LifeHouse Theater


Wayne R. Scott had an idea to start a theater that wasn’t like the others. The theater would be fit for audiences of all ages. It would produce original musicals and dramas that would illustrate the Christian worldview. And it would rely upon a network of volunteer actors, artists, technicians, and support staff. Many doubted it would work. But in 1993, Wayne registered LifeHouse Theater as a non-profit organization and continued praying God would use him and the theater. How long would its doors be open? Wayne did not know.

Disciples of Jesus, 2018; photo by Bruce K Manson

This year, LifeHouse celebrates its 25th anniversary. The theater now welcomes 30,000 guests every year into its Redlands Theater. But the mission hasn’t changed. LifeHouse still produces original, faith-based musicals and dramas, many of which are award-winning. As hoped, the heart of LifeHouse Theater is the community of volunteer storytellers--over 500 of them. They are men and women of all ages, backgrounds, and religious views who act on stage, choreograph from off stage, work the lights and sound, serve coffee and cookies, and build and paint the sets.

Beauty and the Beast, 2017; photo by Bruce K Manson

As this community of storytellers pours into LifeHouse, so LifeHouse gets the privilege to invest back into them and beyond. LifeHouse offers a yearly scholarship for high school seniors or undergraduate classmen. They offer a series of productions for children called the LifeTales Educational Series, which are one-hour musicals profiling important historical figures. They offer interpretation for the deaf community on select performances. And they seek to provide training for the next generation of performers by partnering with Stage Right to offer musical theater classes for ages six and up, focusing on dance, acting, and singing skills.

Phantom of the Opera 2017; photo by Bruce K Manson

But in all the busyness of running nine productions a year on the mainstage, Wayne sees the people on stage and off stage as a priority. He still stands at the side of the theater after most performances, listening, thanking, encouraging the guests, one of the reasons they keep buying tickets. And he gets to know the cast members by name, one of the reasons they keep auditioning. The culture of LifeHouse is unique. The people who audition and volunteer don’t come to boost their egos, but fulfill a mission: to produce quality theater that’s making a dramatic difference.

Beauty and the Beast, 2017; photo by Bruce K Manson

This October, LifeHouse initiates its 25th season with Broadway hits like “My Fair Lady” and “Mary Poppins” and perennial favorites like “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “Treasure Island.” And back by popular demand is the smash hit original musical “Phantom of the Opera.”

Phantom of the Opera 2017; photo by Bruce K Manson

If you’re interested in auditioning for or purchasing tickets to LifeHouse Theater, visit them at www.lifehousetheater.com or look them up on Facebook and Instagram.

Phantom of the Opera 2017; photo by Bruce K Manson

A special thanks to Dane Bundy for this article.

Recent Posts