Inside scoop alert! Top secrets of North Carolina’s oldest community theatre [Partner]

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Theatre Charlotte is celebrating its 90th birthday with a swinging bash at The Big Chill. Join the celebration May 6 with a speakeasy cocktail hour, 1920s jazz trio, dinner, dancing and live and silent auctions. Break out of your usual song and dance routine (pun intended) and spend a fabulous night in honor of North Carolina’s oldest community theatre. Before you go, we want to let you in on a few secrets so you can be in the know. 

1. Theatre Charlotte was founded by nine members of the American Association of University Women in 1927 during the presidency of Calvin Coolidge.

2. Theatre Charlotte is actually the third name for this organization. The Charlotte Drama League and The Little Theatre of Charlotte were the first two.

3. The theatre moved to its current home on Queens Road in 1940. The lot was previously a pre-Civil War slave cemetery. The remains and artifacts were moved to another cemetery making room for the theatre. 

4. The curtain went up on the theatre’s first show on Queens Road on December 1, 1941 with a production of “George Washington Slept Here.” The show closed on December 6, 1941 and the next morning came the attack on Pearl Harbor. Despite the loss of most of the male talent who went off to war, plays continued and the productions were almost always sold out.

5. Full nudity hit Theatre Charlotte’s stage in 2011 with Mrs. Robinson in “The Graduate.” In 2014, the count increased to 20 nude bodies in “Hair.”

6. Tom Humble, the theatre’s first full time director in the 1940s and 1950s, was an early adopter of product placement. After making rounds to local furniture shops for set pieces, he’d sell part of the set right off the stage at the end of the run.

7. The 90th season lineup features shows that have never been performed on the Theatre Charlotte stage. This is harder than you think when you’ve been putting on shows for nearly a century. Make plans now to venture to this quaint, historic theatre to see “Aida”, “The Grapes of Wrath”, “The Nerd”, “A Time To Kill” and “Spring Awakening.” 

Now that you are a true CT insider, join the celebration by attending the bash or take in a show. Support local theatre and have fun at the same time – we think you deserve a standing ovation!

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