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Behind the Scenes: Creating the California Community Theatre Museum

Oh the places where we start! Churches, school auditoriums, war barracks, railroad depots; the locations of first performances are varied and interesting (then and now). I love when a theatre shares information about their original performance space, especially for our theatres with long and distinguished pasts. Many times, groups spent only a short amount of time in those first dwellings, and literally outgrew or were moved along by landlords to new spots. Sometimes there are several 'homes' or a nomadic period for California community theatre until there is a magic fit - the one to become a permanent building of the theatre's own. As I gather information about our member's histories, each discovery of 'first spaces' leads me to another timeline and place in their community.

A Women's Club is where Ramona Hillside Players produced for several decades before moving in to their own space. The Women's Club in Hemet has its own story, and so does the high school, the depot, the church - each space that shared its doors and chairs for theatre makers in their infancy.

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