This is our story: A Brief History of the Community Theatre of Howell
In 1985 a small group of citizens gathered in a basement with the idea of forming a community theatre group in Howell. Thirty years later the Community Theatre is still going strong! There were a few other names prior to CTH such as “Mid-Michigan Performing Arts Company” and “Howell Community Theater” but the “Community Theatre of Howell” stuck.
Each year CTH offers opportunities for community members to participate in high quality theatre programs. We provide a wide variety of programs that engage families, youth, adults and senior citizens both as patrons, cast and staff. Offerings include three to four main stage productions including an annual musical with a huge cast representing all ages, a social commentary or comedy, and a “School Show”, with a cast comprised entirely of youth, performed for students from local schools as well as one weekend of public performances.
In response to the needs of our community we have developed programs that do not require the long rehearsal schedule of our main stage shows. Three times each year we stage “WCTH” a stage performance of old time radio shows complete with folly sound effects and dropped pages. These shows appeal to a wide range of ages but particularly our senior citizens who remember listening to the radio shows in their youth. During the summer months we offer “Black Box” performances which are smaller and edgier productions with shorter rehearsal schedules. These shows have appealed to community members who want something a bit different and challenging.
Four Summer Camps are offered each summer for area youth. Two daytime elementary camps provide an opportunity for children to learn the basics of acting, dance and vocal performance while learning many underlying theatre skills while performing a stage production. Middle School students continue their theatre education through the selection of performance pieces that meet their interests including musical and dance numbers and short performance pieces. The High School Camp expands upon the skills learned in prior camps with greater reliance put on the campers in the selection of material and it’s production.
Part of our mission is to promote the performance and enjoyment of the performing arts. This has led to support for the development of a local Improvisation Troupe which performs at the Historic Howell Theatre as well as smaller performances at CTH and other community based performances such as this year’s “Disenchanted” dinner theatre.
We believe that all community members should have the opportunity to participate in theatre activities and thus we have developed several scholarships to support students wishing to attend camp or pursue advanced degrees in the theatre arts. Board policies allows for some assistance for adults and children to participate in our programs even when financial circumstances preclude the payment of fees.
The financial stability of the organization is a focus of the Board of Directors. Strong financial oversight and cost containment, CTH memberships, Patron donation, and Corporate Sponsorships help of continue to provide the community with high quality stage productions.
The Community Theatre of Howell has been providing the community with high quality stage productions for thirty years. We hope to be here for another thirty years providing our community with opportunities to laugh, smile, cry and think.