The children served by OMB face diverse challenges – some are chronically ill or struggling with psychiatric disorders; others have physical or developmental disabilities; most spend a large portion of their childhoods isolated from their communities. But all can benefit from the therapeutic power of theatre. OMB creates and performs interactive theatre for children in hospitals, care facilities, and special education programs. With the help of local professional actors, children take part in original plays, dressing up and becoming the stars of the show. Each performance is tailored to suit the children’s needs – including sensory modifications for children with disabilities, an interactive closed-circuit TV program for kids who cannot leave their hospital beds, and virtual programming (developed during the pandemic) for children who need it – all free of charge. OMB brings the magic of imaginative play into kids' lives.

Headquarters: DC-Ward 5

Where They Operate: DC-Ward 5; DC-Ward 7; MD-Montgomery County; VA-Fairfax County; Anacostia; Brookland; Maryland; Virginia

Age Groups Served: Pre-K (3-4); Youth (5-11); Pre-teen/teen (12-17)

Population(s) Served: Individuals with Disabilities; Men/Boys; Women/Girls

Schools They Work In: St. Coletta of Greater Washington; River Terrace Education Campus

  • Performances offered annually:   125
  • Number of children served annually :   1200
  • Number of volunteers who work with us annually:   609
  • Number of hours of volunteer work we record annually:   1218
  • Artists employed by us annually:   12

Awards & Recognition

2017 DC Mayor's Arts Awards Finalist - Excellence in Performing Arts
Catalogue for Philanthropy (2017)
National Endowment for the Arts - ArtWorks Award 2016


Budget (FY2023)

  • $3 million or higher
  • $1 million to $3 million
  • $500k to $1 million
  • The current budget for Only Make Believe is: Less than $500k

Catalogue charities range in size from $100,000 to $3 million. This graphic indicates the budget range of the organization featured here. If you see an organizational budget above the $3 million mark, that is because the featured charity has grown in size since it first appeared in the Catalogue. We proudly present on our website the work of these "growth" charities.

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