Professional Children's School

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.[3] 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".[4]

Professional Children's School (PCS)
132 West 60th Street

United States
Coordinates40°46′14″N 73°59′10″W
TypeCoeducational independent day school
Established1914 (1914)
FounderJane Harris Hall, Jean Greer Robinson[1]
ChairmanEileen Dieck
HeadmasterJames Dawson
Teaching staff28[2]


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 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.[1]

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.[5]

Distinguished alumni



Theater, film, and television





  1. "History".
  2. "Administration, Faculty & Staff". Archived from the original on February 7, 2016. Retrieved January 28, 2016.
  3. "Professional Children's School : Academics : Schoolwide Resources : Welcome". Retrieved April 12, 2017.
  4. "Professional Children's School : About Us : History I". Retrieved April 12, 2017.
  6. Professional Children's School (January 5, 2019). "Distinguished Alumni | Professional Children's School". Retrieved January 5, 2019.
  7. "DISTINGUISHED ALUMNI". Professional Children's School. Retrieved September 14, 2014.
  8. "From the Top at Carnegie Hall . Peng-Peng Gong - PBS".
  9. Conrad Tao
  10. Tommasini, Anthony. "Beverly Sills, All-American Diva With Brooklyn Roots, Is Dead at 78". The New York Times. July 4, 2007. "But her father put an end to her child-star career when she was 12 so that she could concentrate on her education at Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn and the Professional Children's School in Manhattan."
  11. "Mischa Barton: Biography".
  12. "Scarlett Johansson Biography". Retrieved August 26, 2012.
  13. "Scarlett Johansson". Yahoo! TV. Retrieved August 26, 2012
  14. Braun, Stephen; Jones, Charrise (July 24, 1989). "Murder suspect seems determined as victim". Eugene Register-Guard. p. 5A. Retrieved June 10, 2013.
  15. "Ashima Shiraishi: A Strong Mind". November 30, 2016. Retrieved December 4, 2016.
  16. "Professional Children's School : Alumni : Distinguished Alumni". Archived from the original on January 28, 2016. Retrieved January 28, 2016.
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