A small group of Springville citizens gathered together in 1947 with a goal of promoting and producing drama in their community. The resulting organization, now known as the Springville Playhouse, is now the longest continuously operating community theater group in Utah.
After presenting some small theatrical productions in Springville in 1947, the group offered its first full-length production, "An Ideal Husband," in 1948. Originally known as the Springville Little Theater, the theater group changed its name to the Springville Playhouse in 1949.
Since its beginning, the group has produced many well-known and well-loved plays and musicals, including "Meet Me in St. Louis," "Our Town," "Exit the Body," "Anything Goes," "Once Upon a Mattress," and "You Can't Take It With You." Currently, the playhouse presents up to four productions each year. In addition to offering plays with adult casts, the playhouse has over the years had a strong children's program, presenting plays for children that are cast with children, including "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" and "James and the Giant Peach."
The playhouse has been on the cutting edge of theater as well, being the first community theater in Utah to present the musicals "Into the Woods," "Crazy for You" and "Nuncrackers: The Nunsense Christmas Musical."
One of the most unique aspects about the Springville Playhouse is that no one, from directors and cast members to costumers and sound and lighting technicians, is paid for their efforts. The hundreds of people who have participated in playhouse productions over the years have done so purely out of a love of theater and a desire to see it promoted in the community.
The Springville Playhouse, a non-profit organization, is run by a board of directors consisting mainly of Springville residents. The board selects a board member to produce each play; the producer then selects a director and the two decide upon a production which must be approved by the board. Funding comes mainly from ticket sales and government grants.
Springville City has been very generous over the years in lending its support to the theater group, including allowing it to use a portion of the lower level of the Springville Civic Center (under the Springville Public Library) as its base of operations.
The Springville Playhouse has presented plays in many different locations over the years, including the Springville Museum of Art, Springville High School and local churches. In 1966, the Springville Playhouse was given its permanent home on the lower level of the Springville Civic Center.
History compiled by Christi Babbitt.