members will also be able to rent The Cinema for birthday parties and private events.

Concessions: The Judy has a full concessions area, complete with pizza, popcorn, candy, soft drinks, and more. Concessions will be welcomed in all performance areas as well as The Cinema so families can have a full experience when they visit!

Partnerships and Rentals: The Judy is a dynamic youth arts hub, perfect for all organizations looking to produce family-friendly performances. The Judy will allow NWCT to strengthen relationships within the arts community to bring new and innovative, youth-oriented programming to Portland audiences. In addition, organizations can rent The Judy for performances geared toward an older audience, lectures, corporate events, and more!

The Judy Kafoury Center for Youth Arts

The Judy will welcome families back to the heart of our city, expand NWCT’s mission, and guarantee a magical, inviting space for every child to grow, dream, and develop essential life skills.


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