Founded in 1951, Greensburg Civic Theatre is one of only a few long-established, volunteer-based, community theatre organizations in Westmoreland County. Now in its 62nd season, the non-profit corporation was founded by a small group of people who wanted to provide a forum for local actors and theatre craftsmen, including costumers, set builders, and lighting and sound technicians.
The Civic Theatre bounced around town its first fifteen years, performing shows at the Greensburg Armory, the Moose Lodge, and Westmoreland Museum of (American) Art. Many of these shows were done "in the round" with furniture, but minimal sets. In 1969, we established our shows at the Greensburg Garden and Civic Center on Old Salem Road, a facility built with the Civic Theatre in mind as one of the tenants. Today, we continue to rent space there for office use, storage, rehearsals, and performances for our adult plays and children's theatrical productions.
In the mid-80's, the theatre formed its Greasepaint Players children's theatre troupe, producing plays and musicals for a younger audience. The Greasepaint Players produce two or three shows annually which frequently sell out, especially around the holidays.
While the Civic Theatre previously staged musicals at the Garden and Civic Center, they were shows more suited to a small venue. In 1994, the Board of Directors decided to break new ground with the production of a full-scale musical in Greensburg's Palace Theatre. The King and I was the first of eight annual musicals to date staged at this historic 1300-seat venue, with the Westmoreland Symphonic Winds providing musical accompaniment. Attendance is much higher at the Palace shows than what we could attain at the Garden & Civic Center (with a capacity of 310). In fact, 1996's Fiddler on the Roof sold out all three performances! Costs for these Palace musicals easily reach $25,000 for payment of royalties, costumes, sets, props, lighting and sound equipment, plus professional technicians, theatre rental, and more. More than 100 people each year volunteer their time and talent in the cast, working on behind-the-scenes crews, or as musicians. Only a few people directly received financial compensation for the Palace musical, including the show's artistic staff and professional light and sound technicians contracted to work on the show. In more recent years, GCT remained at the Garden and Civic Center due to the high costs of producing larger shows. Our Greasepaint Players produced a holiday show at The Palace Theatre in 2009 and did so again in 2010 due to the generous sponsorship of Westmoreland Cultural Trust.
We acknowledge the there are many talented people who are anxious to perform on stage. But at the same time we face a dwindling number of those willing to volunteer their help as committee workers and backstage help. We need a strong network of volunteers. As many volunteer-run groups, we need to find more community members who can contribute their time and help. No experience is necessary, honest! We have people who can train volunteers and teach them about costume construction, set building, finding hand props for shows, working with lighting and sound equipment, even ticket sales. Please call and leave a message to offer your assistance at (724) 836-PLAY. As volunteers, our office is not staffed at any specific time; we dash in and out between our "real jobs" and our families! But we'll return your call and be happy to welcome you aboard.
Greensburg Civic Theatre is a 501c3 non-profit corporation. Your tax-deductible contributions are vital to our survival and very much appreciated! Please consider adding a donation with your ticket order.
The official registration and financial information of Greensburg Civic Theatre may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling toll free, within Pennsylvania, 1 (800) 732-0999. Registration does not imply endorsement.
For more information, call us at (724) 836-PLAY
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