For Audiences of All Ages!
Founded in 1988 by famed puppeteer Allie Scollon and her son John, the Columbia Marionette Theatre (CMT) has established itself as a premiere children’s theatre in South Carolina. Our mission is to entertain and educate children and adults through the long-standing tradition and artistry of puppetry.
Originally housed in a turn-of-the-century warehouse in the Vista, the theatre moved in 1995 to a building specifically designed and built for its use at its current location near Riverfront Park. Rededicated as The Allie Scollon Puppetry Center in 2006, the theatre features puppets from a few inches tall to over five feet appearing on a 30-foot stage.
The theatre is open to the public and hosts daycare and school field trips any day of the week. In addition, CMT tours educational and entertaining shows throughout the state.
The Columbia Marionette Theatre is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization.
John Scollon, Executive Director
As a second generation puppeteer, John Scollon has been a puppeteer all his life. He was touring nationally by age 15, and co-founded CMT in 1989. He has written and directed many CMT productions over the years, including Pinocchio, Jack and the Giants, and the Brementown Musicians. John is also an accomplished musician and songwriter.
Lyon Forrest Hill, Artistic Director
Lyon joined the Columbia Marionette Theatre in 1997 and has been a puppeteer for nearly every production since then. He has directed several shows for CMT, including Greek Myths, Aladdin, and Frankenstein. Lyon began making puppets for new productions in 2000. He has studied puppetmaking in Prague and his puppets have been shown internationally. You can see Lyon's artwork at www.mermecolion.com.
Our Board of Directors
Cheryl Bertics, Marketing Executive
Rodney Franco, Librarian
Cheryl Holland, Financial Planner
Gary Pozsik, Broadcaster
Allie Scollon, Founder
Karri Scollon, Professor
Wayne Smalley, Business Executive
Bill Spangler, Teacher
Dr. Tracy Young, Pediatric Chiropractor
Our Primary Sponsors
- The City of Columbia has long been a friend and supporter of the arts and has provided support through its Community Promotions and Accommodations Tax funds
- Cultural Council of Richland and Lexington Counties provides major annual support for the theatre's programming.
- PalmettoPride continues its enduring partnership by sponsoring Litter Trashes Everyone, a traveling show designed to teach elementary school children about littering.
- South Carolina Arts Commission provides biennial support for the theatre’s entire year of programming.
- The American Dental Association, South Carolina Dental Association, and DHEC's Oral Health Division provided support for Flora and Floppy Go to the Dentist, a traveling show that teaches young children to care for their teeth.
- The Sunshine Fund continues its support by sponsoring Me and My Big Mouth, a traveling show about dental health.