Tulare’s Encore Theatre Company was created in 1978 by a group of theatre supporters. Funding for a Summer School Theatre Program had just been cut. While on a long school band trip to Canada, several parents and teachers who had participated in the slashed program discussed the idea of forming an independent theatre company which would allow them to keep theatre alive in Tulare. Encore Theatre Company came home with them from Canada.
Encore’s first production was “Bye Bye Birdie” during the summer of 1979. The success and some of the profits enabled the fledgling group to continue by filing for non-profit status and putting on additional shows. The company continued to produce two to three shows a year anywhere they could find the space. Because they originally were trying to replace a summer school program, Encore’s focus was always family oriented shows and included young people. This was exemplified by the large kid friendly productions that were produced every summer.
The theatre was finally able to gain a permanent address in 1983 when the City of Tulare offered to lease them an abandoned house for $1 per year. The house was small and had been damaged by a fire so they needed to quickly expand not only the program but the building as well. The Encore facility is now comprised of four additions to the original house plus the recently completed storage building alongside.
The theatre was able to expand from the two and occasionally three shows per year to five in addition to creating two kids’ programs. The Stages classes are an introduction to theater skills for kids from 2nd to 12th grade. They put on a recital in the fall and full stage production in the spring utilizing the lessons learned in stagecraft, tech and theater etiquette. Encore Kids are the song and dance group for kids from 3rd to 8th grade. They learn a new routine approximately every two months and perform it at the opening of each of our main stage shows. They also take their show on the road by performing out in the community for various local events as well as their annual performances at both Disneyland and Catalina Island.
Located at 342 South N Street in downtown Tulare, Encore has become an intimate black box theater with seating for 100. We specialize in musical productions and quirky fourth wall defying comedies. We have stayed true to our roots by continuing to put on large family friendly summer productions with kids in the cast. The majority of our shows are still acceptable for viewing by our younger guests. A couple of items we feel enhance the theater experience are our cabaret seating style with refreshments delivered by our wait staff in addition to our newly upgraded and deeply padded chairs.
Susan Burley – Director
Encore Kids is a performance-ready song and dance troupe of kids from 3rd through 8th grade.
They perform pre-show entertainment for all Encore productions throughout the year. In addition, they perform at many community events along with their annual Spring Break trip to Southern California.
Susan Burley - Director
This program offers new opportunities to students who like to act, sing, dance, perform and learn stage craft.