Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Little Theatre of Fall River, Massachusetts

Theatre is a magical part of community life. Large cities boast theatrical venues as part of their urban charm. Regional theaters and summer stock companies are extolled as among the virtues of vacation destinations.

And then we have the largely un-sung but enormously important community theatre world of semi-professional and amateur meeting after work for the challenge and the fun.

One such company, or community we may call it because that’s what it really is: The Little Theatre of Fall River, Massachusetts.

Like many community theatres, this organization was for decades essentially nomadic, performing plays in any local venue that was available and it could afford. Even today, the Little Theatre splits its time between the renovated old firehouse, pictured above, and a community college auditorium.

Have a look at the group’s website for a fun history of the intrepid players. I especially love the description of how early productions at the Women’s Club allowed for no wing space and how stage right opened right out to a fire escape, and how audiences had to wait patiently while sets were changed. The writer notes, “The casts and stage crews were hardier then, as were the audiences.”

The Little Theatre performed “Pygmalion” and “Pride and Prejudice”, all manner of historical costume dramas many smaller groups tend to shy away from these days for their difficulty and expense. Impressive, when you consider this group was formed in 1936, the middle of the Great Depression.

Their next production is “Rent” to be performed at the Margaret L. Jackson Performing Arts Center at Bristol Community College in Fall River. The show runs October 7th through the 10th. Have a look at the Little Theatre website here for details on show times.


  1. I think little theaters are so important to any community interested at all in maintaining interest in 'the arts'. Our town has high school productions, but that's about it though I have to say, there are little theaters productions all over New Jersey. One of the best, the larger-than-most, Millburn Playhouse does Broadway quality productions yearly.

  2. Thanks for stopping by, Yvette. I agree that amateur theatre is important in filling a need in many communities for providing an artistic outlet. They're more common than most people probably realize.