About the Raven Performing Arts Theater
We are a group of individuals just like you – community-minded individuals with an interest in preserving performing arts. With funding for arts disappearing in our schools, the responsibility for supporting the arts lies firmly with us. When we banded together to save the historic Raven Theater in downtown Healdsburg, we had big dreams of enhancing the lives of every community member by offering a conveniently located, eclectic array of entertainment.
That same goal pushes us forward today, as we continue to look for ways to broaden our role as a gathering place, wow audiences with top-name acts, bring in both amateur and professional stage productions, add more world music and dance shows to our lineup, and enable a stimulating exchange of ideas through a speaker series.
Did we mention that we want to do all of this in a first-rate theater environment? One of our key goals is to raise funds to improve Raven with dressing rooms, better seating, more bathrooms, offices, storage for set pieces, enhanced lighting and sound, and an inviting lobby/concession area.
FROM "MOVE-OVER" TO COMMUNITY CENTER
The Raven Theater was built in Healdsburg in 1949 as a “move-over” motion picture theater. It was named the “Aven,” which was the owner’s wife’s name spelled backwards. The “R” was later added to the front of the name. In the 1990s the theater was remodeled by a new ownership group and became a community center offering movies, concerts, and a venue for local performance groups.
LOCAL INDIVIDUALS SAVE THEATER AS PERFORMING ARTS VENUE
In 2000 falling attendance and increased competition forced the owners to put the Raven Theater building up for sale. A small group of local individuals worked to save the theater as a performance venue and in 2001 incorporated as Healdsburg Performing Arts Theater (H-PAT). H-PAT entered into a lease/purchase agreement with the theater’s owners, exercised their option in 2005 and purchased the Raven for approximately $850,000. The theater is continually undergoing upgrades to its performance space, making the facility more versatile and audience- and performer-friendly.
THE RAVEN PERFORMING ARTS THEATER
Healdsburg Performing Arts Theater now operates under the name Raven Performing Arts Theater. Since the purchase of the Healdsburg building, this organization has grown to include more than one hundred volunteers and performers. More than 130 performances are presented annually. The Raven is now the performance home of the Raven Players, H-Town Youth Theater, and Healdsburg Jazz Festival, as well as annual school performances by Healdsburg Elementary School, Westside School, and St. John’s School.
In 2014, the Raven launched a second smaller black-box venue in Windsor. At 2015’s year end, the Windsor venue closed to focus on the original Healdsburg location.
The mission of the Raven Performing Arts Theater is to provide an inviting venue for performing arts and a vibrant center for community, educational, and public service activities. Specifically,
To provide a long-term home for community performance groups including schools, churches, clubs, and public and private organizations.
To offer programming that encompasses a variety of professional performances including dance, acting, music, and festivals.
To provide a learning environment for children and adults, as individuals and in groups, to learn many aspects of theater operation, production, and presentation.
Short-term goals include a strong desire to expand our program offerings, upgrade the theater to enable a wider range of entertainers to perform on its stage. Longer term, we plan to convert the Raven Performing Arts Theater into a state-of-the-art performance venue, and create an endowment to sustain programming and theater maintenance.
New Plays — World Premieres
The Raven Players is committed to producing at least one original play every season. New play submissions are always welcome. From these submissions, we select scripts for regular public readings. Our goal is to then select one of those plays for a fully staged production at the Raven Theater. If you have questions, please contact Artistic Director Steven David Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org