Variety the Children’s Charity’s history is deeply rooted in theatre and entertainment. The first chapter was founded in Pittsburgh in 1928 by a group of theater owners after discovering an abandoned child in the eat of one of their theaters, Since then, much of what Variety does has a bit of a theatrical flavor, and that is true for Variety the Children’s Charity of St. Louis, Variety’s fourth chapter, which opened in 1933.
In 2009, Variety St. Louis had an idea – an idea to return to these theatrical roots in a way that had not yet been done by any organization anywhere in the world. This idea was to put children with disabilities on stage, but they wouldn’t be on stage alone. A professional cast and crew, as well as an inclusive ensemble of children, would join these Variety Kids for a production that would rival what audiences could see on Broadway.
And the rest, they say, is history. In 2018, the company was also awarded the “Special Award for a Body of Work” from the St. Louis Theater Circle. This award is presented only when the Theater Circle feels a production is truly worthy, and Variety Theatre is honored to have been selected.