A Home of Our Own: The 60's at Town Hall Theatre

Shakin' their heads in wonder! That's how the Dramateurs felt in the 60's as they would reminisce about the days of painting scenery in garages, building sets in living rooms, alternating performances at an Orinda school and the Little Theatre in Berkeley where they would strike the sets right after the play Friday night to move them to the other theatre to perform Saturday night! img_4030

The Dramateurs address was a mere P.O. Box until 1959 when Town Hall became their permanent home.  They described it as a "ramshackle", but considered it luxurious compared to the way they had been operating. fullsizeoutput_1720 The Directors of the Dramateurs and its members were the dynamic duo of Wirtabel Harris and Carl Rasmussen. As a pair it was rumored that they had a "benevolent dictatorship". However, they admitted that most of the responsibility is on the "membership". dramateurs-headlineWe think this is where our hard working, grass roots BOD has evolved from. Today you might hear actors commenting about how to "get in" at Town Hall, well, in the early 60's the sentiment was the same. But Rasmussen is quick to point that, "no little theatre can survive without giving preference to its own members who are willing to go the extra step for the good of the group."

"The theatre lobby provides humans the opportunity to connect with others, the past, the present and even the potential." (David R. Kilpatrick)

As you can see, even in the (late) 60's our lobby was a place for social interaction and community building! And by 1960, with a strong community in tow, a 5 show season was produced under the permanent roof of Town Hall! Here a few of the shows produced in the 60's at Town Hall Theatre!

Even in the 60's, Carl Rasmussen remarked, "it seems a week never passes without some Bay Area theatre group sinking without a trace." He believed that what kept the Dramateurs afloat was its members and their generosity.

We hope you can continue the tradition of supporting Town Hall Theatre this year by participating in our giving campaign. Your generous donation will take us to the next step so we can continue to grow and serve you art that is close to home!next-step-campaign-v2-online