MainStage School Policies and Procedures

Policies and Procedures


Theater Location

All MainStage performances take place at the Taft Theatre at 5th and Sycamore Streets in Downtown Cincinnati.

Adjusting Your School Order Additions

Seats can be added to your school order at any time prior to two weeks before a production opens, subject to availability.


We will never cancel or alter the total reserved seats on your order without receiving a change in writing.

Changes to existing orders MUST be submitted in writing at least two weeks prior to a production and a written confirmation forwarded to you by our office to confirm the change was received. If you do not receive a written confirmation from us before your scheduled performance, please contact Pam Young at 513.569.8080 x13.


Refunds are not possible for absences or unused seats. You will be responsible for your final number of reserved seats.


We recommend a minimum of one adult chaperone for every 15 students. Adult ticket prices are the same as student ticket prices at our school matinees. Schools will receive one free chaperone admission for every 15 students.

Homeschool Performances

Performances on Mondays at 1 PM are designated for homeschooling families.

Preschool Children

Infants and children under the age of 3 are only permitted at our designated home school performances on Mondays at 1 PM. Please advise parent chaperones to make alternate arrangements for their younger children.

Special seating needs

Last-minute seating accommodations are not always possible. Please notify us early to ensure your needs are met.

Wheelchair/Special Needs Accessible Seating

Please indicate the number of wheelchair and/or special needs accessible seats you need on the order form. Accessible seating is limited and cannot be guaranteed unless reserved in writing.

My group will have at least one student that requires handicap accessible seating. Will our entire group be seated on the floor together to accommodate this need?

We will always assign students and adult patrons with special needs seating on the orchestra floor allowing for a care-giver or other student to be seated with them if they are age appropriate. For groups including more than one patron with multiple disabilities, they will be seated on the floor but may be separated into various accessible seating. Special needs seating is distributed throughout the theater and not located in just one section.

* Requiring special needs seating for select students does not guarantee orchestra floor seating for your entire group.

We have autistic students in our group for our upcoming field trip. How does the Children’s Theatre assign seating for patrons with autism?

We make every effort to seat groups including autistic patrons near exits for easy access to the surrounding hallways and the lobby if an individual become restless. Feel free to use the nearest exit to wait in one of the hallways or the lobby of the theater until the show has concluded.

Hearing-Impaired Students

Performances on Mondays at 1 PM are signed for hearing-impaired students. If your group cannot attend this performance and requires an interpreter, then your school may provide one for you. Please notify us in advance so that we may arrange appropriate seating for your group and the interpreter.

Free Curriculum-Based Study Guides Easy to Download From Our Website

We have been focusing on improving our Study Guides and making them better resources for you and your students and to enhance the theatrical experience.  Click here for details.

Study Guide Page

Tickets and Seat Assignment

No paper tickets will be issued for school performances. Seating selection for groups will be based on the date orders are received. Groups will be seated within their designated seating area based on order of arrival to the theater. Upon arrival, our staff of volunteer ushers will show your group to their seats predetermined by our seating chart.

Information for chaperones

  • Always accompany children to the restroom.
  • Keep students in a single file line.
  • Fill all seats in your row.
  • If you need to rearrange your seats, please do so after your entire group has been
  • seated.


In the event that hazardous weather or other inclement conditions dictate closure, the decision to cancel our performance will be made at least two hours prior to show time. 

TCT closure information will be posted on the front page of our website, on our Facebook and Twitter pages, as well as provided to the media.

If YOU must cancel due to school closure

In the event that your school is unable to attend a performance because of school closure and/or hazardous weather in your area, we ask that you notify us immediately that morning by calling Pam Young at 513.569.8080 x13 or email Pam Young. We will make every attempt to reschedule your students at another performance of the current production or another in our current season, if available.  

If TCT must cancel

In the event that The Children's Theatre of Cincinnati cancels a performance, we will make every attempt to reschedule your students at another performance of the current production or another in our current season, if available.  If your school cannot be accommodated in our current season, we will offer a refund.


Detailed directions can be found here If you are lost or running late, call The Children's Theatre of Cincinnati Box Office at 513.569.8080 x10.


Parking and Unloading

Cincinnati Police Officers will be on duty to help direct traffic during bus loading and unloading.

Schools or groups arriving by school bus, Metro, TANK or coach buses:

In order to accommodate every group attending a performance and start the performance on time, please ARRIVE AT THE THEATRE NO LATER THAN 15 MINUTES BEFORE CURTAIN OR THE PERFORMANCE START TIME. Arriving later will interrupt the performance and will cause your group to miss the beginning of the show.

