Collierville Chamber of Commerce Non-Profit of the Year.

Get ready for Act 2

Dear New Day Friends and Family,

In 2006, because of my son’s love for theatre, I organized a group of theatre supporters who believed the community deserved a theatre dedicated to serving only children and that Collierville was just the place for it to begin. New Day Children’s Theatre was founded because of the passion and vision of this group, and the belief that every day is an opportunity to invest in our children. We began with a file box, flip phone, and borrowed space at Collierville United Methodist Church.

I thought this was something I would help get started and then be on my way, but God had different plans for me. I fell in love with what we were doing for the community and for the children and families in it. Every day, I prayed for God to show me where he wanted me to be; and every day, it was right here at New Day. This little non-profit continued to grow. In 2020, New Day will celebrate 14 years serving our community through theatre. We have grown from a $3,000 organization to a $200,000 financially sound non-profit respected throughout the Mid-South.

New Day has maintained its own studio space at Carriage Crossing since 2009. We have served well over 7,000 children through both our programs and audiences; we have produced 45 mainstage productions and more summer camps and classes than we can count. More importantly, we have been a place where children ages 5-18 can come together to become a family. A place where they gain confidence, become leaders, learn how to work together as a team, feel a sense of belonging, and are encouraged to celebrate their differences – all while building relationships that will be with them for a lifetime.

I have had some events in my personal life that continue to require increased attention. My husband has been battling cancer for the past two years. Even with these issues, New Day has continued to thrive. Although I remain passionate about the organization, I do not feel I can continue to give New Day the attention it deserves.

After much consideration, thought, and prayer, I have made the decision to retire in 2020. I am so grateful for every person that has ever worked with our children, every board member, every donor, and every New Day family for helping build this amazing place where kids shine. Thank you to Noelle Dunavant for walking with me every step of the past 10 years and sharing my passion to create this exceptional place for the families of our community. Thank you to my family for making my dream your dream and supporting me every step of the way these past fourteen years; I will never be able to express in words how much your love, sacrifice, and support has meant to me.

Our board has exceptional leadership and a bright future is on the horizon for New Day as they make plans that are very intentional for the leadership transition in the search for the next Executive Director. I will retire in August and will be available to provide support through the transition. Although bittersweet, this is an exciting time for New Day. Even though I am retiring from my official position, I will continue to champion and support New Day as an active donor, advocate, and ambassador. I am excited to see what is in store as we all work together to take this incredible non-profit to the next level.

We are not only building the next generation of theatre lovers – we are building the next generation.

After all, what’s childhood without a little drama?

Love to you all,
Leanne Chasteen

What's Childhood Without a Little Drama?