by Carol Foldvary-Anderson
“Creating Beauty-Inspiring Joy!”
Reno Little Theater (RLT) is the oldest continuously running community theater in Nevada, currently in their 83rd season. They offer a well-rounded slate of plays yearly, typically 6 main stage shows, with several smaller productions which run for a weekend or so.
“We try to balance offering classics, with newer and edgier works. Our audience ranges from kiddos to those in their 90s,” states Leah Wigren, RLT Chairperson.
Since 1935, RLT has staged over 2,750 performances of more than 500 shows. “We estimate that more than 6,000 different people have helped put on the show!”
Interested individuals can get involved at all times of the year by auditioning to act during casting sessions. By greeting theater patrons as ushers and box office personnel, concessions, mailing newsletters, working on publicity and fundraising. If working with your hands and helping build the scenery, creating costumes and props is your interest, that is an area that Reno Little Theater would be happy to have you involved in.
Operating the light and sound boards is a need the theater has as well. Stage manage or direct a play, or being involved on the Play Discovery Committee. “This group reads plays, meets once a month like a book club, rates the plays, and suggests ones to pass on to the Play Selection Committee our staff runs. RLT believes that It is the family of volunteers that keep the organization running smoothly and each of the special talents each person brings helps to make the theater that much more grand.”
RLT is unique because it has run for the vast majority of its life solely due to unbelievably hardworking and inspiring volunteer service. Currently they have 5 paid staff-only in the last five years. For decades, RLT was run by devoted volunteers who acted, directed, held auditions and cast roles, obtained script rights, paid bills, raised funds, ran concessions, box office, costuming, props, board service etc.
Additionally, RLT is the only community theater in town that owns its building. Astute volunteers acquired and sold properties over the years, culminating in their lovely building located on Pueblo St. which debuted about six years ago.
RLT was located on S. Virginia St. years ago, but the City razed the theater for a casino parking lot. Hug High School welcomed RLT for several years, while we built the current site. Through it all, not a year went by that RLT did not put on at least five plays a year.
“We believe RLT has been so successful because of the love for theater and community shared by volunteers, staff, and patrons, and their willingness to work for very little (or no) money. People can exercise their creative streak, or help sell candy bars, all in service of the mission of quality entertainment for all ages,” said Wigren. “There is real work to do and eager hands to do it.”
Further, much of RLT success is due to Reno’s generosity, with donations by individuals and other arts organizations, businesses, and the City.
Reno Little Theater is located at 147 E. Pueblo St. Reno, NV 89502, 775-813-8900, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Other emails are under "Contact Us" section of our website, renolittletheater.org.