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History

Established in 1944 as the Dramateurs and reorganized in 1992 as the Town Hall Theatre Company of Lafayette, we are the oldest continuously active theatre company in Contra Costa County. 

The land and the labor to build the historic Town Hall building were donated by the community. Construction was completed in May, 1914, on land donated by Frank and Rosa Ghiglione who also contributed $200 towards building costs. The first event held in the building was a Grand Ball, and these events were so well-attended that the Sacramento Northern Railroad provided a special train from Oakland to West Lafayette. Often the festivities would begin around 9pm, with dinner at midnight, followed by dancing and more partying. One train reportedly left the Lafayette station at 5:30am.

Lafayette Grammar School used Town Hall as an auditorium until its own auditorium was built in 1944. Town Hall also hosted community meetings, church services, movies, and basketball. The Lafayette Playshop began holding theatrical performances there in 1941. Their opening night was December 3, 1941, just before the U.S. entered World War II - and so for the next four years Town Hall was used in the war effort.

Next, the Straw Hat Revue rented the building in 1947 - and in 1955, the Dramateurs began holding productions there. A local group called the "Laf-Frantics" performed there from 1956 to 1986. The Dramateurs reorganized as Town Hall Theatre Company in 1992, and the company has since delighted audiences of all ages and won numerous Shellie Awards for its work.

Live theatre continues in Lamorinda because of the generosity of its citizens, and the existence and use of the Town Hall building for this purpose over so many decades is a testament to this spirit.

© Town Hall Theatre