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Pooler Magazine

Savannah Children’s Theatre Fosters Creativity in Kids

Savannah Children’s Theatre Fosters Creativity in Kids

Story by Katrice Williams


Kelie Miley, founder and artistic director of Savannah Children’s Theatre (SCT), says: “I think the arts enrich you in a way that nothing else does.” The non-profit organization has been an asset to the Coastal Empire for nearly 20 years, helping local children develop a love for the arts by embracing and developing their very own theatrical creativities.

Kelie has quite the noteworthy background in the world of the arts.
“I grew up in community theatre, and I majored in theatre. I worked in children’s theatres in California, and I performed in shows for children,” Kelie says.

After moving back to the area in 1993, Kelie was employed at the City of Savannah Department of Cultural Affairs before she opened SCT.


The SCT mission is to inspire, educate and entertain children and families through the experience of live theatre, both on and off the stage. Kelie and her team enjoy doing just that.

“That drives me every day. I think kids learn to collaborate, think creatively and understand the human condition by playing other characters. Working with everyone is such a collaborative process—working with all kinds of art forms, learning lines, working on the different problems in a play or exploring different time periods,” she says.

Whether singing, dancing, improv games or artistic projects, children are able to participate in a host of different activities as their creativity flourishes. The enriching program includes curriculum-based field trips.

“I love my work. I love reaching new kids and opening up the world of theatre to them. I love seeing the excitement in their eyes. I love watching them gain confidence and new skills,” Kelie says.

The Pooler Program

After hoping to offer a theatrical program in Pooler for quite some time, Kelie was proud to roll out the program last summer. Many Pooler children had become involved in her program, often traveling to Savannah in order to participate.

“I have a lot of Pooler families that come to Savannah. I thought they’d like a theatre community. I talked to those families, and they were interested,” Kelie states.

The theatre has been grateful to be housed at Relentless Church since opening its doors in Pooler. Currently, children in grades 2 through 8 participate in the program.

As it is rapidly growing, Kelie knows that its expansion is inevitable. She is looking forward to inviting teens to be a part of it all in the near future. She is excited to see the new program grow so that it can offer all the same activities in Pooler that are done on the Savannah campus.

“My hope for next year is that we start running a program in Pooler that is comparable to what we have going on in Savannah. We’re hoping that it becomes a second campus for the theatre,” Kelie says.

Since its inception, the Pooler program has offered three theatrical productions that children have been able to take part in, including: Elf, 101 Dalmatians and Aladdin, Jr. The theatre will offer a weekend performance of Aladdin, Jr. May 12-14. Families are also able to sign up for summer camp, as SCT will be offering two two-week camp sessions. The first session will include a production of Frozen, which will be held June 5-16 with show dates June 16-18. The second camp, Finding Nemo, will be held July 10-21 with show dates July 21-23.

Kelie and the entire SCT team are excited about the theatre's growth in Pooler; they are even more thrilled to see how well the children have responded to it.

“They love it. Almost all of them respond very well. In Pooler, some of the kids are new to it, but you can see the joy on their faces; they found a passion. I think it’s an amazing, transformative experience for children, and I can't imagine spending my life any other way,” Kelie says.

Indeed, the Pooler community is truly embracing the program, and parents could not be happier. Many have asked for even more sessions to be offered.

“My Pooler parents and families have been great,” Kelie says.

Many parents have noticed the benefits of the program. A parent of a fourth-grader says, “It helps build their self-confidence. The staff is wonderful, and the teachers are knowledgeable actors who are gifted in working with children.”

Creativity Counts

Through the art of performance, children embrace the beauty of their own imagination and creativity, learn to work well with others, understand positive ways to handle conflict and even gain experience interacting with other cultures. The importance of the arts has become especially obvious over the past couple of decades.

“It is wonderful for children, especially within a world that can be so isolating. It brings them together. You cannot put on a play sitting by yourself,” she says.

While most technological advancements can be beneficial, various electronic devices, social media or other forms of communication and entertainment can become overwhelmingly prevalent in the lives of many young people. Kelie knows the tremendous difference that the arts
can make.

“Long ago, before we could write things down, we told everyone stories. That’s how we learned and how we kept our history. We’ve become good watchers of stories…but not good storytellers,” she says. When stories are acted out, it further builds verbal and physical skills that can positively impact children’s lives.


Kelie takes sincere pride in the dedicated team of professionals who work alongside her. She is thankful for their diligence and commitment regarding the theatre’s expansion into Pooler. She is grateful for the expertise of her talented theatrical instructors who have contributed to making the entire program a success.

“I have a very experienced and knowledgeable staff. They’re really good working with children. They are some of the most amazing people I’ve ever met. My teachers love the kids and love working in this art form just as much as I do. We’re very blessed,” Kelie says.

She also appreciates the founding board members, including Mayor Rebecca Benton, who championed the program’s efforts regarding its Pooler expansion.

Play a Part

Families are encouraged to take part in the program, whether allowing their children’s involvement or just coming out to watch a show. Kelie is confident that the program, which fosters the creative growth of children, can benefit their lives in ways unimaginable.


Summer camp registration opened up on February 15. Families are welcome to visit the SCT website for additional information at: or call: (912) 238-9015.