Community Theater Celebrates Anniversary

Theatre Arlington turns 40 years old

A community theater at the intersection of West Main and North West streets in Arlington is celebrating a milestone, for 40 years, Theatre Arlington has entertained audiences.

"There's something very homey about this theater," Todd Hart, the theater’s executive producer said.

Now in the midst of its 40th season, the theater is the second oldest and largest in Tarrant County. 
Its beginning's quite simple.
"People in the theater didn't have a place to perform, they can go to Dallas and Fort Worth but we did not have a nucleus here," Shirley Orr, who sits on the board of trustees, said. 
In the summer of 1973, Orr was part of the team that created the theater. 
"We rehearsed in empty spaces downtown here in Arlington--empty buildings that people let us use them to rehearse," said Orr.
Eventually in 1981, they found first permanent home on Division Street in an old church. 
"People helped us and sponsored us and believed in us as we went along and started to prove ourselves," Orr said. 
In 1991, the theater moved to its current home, producing nine shows a year. 
This season, the production of "Rent" kicked off the 40th anniversary.
"Without fine arts, without theater, without dance, you don't have a community, you'd don't have a place for people to commune," Hart said.
The theater is now trying to raise half a million dollars in update and improve the outside of the theater. 
Their next production will be "The 39 Steps" which starts October 19.
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