Greenville Area Community Theater
A brief history... according to Kathy Williams & Catherine Richardson
In 1978, Greenville community members came together with the desire to put on a show. At the at time, several, if not all, were members of St. Jude's Episcopal Church. The pastor’s wife offered to direct the show, “Guys & Dolls,” which was staged at the Greenville High School auditorium, complete with a pit band. No cast members were paid; to this day, it’s unknown how the show was paid for.
Jump to 2004. The Greenville Area Historical Society printed a calendar in honor of the various theaters in Greenville including the Packard Hall, inside the Packard Building, which was the first theater in Greenville; the Laird Opera House in the Moss Building; the Greenville Rec Center, which used to hold USO shows; the Mercer Square Theater, where the farmer who owned the land built the theater on his property; and The Jordan Theater, which was not just for movies. Shows and dances and even proms were held there.
There was a Theater Guild, which closed in the early 1960s, and until 1978 when GACT was formed, Greenville did not have a community theater.
Some titles that GACT has staged include “Once Upon a Mattress,” “Brigadoon,” “South Pacific,” “Kiss Me Kate,” “Happy New Year,” “Side by Side by Sondheim,” “Nunsense,” “The Odd Couple” and most recently, “Blame It On The Movies!” Additionally, GACT had done shows in collaboration with the Greenville Symphony.
In 2007, to commemorate the opening of the Bill Robinson Theatre at Thiel College, GACT put on a broadway review in which many people involved in the 1970s and 1980s came back to perform. Robinson was the director of GACT from 1987 to 2012, when he retired from Thiel College. Each year for the past several years, the theater group has done GACT Gives Back, which enables them to put on free shows and fund-raisers for causes in and around the community. Performances have benefited the Pink Angels, Good Shepherd Center, Downtown Ministries/Fresh Grounds and more.