Upon arrival, Cincinnati Police and volunteers will direct your bus to pull as close to the bus in front of it or, if space allows, to the corner of 5th Street and Broadway. This will allow room for those buses arriving later.

Stay on the bus once it has come to a complete stop. A volunteer will board the bus and assign the bus a number for dismissal purposes. PLEASE NOTE: The assigned bus number will be used to excuse your group after the performance, so please remember it. This will be different than your bus’s actual number.


A Cincinnati Police Officer will tell the bus driver where to park during the performance. Those drivers parking the bus on 5th Street in front of the Taft Theatre may leave the bus but MUST return 15 minutes before the end of the performance. (Performances are typically 55-60 minutes in length.)

After the bus driver has been given parking instructions, students and chaperones may exit the bus for the theatre. Once in the lobby, a volunteer will direct your group to their seats.

Schools or groups arriving by van or car:

Due to the large number of buses arriving at the Taft Theatre, groups arriving by van or car are encouraged to park in public or private lots or garages. Those lots/garages closest to the Taft Theatre include:

  • Broadway Garage: 310 Broadway
  • Queen City Square Garage: 301 East 4th Street
  • Chiquita Building Garage: on Sycamore Street, between 5th and 6th Streets
  • Chemed Garage: on Main Street, between 4th and 5th Streets
  • Sycamore Garage: on Sycamore Street, between 4th and 5th Streets
  • There is an outdoor parking lot on the corner of 5th and Broadway
  • Underground parking available at Fountain Square

A volunteer will usher you to your seats upon arrival at the Taft Theatre. If you must drop students off at the Taft Theatre before parking, please arrive no later than 30 minutes before the start of the performance. PLEASE NOTE: DO NOT drive past the Taft Theatre marquis to drop off students. DO NOT unload students without an adult chaperone.

Please do not park at any of the bagged meters near the Taft Theatre.

Schools or groups walking to the Taft Theatre:

Please arrive no later than 15 minutes before the performance. Enter the Taft Theatre lobby, and a volunteer will usher you to your seats.

Entering the Taft Theatre

  • All items are subject to visual inspection.
  • Doors open 60 minutes prior to performance time.
  • Keep your group in a single file line.
  • All groups have reserved seating sections. Do not follow another group into the theater.

Late Arrivals

Performances start on time. However, seats will be saved for you in your purchased seating area.



  • No food, drinks or gum are allowed.
  • Turn off all cell phones and pagers. Please refrain from texting during the show.
  • No cameras or recording devices are permitted.
  • Stay in your seat and be ready to watch and listen.
  • You are watching a live performance. The actors can hear you just like you can hear them.
  • If something is funny, it is okay to laugh. If you like something, applause is the best way to thank the performers.

For additional Theater Etiquette Activities and Questions click here.


Leaving the Taft Theatre

IMPORTANT: Schools may not request to be excused first. If your group/school must return by a certain time, please arrive at the Taft Theatre at least 45 minutes before the performance.

Please take your school’s dismissal time, as well as travel time, into consideration when making your reservation. The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati typically schedules two performances a day to accommodate varying school schedules.

Schools/groups will be dismissed by announcements after the performance. Please listen carefully for your assigned bus number. Please pay attention to any instructions regarding exit location. 

PLEASE NOTE: Buses will be dismissed by the numbers assigned to them upon arrival at the Taft Theatre. Schools/groups arriving by several buses may not be dismissed at the same time.

Please exit quickly out the front doors to the 5th Street curb. Volunteers will direct you to your bus.

Because of the number of students leaving and arriving at the Taft Theatre, we ask you to not stop to use the restrooms at the theatre. This delays schools arriving for the second performance and the dismissal of other schools/groups.

Please count your students as you board the bus. Do not delay your departure by doing a head count. If necessary, instruct your driver to pull to the next block.

If you have any questions about the bus/van arrival and departure information, please call Pam Young at 513.569.8080 x13.


  • Please arrive 15 minutes prior to show time.
  • Buses are required to wait for students. They must not leave the downtown area.
  • We dismiss students from the show in groups. It is not a mass dismissal. With a full house, dismissal can last up to 30 minutes; however, during that time students will enjoy a special Question & Answer session from the stage and learn more about the production process.


For more information about The Children's Theatre of Cincinnati’s educational programming, packages and financial assistance, please email Tina Marshall, Education Sales Director, or call 513.569.8080 x22.

For MainStage Field Trip orders, please email Pam Young, School Coordinator, or call 513.569.8080 x13.

To book a TCT on Tour Production, WorkShop, WorkShop Residency or WorkShop Performance, please email Violet Rae Webster, Sales Manager, or call 513.569.8080 x20.