The Stagecrafters Theater
The Stagecrafters was founded to "promote the advancement of knowledge and appreciation of drama in all its forms, and to encourage the writing and production of drama of a high literary and artistic standard by its members."
Motivated by a mutual love of drama, some twenty friends who had been acting together since 1926 under the sponsorship of the Germantown Women's Club, organized as The Stagecrafters in 1929. The theater was incorporated in 1932. A small house and a smithy of Revolutionary vintage were rented on the present site and used as a workshop and a clubhouse. Only a pot-bellied stove heated the workshop, where one-act plays were presented to an audience of about thirty. The actors appeared from the kitchen or stairway. That building now houses our lobby, a small kitchen area, and newly-renovated restrooms on the first floor, and our lighting and sound equipment on the second floor.
Full length plays were still given at the Germantown Women's Club until the former smithy in front of the house (which served as a work shop) was enlarged to include a small stage and seating for one hundred. In 1936, the two buildings were altered and connected to form our present theater, nearly doubling the audience capacity. The stage and lobby entrances were enclosed later.
In 1950 we were able to purchase both the theater and the lovely historic house on Germantown Avenue which contains an office, a meeting room, a rehearsal room and a kitchen for cast and crew dinners. In the early sixties, we acquired the adjoining property, which allowed us to add required fire-exit doors on the south side of the theater. In the summer of 2002, through a generous bequest from the Estate of Dwight V. Dowley, we were able to expand the lobby/cloakroom area and renovate the theater bathrooms to allow handicapped accessibility. This represents the configuration of our premises as it exists today.
Over the years The Stagecrafters has evolved to its present status as a full-fledged theatrical organization, with a subscription base of nearly 700.