Redlands Footlighters Theatre

The vision began with four women – Mary Armstrong, Marianne Finley, Lucille Crews Marsh, and Ruth Welch – and grew over the years to become a thriving, volunteer-led community theatre. The first production, Mr. and Mrs. North, directed by Bernard Craven, was presented in Clock Auditorium at Redlands High School. For several years Footlighters traveled between venues, presenting shows in the Contemporary Club, the Y.W.C.A., the Redlands Bowl, as well as at locations in Yucaipa and Banning. In 1952, Merl Williams proposed the vacant Grove Theater as an ideal location for a permanent Footlighters home. Robert Sherrod, Joe Camp, Howard Avery, and Stuart Campbell contributed leadership and expertise while the Footlighters’ members went to work fashioning a center stage utilizing the unique sloping floor. Footlighters incorporated in 1955, acquired non-profit status and began saving for a theatre. In 1969, Merl and Peggy Williams led some far-sighted members in negotiating the purchase of the land on for the theatre’s current location on Barton Road in Redlands.

The new theatre opened in 1980. Construction was supervised by Joe Camp, Nick Salpas, and many volunteer members. Stuart Campbell, who directed the first play at the Grove, also directed that same first play, The Curious Savage, at the new theatre. There was much to be done in the building, but shows were presented while work continued. For over 75 years, the dedicated actors, directors and volunteers at Footlighters have produced annual seasons of quality amateur theatre for the Redlands community. During the 2020 Covid-19 shutdowns, a series of outdoor benefit concerts and plays helped Footlighters survive the difficult financial setbacks. In 2021, the Greenroom at Footlighters was renovated as a ‘second-stage’ venue for improv, comedy, and music performances. It is the objective of the Redlands Footlighters, Inc., to provide rewarding entertainment, creative productions of live theatre, a cradle for community theatre, growth for actors and directors, presentations of our dramatic heritage and mutually satisfying and varied theatre experiences for both the Footlighters and its audiences. The Redlands Footlighters have provided professional-quality community theater productions in a local, intimate venue since 1980 (the group was formed in 1945). Community performers showcase a number of entertaining productions including comedies, classics & other community theater performances. The theater season typically runs from August through June. Don’t forget to check out this place in Redlands too.

A women-run organization and venue established in 1945, the Redlands Footlighters Theatre hosts various performances throughout the year. There are many shows that you can choose to attend, from comedy to drama, to classical and even theatrical performances. The Redlands Footlighters Theatre was solely established to provide an active platform for budding actors or directors to perform and sharpen their art. It has come a long way since its inception in 1945 and remains one of Redlands’s most packed theatrical venues. Tickets to your chosen show can be purchased online or at the theater itself. If you are ever in need of home renovation, click here.

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