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The mission of The Little Theatre of Fall River, Inc. is to foster interest among its members and the community at large in the study, practice, and enjoyment of the theatre arts.
The Little Theatre of Fall River, Inc. is committed to the enhancement of the community by generating interest and involvement in and appreciation for the theatre arts through the study and production of high-quality theatre and other works, while fostering the development of local artists and performers.
This is achieved by:
Selecting and offering theatrical pieces that seek to preserve the classics, while exposing the community to more current and original works that exemplify the variety and depth of theatre;
Maintaining professional standards and quality by selecting and supporting the best directors, actors, and production staff available;
Offering the opportunity for self-expression in acting and kindred arts to all who desire it regardless of age, race, sex, creed, or sexual orientation;
Establishing educational programs and mentoring opportunities in all aspects of theatre for both active members and those within the community who are interested; and
Assisting charitable, educational, and civic groups within the community through the presentation of dramatic or musical works or assisting in the presentation of the same.
The Little Theatre of Fall River has spent more than 75 years bringing performances to the Greater Fall River area. It is one of the oldest theater companies in the nation and a multiple Moss Hart Award recipient. It started in 1935 when a small enthusiastic group banded together with its goal, "to bring good theater to the surrounding community at a price nearly everyone could afford." That has not changed nor has the enthusiasm from this totally volunteer non-profit organization.
This initial group embarked on a season of at least three major productions, a schedule we have followed ever since except during the years of World War II. During the years, these dedicated thespians rented space from the Women's Club and five other sites under less than ideal conditions. In 1975, Little Theatre arranged a lease with the city for the former Prospect Street Engine House - Quequechan No.1 and finally, in 1984, they were able to purchase the Firebarn and call it home.
The Firebarn is a very busy place with auditions, rehearsals, or performances happening daily. LTFR now produces three Mainstage (BCC) and four or five Firebarn shows yearly. It holds a large workshop, lobby, a 90-seat theater and the Peg Panos Rehearsal Room. Every spare inch is used for storage.
As part of our Community Outreach, Little Theatre hosts an Open House with tours and a performance. Play readings are held where local authors can have their work performed on stage. In past years Little Theatre has conducted children's workshops, has supported Forever Paws, The Salvation Army, The American Red Cross, and the Department of Children and Families. Every year, LTFR awards a scholarship to a student majoring in the performing arts.
In 2006, Little Theatre Cares began. With the solid support of members, LTFR has partnered with BankFive on several of their projects, including their Food Drive, purchasing children's Christmas toys and the Backpack and School Supply Campaign - all of which goes to the Department of Social Services for distribution. Our members enjoy working on projects with the Preservation Society, the Fall River Garden Club and the Fall River Historical Society.
However, all of these activities, past and present, would not happen without the heart and soul of Little Theatre, the 180+ members. Thankfully, LTFR has members with many interests and talents. There are directors and stage managers, performers and crew who dedicate hours and hours of time for a performance. There are members who lovingly care for the costumes, props, set pieces, and lights, who maintain the Firebarn interior and gardens, who watch over the finances, master this website, fundraise, publicize, sell tickets, track our history, and more jobs too numerous to mention.
To date, Little Theatre has completed more than 340 productions. We have a wonderful proud history of accomplishments and are still going strong. We look forward to seeing you at the theater!
Written by Patricia A. Taylor (2009); edited by Susan Fortes-Couitt (2012)