401 River Street Alpena, MI 49707
Alpena Civic Theatre
Grace Morrison - House Manager
Jim Phillips - Building Manager
Fran Hamp - Box Office
Bronwyn Woolman - Photography
Grace Morrison, Jackie Herbert, - Archives
The history of Alpena Civic Theatre (ACT) is a history of people, thousands of people, who've joined together over 50 years to create an organization, a family really, of dedicated volunteers interested in giving their time to "put on a show" for themselves and for Alpena-area audiences. That goal has been reached over 200 times; we're hoping and planning to produce hundreds more. Some of these people have been with the theatre through most of its 50 years. Others have come across the stage briefly and gone on. All are important. Each has contributed his/her special talent, created a special piece of the whole.
Alpena Civic Theatre produced its first play, See How They Run, on February 18, 1956 at Ella White School. Homer Story directed the show, which starred James McEachran and Harriet Kelm in the leading roles. Story, organizer of the all-volunteer community theater group, was to direct this show and eleven others over six years with this fledgling group, all of them on the stage of Ella White School. Of course, rehearsals had to be held and sets and costumes had to be built elsewhere, moved and set up on the day of the production and torn down after each run. In 1958, the Alpena Public Schools gave the group permission to use the empty Baldwin School for rehearsals, the building of sets, and storage of costumes, sets and materials, a great boon to the new group. Later the schools purchased a warehouse adjacent to the Ella White School playground, and again a large space was granted to the theatre for rehearsals, meetings and storage. Many thanks are owed to the school system for this early support.
Keith Titus, later to become ACT's director himself, but then an Alpena Community College (ACC) sophomore, first appeared with the group in Earnest Money in 1958. Some of the other regulars in the Story years were Howard and Harriet Kelm, Adolph Brosz, Stan and Donna Beck, Marvin Wysocki, Annie Olsen, Pat Wallace, Helen Parker, Jim & Evelyn McEachran and Mary Cross.
By 1958 ACT had joined the Community Theatre Association of Michigan and was sending representatives to state conventions to share ideas and bring back expertise in theater.
Bill Powell - President
Ted Rockwell - Vice President
Judy Beyer - Secretary
Jay Kettler - Treasurer