Tuesday, December 1, 2015

This Month in Rochester History

The Avon Playhouse celebrates its fiftieth anniversary this month.  It was on December 3, 1965, that the brand-new theatre on Washington Road opened its doors to audiences for the first time. The inaugural play for the new facility was the Avon Players' production of Inherit the Wind.

The Avon Players were organized in 1947, but had no permanent home for the first 18 years of their history.  The members rehearsed in the American Legion hall and in private homes, and gave performances in various venues such as school auditoriums.  After saving $30,000, funding another $30,000 through bonds and raising another like amount through a fundraising drive, they were finally ready to build a stage of their own.

Member Ted Stratton designed the new playhouse, with the assistance of architect Bob Edge.  A local builder donated his services as general contractor, and much of the manual labor on the building project was done by volunteer members of the Avon Players.

Much more about the history of Avon Players and the Avon Playhouse may be found on the organization's web site.  Happy birthday, Avon Playhouse!