A Little History of the GLT

The Georgetown Little Theatre had its beginning in an amateur theatricals evening class that was held at the Georgetown District High School during the winter and spring of 1959-60. As a grande finale the members of the evening class staged a one-act play called The Mayor of Torontal. Members of the cast included Vera Macdonald and Mary Goebel, who are still active in GLT plays today. This enthusiastic group formed the nucleus of what was to become the Georgetown Little Theatre.

Rehearsals for the first three-act play Dirty Work at the Crossroads started in October 1960 and the play was presented in February 1961 at Wrigglesworth School. From 1962 to 1969 the plays were held in the high school auditorium, located at the west end of the present gym. Although the stage was considerably larger than the one at Wrigglesworth, the acoustics in the hall less than ideal, especially when there were small audiences for the last play of the season.

The group turned full circle and returned to Wrigglesworth where performances were presented until the spring of 1979. The plays for the 1979-80 and 1980-81 seasons were held at Sacre Coeur Hall, until the new theatre opened In the fall of 1981. GLT had the honour of being the first group to perform in the new theatre, named in memory of John Elliott, a former Georgetown Councillor. We presented Not Now Darling with Lois Elliott portraying Janie, making her first hometown appearance in the theatre named after her father.

The Elliott family continued to support the arts and provided GLT with rehearsal and set-building facilities in two separate warehouses for a nominal fee. Costumes and props were stored in an old Norval school. Although the new theatre provided us with a fine stage and comfortable seating for our patrons, a strong desire still existed for GLT to acquire a building that would adequately serve all our needs under one roof.

On our Twenty-fifth Anniversary Jubilee, held in the John Elliott Theatre and Holy Cross Auditorium, we were proud to announce that negotiations had been gratefully finalized with the Town of Halton Hills to purchase the old Stewarttown Hall. On January 2, 1986, our dream of owning our own facility became reality and we took possession of the Stewarttown Hall. The following year saw many changes in the structure. Members worked diligently to build a new costume room in the attic; an entranceway at the back of the stage has increased it's potential; and a dressing room enables us to conveniently present one-act plays to our members and guests.

On Monday, March 30, 1998 at 6:40am, the Halton Hills Fire Department was called to our Studio in Stewarttown when a passer-by noticed smoke coming from the building. By 8:00am it was completely engulfed in flames and by 2:00pm nothing was left standing.

With the exception of our archives, which were stored in an old steel and stone vault, everything was lost, including all the costumes on the second floor, all the furniture in the basement, and the set for Dial M For Murder in the workshop. The archival materials in the vault suffered only minor smoke and water damage, much the to amazement of the GLT members present and the Halton Hills Fire Department.

Entries into various festivals over the years have netted GLT many awards, along with nominations for Best Director, Producer, Lighting, Visual Design, and Acting categories.

Three preview performances are held during our season and local charities and community service groups are urged to submit applications to become beneficiaries. We are pleased to be able to offer these fund-raising events to our community and applications have already been received for next year's projects.

The new custom-built Studio was opened on the footprint of the previous Studio in 2002, and is the envy of most other theatre groups in Southern Ontario. It offers a rehearsal space the approximate size of the stage at the John Elliott Theatre, a huge costume collection, and a large area whee sets can be constructed.

Georgetown Little Theatre is a member of Theatre Ontario and the Association of Community Theatres for Central Ontario (ACT-CO).

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