Portsmouth Little Theatre
Born in 1948, Portsmouth Little Theatre’s first production was September 21 & 22 and the play was My Sister Eileen, directed by Barbara Robinson Webb (Sound familiar? She's the author of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever) with the set for that first show was built in volunteers’ garages, and auditions were held at the Portsmouth High School Auditorium. In fact, the auditorium was home to the organization for several years. Charter memberships were sold at $5.
Doc Metro’s Strand movie house on Lawson Street went up for sale, and the newly formed non-profit organization purchased the building. Standing proudly at the corner of Lawson Street and 12th Street (or St Rt 52 West), the theatre has seen close to seven decades of dramas, comedies and musicals. The first PLT production in the Lawson Street location was Dirty Work at the Crossroads starring Harold Micklethwaite and Anna Louise Stanton. Audience members, Theatre patrons, and volunteers had familiar names like Oberling, Marting, Compton, and Gulker. Local businesses donated props. Businesses like Kresge, Keystone Printing, WPAY and more. How times have changed. How they’ve stayed the same!
Portsmouth Little Theatre always has and will always rely on the citizens of Portsmouth for it’s lifeblood. Whether you are an actor, a business owner, or just someone who likes to be entertained; we need you. We need new faces and old reliable ones. We need our local businesses to support us and us them. We need some volunteers to make sets in their garages! Then as now, the theatre is in constant need of upkeep. The physical location and the organization is a treasure for the area.
One of the lines from the first program for My Sister Eileen is:
We need a suitable place for our actors and actresses to rehearse. If you know of any such quarters we may use,
PLEASE call: Mrs. Heinrich, 1284-M. Our need is urgent.
Ladies and Gentlemen, our need is always urgent. Many things have remained the same on our stage over the last 70+ years!