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Theatre Bartlesville

Culture & History

312 S. Dewey,
Bartlesville, OK 74003

(918) 336-1900
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Theatre Bartlesville
312 S. Dewey,
Bartlesville, OK 74003
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A Short History of Theater Bartlesville

Theater Bartlesville Begins
Theater Bartlesville had its beginning on February 16, 1925. That was when 35 local theater fans gathered at the home of Mrs. H.D. Cannon to hear Mrs. R. J. Riggs of the Tulsa Little Theater tell how their theater group started some years earlier. The next day, the group met again to elect their first officers and board members.

During the ensuing months, these patrons of the theater held workshops on acting, directing, choosing a play, building sets, finding a theater and all of the other things that are necessary for a community theater. Mrs. Riggs came up from Tulsa to direct the first play. It was produced at the Old Liberty Theater, located at Frank Phillips and Cherokee (now the Pizza Hut) on February 16, 1926. The play was the J. M. Barrie classic Mr. Pim Passes By. It was well received and Bartlesville community theater was off to a fine start.

Theater Bartlesville Grows
The Little Theater Guild of Bartlesville was incorporated as a nonprofit organization with the State of Oklahoma in 1945. The name was later changed to Bartlesville Theater Guild. Plays were held at several of the elementary school auditoriums, the high school, the old Civic Center and eventually at the Community Center.

Theater Bartlesville became a charter member of the Oklahoma Community Theater Association (OCTA) in 1968 and remains active in theater endeavors of this organization. Several people from Bartlesville have been board members as well as President of the State organization. Also, in 1985, the Guild hosted the OCTA State Play Festival.

Theater Bartlesville Moves
In 1999, a 10,000 sq. ft. building located at 312 S. Dewey, Bartlesville, was donated by one of our life-long supporters, Mr. and Mrs. Paul Roll. In 2001, the renovation process began and the first performance of Steel Magnolias was held in September of 2002. The name was changed to Theater Bartlesville to keep in tune with this new beginning (although we remain incorporated as The Little Theater Guild of Bartlesville).

Theater Bartlesville Today
In 2013 Joe Sears joined Theater Bartlesville as Artistic Director, directing the first Theater Bartlesville musical in many years: The Little Shop of Horrors. Little Shop received rave reviews at sold-out performances. More musicals are planned for future seasons.

Theater Bartlesville – with its 2014-2015 season - will be providing excellent community theater to the greater Bartlesville community for the 89th consecutive year.

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