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Our History
Theatre Suburbia was formed in the summer of 1961 by a neighboorhood group known as the Quandry Players who discovered a mutual passion for theatre while performing You Can't Take It With You at St. Michael Episcopal Church (now Good Hope Episcopal Church). The orignal officers included: Gurdan McKay (Chairman), Earl Guidry (Vice-Chairman), Pat Kugal (Secretary), Bookie Bennight (Treasurer), Joyce Guthrie (Librarian), EJ Butler, BA Vance, Phyllis Cantrell, Chuck Kugel and Alva Lyons.
Theatre SuburbiaThe original playhouse, which we continued to occupy until mid-2008, was located at 1410 W 43rd St. Membership fees were $1/month and performances sold at $1.50/ticket. The inaugral season begain with The Philadelphia Story by Phillip Barry which opened on October 27, 1961. The original seating consisted of small folding chairs, a few of which can still be seen in some of our summer mellerdrammers.
Times were tough during the early years while the theatre struggled to get on its feet, both in terms of financial considerations and disorganization. The building lacked air conditioning and heat so meetings were often held at members homes. Budget constraints limited what shows could be performed due to royalty fees and the theatre often sold their scripts back once a performance run was complete. Early members did what they could to bring money in - selling tickets, holding yard sales, renting out the theatre and forgiving debts owed them by the theatre.
The theatre became more structured the following season when a charter and by-laws were drafted and adopted in April 1962. That summer the first Annual Meeting was held and on June 29, Theatre Suburbia was officially incorporated as a non-profit organization. Workshops were held to improve theatre building, the lobby was carpeted and motions were made acquire a loan that would enable the purchase of an air conditioner.
The third season ushered in many new things for the theatre. It was decided that five shows would be produced each season with a possible summer production as an extra. A format of alternating comedies with dramas was implemented. A benefit performance was held for the Alley, raising nearly $100. Gurden McKay and BA Vance were intereviewed for KTRH's Dimensions Houston show. In February 1964, Theatre Suburbia produced its first of many original scripts - the musical comedy, A Stitch In Time by Buster Clearley. At the time, this is something not even The Alley would attempt.
Theatre Suburbia has undergone many changes since its inception 50 years ago, the most monumental of which was our relocation in 2008 to our new home at 4106 Way Out West Dr. But throughout the years, the one thing that hasn't changed is our continuing dedication to bringing quality theatre productions to the Houston area. We aim to be home for theatre-lovers for many more years to come.