Regional Theater of the Week: Riverside Theatre in Vero Beach, FL
BroadwayWorld.com, the largest theatre site on the Internet, is excited to announce a new feature to its comprehensive regional coverage - the Featured Regional Theater of the Week! Each week, BWW will introduce its readers to a regional theater located in one of our (over 130!) coverage cities. By exploring these different venues, their history and showcasing the production seasons, BWW continues its commitment to expand our presence in communities and cities across the United States.
This Week's Featured Regional Theater: Riverside Theatre in Vero Beach, FL
Riverside Theatre is a non-profit, regionally producing theatre affiliated with Actor's Equity Association, The League of Resident Theatres, Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, and United Scenic Artists.
Riverside Children's Theatre, the educational arm of Riverside, offers classes, camps, and training opportunities in the areas of theatre, dance, music, and video for all ages on a year round basis.
Riverside Theatre, Inc. is committed to providing a total theatre arts experience that entertains, challenges, and educates both adults and children.
Built in 1973 on a 54-acre tract of land designated by the city of Vero Beach as a cultural park, Riverside Theatre was erected with $1.5 million raised solely from private donations. For the first few years of its existence, the Riverside Theatre building served primarily as the home to the Vero Beach Theatre Guild, the local community theatre group, and occasional bus & truck tours. In 1980, the Riverside Children's Theatre (RCT) added education and programming for children to these activities, though it wasn't until 1985, with the hiring of a full-time education director that classes and productions starring local children truly began. In 1983, the Friends of Riverside Theatre, a fundraising group, started the Celebrity Series with an appearance by Ray Charles, and this series, and appearances by celebrities, became an integral part of the Theatre's programming.
The inaugural season for the Riverside Theatre Acting Company followed close behind in 1985-86. By 1987-88, Riverside had its first letter of agreement with Equity and had established itself as the first and only Equity theatre company on Florida's Treasure Coast. Now in its twentieth season, Riverside has grown to be one of the largest producing professional theatres in the State.
As Riverside grew, so did its facilities. In 1986, a rehearsal hall was added to the west of the Theatre proper. In 1991, the Agnes Wahlstrom Youth Playhouse (AWYP) became the home of Riverside Children's Theatre and additional funds helped break ground for a scene shop adjacent to the northeast corner of the main Theatre building. In 1998, the Anne Morton Theatre (AMT), Riverside's Second Stage, opened.
Finally on September 1 of 2005, a Building Permit for the all new Riverside Theatre was granted. The new Riverside Theatre opened on schedule in March, 2007, to carry Riverside Theatre to even greater heights, with a permanent home for the Second Stage, a renovated lobby and mainstage audience chamber.
This year Riverside is celebrating their 40th anniversary and has a dynamite mainstage lineup. The season begins in October with a wonderful musical showcasing the songs of Irving Berlin, I Love A Piano. January brings the International hit Miss Saigon to the Stark Stage and the uproarious comedy God of Carnage to the Waxlax Stage. February brings the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein sensation, South Pacific and the musical revue Closer Than Ever takes the Waxlax Stage in March featuring the songs of Richard Maltby and David Shire. The exuberant and whimsical musical How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying concludes our 40th Anniversary celebration.