Get familiar with VLT and the folks behind the scenes
The Very Little Theatre got its name on March 3, 1929, when eight Eugene theatre enthusiasts got together with the idea of joining the growing “Little Theatre Movement” that was sweeping the nation. One person said to the others, “There are hundreds of little theatre groups up and down the country, but this is certainly going to be a very little one!”
Born in the Great Depression, the Very Little Theatre survived difficult economic conditions, World War II, changing consumer tastes, and increased competition to become one of the oldest, continuously-operating community theatres in the United States.
The Very Little Theatre (VLT) presented its first production of "You and I" by Philip Barry on Thursday, May 16, 1929 in the Heilig Theatre, an early vaudeville house in Eugene, Oregon. The theatre made a net profit from this production of $4.51 and gained community-wide recognition and support. The following excerpt from The History of the Very Little Theatre in Eugene, Oregon 1929-1954, gives an idea of the grassroots beginnings of this small theatre group during that first production of "You and I".
Community theatre is a powerful tool in developing a love and appreciation for the arts.
I love the VLT because it is a place where people of all walks of life can come together and share their passion for the arts.
I love the VLT because it's a place where great theater is taught, loved, and performed for the community by the community.
I love VLT and community theater for the opportunity it gives for theater artists to learn and grow in the art form.
I love the VLT because it is where we go to practice empathy and feeling.
MVT, a project of VLT, is designed create a bridge that offers an opportunity for members of local minority or marginalized communities to participate in the collaborative art of theatre as actors, writers, directors, designers, and audience members.
Founded in 2017 by VLT members Stan Coleman and Carol Dennis, MVT produces staged readings of plays, which allow those with little theatre experience the chance to learn what it means to create a character, deliver lines with meaning, and to experience the magic of being in a play. This model also allows our local communities the chance to see their stories brought to life on our local stages.
Readers Theater Performers (RTP), a service of the Very Little Theatre, is a group of volunteer actors who bring the magic of live performance to people in senior centers across Eugene and Springfield, Oregon. Each program is 45-50 minutes long and includes skits, funny one-liners, anecdotes, stories, poems, bits of information - and sometimes a closing song. With a troupe of some 17 Performers, each rotating into the schedule as needed and available, we are able to share our talents with as many facilities that invite us.
Launched decades ago under the direction of the late University of Oregon theatre professor Horace Robinson, RTP has brought smiles and laughter to thousands of people through the years. After a brief hiatus following the Covid closures, RTP has recently returned to Emerald Valley Assisted Living, the Eugene Hotel Retirement Community, Fox Hollow Residential Care, Waterford Grand Assisted Living, and Ya-Po-Ah Terrace Retirement Apartments – with more to come.
New Performers are always welcome and allow RTP to extend its reach. Theater experience is preferred, but anyone who can meet basic RTP performance expectations is welcome. VLT membership is not required
MVT is proud to produce a weekend with illioo Native Theatre as we commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Klamath River fish kill with a reading of the play Salmon is Everything by Theresa May in collaboration with the Klamath Theatre Project.
The play follows the story of three families on the Klamath River during the drought, salmon crisis, and devastating fish kill of 2002. Its message about the kinship among salmon, people and the land is as relevant today – for all great rivers in the Pacific Northwest — as it was 20 years ago.
Tickets Go On Sale September 5, 2022