|Our Humble Beginnings
|ACT Theatre Company, formerly known as Auburn Community
Theater, is evolving into a new entity. The organization began in the
spring of 2007 as a group of friends who came together to do a
children's show at the Auburn Community Center, using the Auburn
stage at the end of the gym. The show was so much fun that the
friends decided to put on another show in the summer of 2008, this
time as an adult comedy. Both of these productions were paid for
completely by the Auburn Community Center and all proceeds went
back to them. The friends had so much fun that they decided to form
an actual on-going organization.
To accomplish this goal, the group produced a fund raiser which was
a musical review of Broadway show tunes. Admission was on a free-
will donation basis and all of the money was reserved to pay
origination fees which included incorporating as a not for profit
community theater with the State of Kansas. ACT was born. In
November of 2008. The arrangement that was made with ACCA
(Auburn Community Center Association) was that ACCA would
provide space (storage, office and performance) for ACT as well as
allowing access to the facility for rehearsals, meetings, construction
and performances. In return and to "pay the rent" ACT would sell
tickets and dinners for the shows and split the profit (after expenses)
with ACCA. ACT took on all financial responsibilities for paying for
scenery, costumes, lighting, and royalties for the shows. ACCA took
on responsibility for allowing ACT the use of the space and provided
utilities (light, heat and water). ACCA still maintained their facility but
ACT was responsible for cleaning up after a show (removing
scenery and returning the facility back to the condition it was found
in, or better). This partnership between the two organizations was
originally a verbal agreement, but later put into a written contract.
ACT's first actual production as the new organization was "For the
Troops," a Veteran's Day, USO style show in November of 2008
featuring vintage comedy and music.
In 2009, ACT offered its first actual "season" of live theater. Seven
shows were scheduled throughout the year. Season tickets were
advertised and sold. Those shows included "My Funny Valentine"
three one act plays, "Breath of Spring" a comedy, “Once Upon a
Mattress" a musical, "Red vs. the Wolf" a children's show; "Love
Rides the Rails" a melodrama; "Steel Magnolias" a drama-comedy,
and "For the Troops 2009" another Veteran's Day, USO style variety
The second season, 2010 saw "Jerry's Girls" a musical revue,
"California Suite" a comedy, "Curious Savage" a comedy,
"Pinocchio 3.5" a children's show, "Two by Two" a musical, "The
Case of the Malted Falcon" a humorous mystery, and "G.I. Jukebox"
a musical revue.
The third season in 2011 we dropped the children's show as it was
so poorly attended and lost money. That year included "Isabelle" a
comedy by a Lawrence playwright, "On Golden Pond" a dramatic
comedy, "The Kitchen Witches" a farce, "The Fantasticks" a
musical, "Murder at the Class Reunion" an original comedy, and "G.I.
Holiday Jukebox" a musical review.
The fourth season in 2012 had "Talking With…” a series of
monologues, “I Do! I Do!” a musical, “Every Little Crook and Nanny”
a comedy, “Love Letters” an adult drama, “Nunsense” a musical,
“Blithe Spirit” a comedy.
The fifth season in 2013 had “Divorce Southern Style” a comedy,
“Perfect Wedding” a farce, “Noises Off” a farce, “Jesus Christ
Superstar” a rock opera, and “Death Trap” a murder mystery.
The sixth season in 2014 had “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” a
musical, “Butterflies Are Free” a comedy drama, “Station KACT’s
Old Time Radio Show” an original musical farce, “Blame it On the
Movies” a musical revue.
The seventh season in 2015 had “Godspell” a rock musical, “Boeing
Boeing” a comedy, “Nunsense II” a musical, and “Night Watch” a
Our eighth season in 2016 included “Celebration” a musical, “Two
For the Show” two one act plays, “Bingo the Winning Musical” a
musical, and “Let’s Murder Marsha” a farce.
During the 2016 season ACT had scheduling conflicts with ACCA.
After dates were approved and advertised and tickets were sold the
community center double booked the facility and requested ACT to
remove our equipment during the day and replace it. This was
contrary to verbal and written contracts and caused great hardship
on the ACT staff, board and volunteers. When ACT complained
about the violation of the contract, ACCA terminated their lease
agreement/partnership with ACT effective December 31, 2016.
Consequently, ACT decided to continue as a new organization (no
longer Auburn Community Theater) and is sought a new venue to
continue their efforts and mission statement of providing quality
entertainment for area communities and volunteer experiences and
education in the theatrical and performance arts. The Topeka
Performing Arts Center presented itself as the opportunity for growth
and development for the Community Theater.