Closed school becomes home for Children’s Theatre


Central Wisconsin Children’s Theatre Managing Director Joelle Murray inside the former A.C. Kiefer Educational Center, the new home for CWCT

The Wausau School District originally planned to tear down A.C. Kiefer Educational Center on the city’s northwest side. Now the former elementary school is home to Central Wisconsin Children’s Theatre, which started practicing in the space in May.

Since 2012 CWCT was located in an unused Wausau Homes building in Rothschild, and before that for many years at the corner of Second and Wausau avenues (where Thrive Foodery is now).

CWCT bought the school and has been moving its stuff over since March, says Director Joelle Murray. The space is ideal because it’s centrally located for families coming from as far north as Merrill and as far south as Mosinee, she says. The $250,000 purchase price was covered with funds from an anonymous donor. “There is no way we could have done this without it,” Murray says.

The theater group’s future plans include a second building for storage and set construction, and an outdoor performance space. They’ll launch a capital campaign soon, Murray says. They also want to construct a stage in the former gym and multi-purpose space of the old school, for smaller performances.

But the first step is moving everything over, which is a work in progress. “We’re happy to be here,” Murray says. “I think this is going to be a really good space for us.”