Kalpana Kalpana (Editor)

Professional Children's School

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James Dawson


Number of students

Teaching staff

Eileen Dieck


+1 212-582-3116


Professional Children's School

Coeducational independent day school

132 W 60th St, New York, NY 10023, USA

New York State Association of Independent Schools

Professio Performing Arts School, Trinity School, The Calhoun School, Collegiate School, York Prep School


Professional children s school student s reactions

Professional Children's School is a not-for-profit, college preparatory school enrolling 200 students (mostly working or aspiring child actors or dancers) in grades 6-12. The school was founded in New York City in 1914 to provide an academic education to young people working on the New York stage, in Vaudeville, or "on the road".


Odessa dances in the park she attends the professional children s school


Professional Children's School was founded by two reform-minded New Yorkers, Jane Harris Hall and Jean Greer Robinson. Ardent theatre-goers, the women learned of the plight of the city's professional children - young people working on the New York stage. Public and private schools of the day did not accommodate the schedules of stage children and, more often than not, children were simply skipping school to work on the stage. Some reformers talked of banning children from the stage entirely. Determined to help these "unknown friends on the other side of the footlights," as Mrs. Robinson would later write, the women decided to found a school especially for New York's professional children. On January 6, 1914, PCS admitted its first two students in borrowed quarters in the Theater District. An immediate success, the school enrolled over 100 students within its first year.

After moving into a series of temporary spaces, in 1927 PCS settled into three floors of 1860 Broadway, a 17-story commercial building at 61st Street. With enrollment approaching 300 students by the 1930s, the Associated Press wrote, "you would never dream the stern-faced skyscraper was Broadway's little red schoolhouse." Children were now respected members of "the profession" and roles for children were commonplace on Broadway. "One suspects that the chief reason for this general excellence is the existence of an organization known as the Professional Children's School," wrote Playbill Magazine in 1949. Just a few of the major Broadway productions which featured PCS students included Annie Get Your Gun, Carousel, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Children's Hour, The Innocents, The King and I, I Remember Mama, Life With Father, Member of the Wedding, South Pacific, and The Sound of Music.

In 1956, PCS acquired its own 7-story building on West 60th Street, across the street from the proposed Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. By the late 1960s, with the School of American Ballet and The Juilliard School now just a few blocks away, PCS students studying ballet and classical music outnumbered actors and entertainers.

In 2004, PCS undertook a $9-million renovation and expansion which included the addition of the Peter Glenville Theatre on the ground floor and a gymnasium on a new eighth floor. The work was designed by Steven Harris Architects.

Theater, film, and television

  • Alexandra Daddario
  • Literature

  • Michael McGarrity
  • Linn Ullmann
  • Fashion

  • Rachel Antonoff
  • Claudia Mason
  • Vera Wang
  • References

    Professional Children's School Wikipedia

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