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About The Grand Rapids Civic Theatre & School of Theatre Arts

Established in 1925, the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre and School of Theatre Arts is one of the oldest and largest community theatres in the nation.

Our Mission

We are committed to enhance the cultural life of West Michigan by creating opportunities for people to enjoy live theatre performances using community artists, and to provide access to a comprehensive theatre arts education program for all ages.

Our Vision

We are continually working to ensure that the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre remains one of the great community theatres in the nation, through the passionate delivery of high-quality live performance, innovative and comprehensive education, enriching volunteer participation, and a superior customer experience.

Our History

Born in the Roaring Twenties, the “Civic Players” began producing four plays annually in the St. Cecilia Auditorium in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan. In 1935, the organization officially changed it’s name to the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre, and soon had over 1,600 season ticket holders and drew audiences of over 4,000 to each of six shows annually. The theatre continued to maintain itself through decades of economic and social changes.

During the 1960s, the Civic Theatre experienced unprecedented growth and emerged as one of the country’s strongest community theatres. By the end of the decade, in a cooperative venture with the Grand Rapids Public Schools, the Civic began offering theatre classes to young people and further strengthened it’s position in the community.

Today, the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre & School of Theatre Arts is the 5th largest community theatre in the country. We produce 9 mainstage productions each year with the help of over 800 talented volunteers who do everything from singing, dancing and acting, to building sets, sewing, ushering, and so much more. We truly are your community theatre!

The award-winning Civic School of Theatre Arts has grown to become one of the largest and most respected community theatre education programs in the country. We provide excellent training in everything aspect of theatre life for over 1,600 students annually. The Civic School of Theatre Arts has played a significant role through the years in successfully preparing students to participate in local community theatre, and has even helped to inspire professional careers in all areas of theatre production.

Our Board

The Governance of the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre and School of Theatre Arts is a volunteer Board of Directors.  Members represent many community businesses and organizations who are dedicated to supporting a community with a rich arts and cultural life.   The Board of Directors represents a diverse range of experiences, views, knowledge and passion for life theatre and theatre education.

2015-2016-Civic-Theatre-Board-of-Directors.pdf (5 downloads)

Our Facility

Our home since 1979 is comprised of four historic buildings, the Wenham Building (1878), the Hull Building (1890), the Botsford Building (1892), and the Meijer Majestic Theatre (1903). In 2004, local business leader Fred Meijer approached Grand Action about renovating the dated facility. The renovation, completed in September 2006, culminated with honoring the lead gift by renaming the theatre “Meijer Majestic Theatre.”

For more information on the 2006 renovation and the donors who made this transformation possible, visit the Theatre’s main lobby. 

Our Programming

As a community theatre, the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre understands the importance of individuals feeling engaged to our mission.   The Theatre’s focus is in providing experiences through highest quality performances, the award winning education programs and outreach.  Our success can be measured by thousands of hours given by volunteers, the record setting ticket sales from our audiences, and ever important financial commitments of our supporters.  These are the elements that make the Theatre a recognized cornerstone in the West Michigan arts and cultural community.

Other Important Civic Theatre Information

MCACA2015CDPReport.pdf (4 downloads)

GuideStar Organization Report

2015-Annual-Report.jpg (2 downloads)

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