Energize!

Bringing joy of theater to children in New Jersey

Throughout my entire life, I’ve been very fortunate, which is why I’ve volunteered for many organizations over the years. But no organization has meant more to me than Children’s Theater of Livingston, where I am currently co-president and treasurer. The CTL embodies my passion for theater, children and volunteering all in one. Some might say I have a special attachment because I founded CTL in 2006 with a group of close friends, but it truly is much more about sharing my love of theater with the next generation.

The goal for CTL is to introduce children in grades two through five to the magic of theater by creating a warm environment and changing the intimidating audition process into a positive one. Instead of a traditional audition, the children who sign up are given a simple assessment – they read a few lines and sing a simple song like “Happy Birthday.” The process is first come, first served, and the first 50 children who sign up are automatically in the show.

Since we started the organization, we’ve had over 1,200 elementary school children perform on stage and hundreds of middle school children learn behind the scenes’ skills. We put on one big show every March and conduct workshops throughout the fall, spring and summer seasons. This year, we put on “Seussical the Musical” and all four shows were completely sold out. In fact, our last three productions sold out. The support from the town of Livingston has been nothing short of remarkable.

The gratification gained from helping others is a feeling unlike any other. Volunteering is important to me because I love giving back to my community, and doing something that is important and meaningful to someone else.

The work my team and I put into CTL has been great, and we’ve seen major success since we started. Before we opened, there weren’t any venues for children of this age to participate in theater.

I also owe a big thank you to my board of 11 parents because we all play a big role in bringing an outlet to children in the area that they’ve never had before, and everyone has been extremely supportive.

I’ve been an employee with PSEG for 37 years, currently as manager of energy supply regulatory support & compliance. PSEG’s Power of One campaign is amazing, and I’m happy that the wonderful company that I’ve been part of for so long is recognizing the volunteer work that our own community is doing, as well as the community at large. There is no good deed too small, so get out there and do your part. You’ll be surprised how grateful and satisfied you will be.

Fatima Calcado, MANAGER OF ENERGY SUPPLY REGULATORY SUPPORT & COMPLIANCE, PSEG

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