The McKeesport Little Theater is a not-for-profit organization that delivers high quality theatrical productions and performing arts education to the residents of Southwestern Pennsylvania.
The vision of McKeesport Little Theater is to be the premier destination in Western Pennsylvania for live entertainment, theater education, and cultural arts.
History of McKeesport Little Theater
In 1960, an informal group known as the Mon-Yough Players, using the facilities of the McKeesport, YWCA, put on the production of Blythe Spirit, under the guidance of Mrs. Phyllis Braveman, a graduate of the Carnegie Tech School of Drama and the wife of a prominent McKeesport physician.
In 1962, under the aegis of Mrs. Braveman and the YWCA, a production of The Boy Friend, directed by Mr. William Buchanan, was performed using the facilities of the White Barn Theater in North Huntington, PA. In 1963, this same group had a production of The Pajama Game performed in the auditorium of McKeesport Vocational High School. The group, spearheaded by Mrs. Braveman and Mr. Buchanan, decided to regroup, naming the organization McKeesport Little Theater.
A church located at the corner of Penny and Jenny Lind Streets in downtown McKeesport, was acquired from attorney Robert Palkowitz in 1963 for the unheard of sum of $1.00, and the group began refitting the building into a playhouse with a fund drive and the ingenuity of members.
They carried theater seats from a nearby synagogue that was remodeled. The ceiling at the entrance/box office area had multicolored egg-carton squares glued on it, and the uneven cement floor had multi-colored 3′ squares of rug samples laid geometrically. A veritable Judy Garland/Mickey Rooney “let’s do theater” dream had come true.
On June 29, 1965, McKeesport Little Theater was formally incorporated under the laws of the state of Pennsylvania, thereby instituting a 15 person Board of Directors with Mr. P. Joseph Gallagher as President. Official articles of incorporation and by-laws were instituted for the operation of the organization.
In the spring of 1972, after almost 10 seasons of producing four shows a year, a catastrophic fire reduced the playhouse to a shambles. (The fire was started in an abandoned, adjacent building, presumably by vagrants.) The Sound of Music was midway through its run. The then president and director, Ms. Phyllis Gerber, in five days time, led the rebuilding of sets and costumes, transferring the cast to the fourth floor of the Elks Building in McKeesport, and completed the run on schedule. A closed school on Walnut Street in Versailles, PA, was offered by the McKeesport School District, as a new stage venue and the productions continued there for one year.
In the fall of 1974, under the presidency of Ms. Arlene Gallagher, the group purchased, for $75,000, a closed synagogue and adjacent dwelling located at the corner of Coursin Street and Bailey Avenue in McKeesport, PA., where they are still located. The Board of Directors started an era of growth, through fund-raising and extremely well-received productions, that was unparalleled in the Pittsburgh area. They converted the acquired building into a complete community theater facility that was equally commodious to performers as well as patrons.
By July 1983 the assets of the organization had increased to more than $300,000 and consisted of the playhouse and contents, production equipment and furniture, and the adjacent dwelling, which was being used as a facility for the caretakers of all the property.
More than 5,000 patrons each year contribute to the average gross receipts of $30,000. Numerous performers, young and old, cut their teeth on the MLT stage went on to careers or life-styles in the theater, which is an attestation and verification of the attainment of McKeesport Little Theater’s goals.
After more than 50 years, this group is still a viable and important institution in the society of the Mon-Valley and with the support of its patrons and members, the McKeesport Little Theater will continue to be so for many years to come.
|BOARD OF DIRECTORS
|Heather Atkinson||Corporate Secretary||6/30/2019|
Fr. Ray Trance
|Jean Drago||Art Exhibit|
|George Hart & Sean Butler||Artistic Research|
|Rose Miller||Awards Banquet|
|To be appointed||Community Outreach|
|Dorothy Fallows and Jan Gerber||Concessions/Hospitality|
|Dorothy Fallows and Jan Gerber||Education (MLT Juniors)|
|Jean Drago||Facilities Coordinator|
|Jan Gerber||Finance & Budget|
|Rose Miller||Foundations & Grants|
|Ed Bostedo and Jan Gerber||Fundraising|
|Catherine Gallagher||New Works Festival|
|To be appointed||Props & Sets|
|Amy Movic||50/50 Raffle|
|Ed Bostedo & Jan Gerber||Marketing|
|Pete & Janice Bishop|
|Ron & Judi Care|
|Deborah & Steven Friedman|
|Donald & Linda Greb|
|George R. Hart|
|Chris & Adrienne Irwin|
|Frank & Gail Kwolek|
|Jack & Joan MacDonald|
|Bonnie, Dennis & Molly Sebastian|
|Darryl & Barbara Segina|
|Sandy & Dick Sikora|
|Anastasia & Frank Schiller|
|Robert & Dorothy Fallows|
|Mick & Caroline Gilmore|
Individual Ticket Price For Musicals — $18.00 per show
Tickets for Juniors’ shows vary by show.
|One Year Subscription Price — $50.00
click here for online subscription application
|Group Rate for 10 or more Tickets
— $10.00 for plays, $12.00 for musicals
(prepaid and non-refundable)
|Child/Student Ticket Price — $10.00 per show
(college students must produce school ID card)
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How do I become a member?
A. A membership application can be sent to you in the mail or on line. A request over the phone or by email or in person at the theater, or a request to any person connected to the theater.
Q. How do I become a volunteer?
A. A request to become a volunteer can be handled in the same manner as a membership. A request by phone, email or in person at the theater.
Q. How do I make a donation to McKeesport Little Theater?
A. A donation to McKeesport Little Theater can be made by sending a check to the McKeesport Little Theater at P.O. Box 431, McKeesport, PA 15135. Please include your complete name and address so we might recognize you in one of our play bills during the season.
Q. Is there a parking lot at McKeesport Little Theater?
A. There is a small parking lot beside the theater, and additional street parking available.
Q. Is McKeesport Little Theater handicap accessible?
A. YES. At the side entrance to the theater is an elevator that goes from the outside ground floor to the entrance to the theater on the first floor and then to the second floor to the concession and restroom areas. Our restrooms are also handicapped accessible.
Q. Are there concession stands at intermission?
A. Yes. We serve coffee and cold drinks before the show and during intermission. There is also candy and other items for sale. The concession stand is open a half hour before the shows for your convenience. The upstairs lobby is furnished with comfortable seating for your needs.