History of Lake Wales Little Theatre
The Lake Wales Little Theatre has, since its formation in 1978, provided the only continuous source of live theatrical performances available in the community of Lake Wales, Florida. For the first 14 seasons, productions were presented in various local facilities. In 1992, the 15th season, the theater group proudly opened its new theater building at 411 North Third Street.
Constructed in 1947, the theater building originally served as the public high school band building. The building fell into disuse after relocation of the high school. The theater group expressed an interest in using the building in the mid-1980’s, resulting in the property being legally deeded by Polk County to the City of Lake Wales. In 1987, the city leased the property to the Lake Wales Little Theatre, Inc.
The current facilities resulted from a tremendous amount of volunteer labor supplemented by generous donations of money and materials by local individuals and businesses, and grants totaling several thousand dollars from the Polk County Tourist Development Commission and the City of Lake Wales. By opening night, October 2, 1992, approximately $60,000.00 had been spent on the renovations, of which roughly half was earned by the theater group with the other half coming from donations and grants.
Renovations to the old band building have been extensive. The wheel chair accessible auditorium is entered through angled stairwells or at floor level at either end of the lobby. One hundred forty comfortably-upholstered seats are situated on six high-raked rows and assure unobstructed views of the stage. An addition on the north side of the theater provides public restrooms, a large set construction area, and an office. Backstage areas feature dressing rooms, restrooms, and rooms for costume storage. A large metal building (donated by the City of Lake Wales) behind the theater provides space for storage of theatrical materials.
Lake Wales Little Theatre is a non-profit organization solely funded by donations and ticket sales. All members of the Lake Wales Little Theatre are volunteers who give graciously of their time and talent.
Lake Wales Little Theatre is known for offering a variety of plays. We select recent hits, old favorites, playwright submissions, and frequently offer plays that have never before been produced.
Our season begins in September and runs through June, and consists of five productions.
Children’s Theatre – features many talented youngsters from the Polk County area. Productions are held in September.
Adult Theatre – each season we feature three plays featuring our talented adult actors. Productions are held in November, January and March/April.
Teen Theatre – features talented teens from the Polk County area. The show is almost totally produced by the teens.