One of our strategic principles states that, we consider WRT to be an integral part of the community of Wakefield. In order to live up to that principle, we need to regularly communicate with the community not just about what were doing, but also about how and why.
To quote a lyric from our 1991 inaugural production, Lets start at the very beginning... a very good place to start. WRT was founded in late-1990 under the umbrella of Wakefields Continuing Education program by Tom Merchant, the Community Ed coordinator, and Ron Chibaro, who was then the WHS drama director. The organization was later incorporated as a non-profit entity, and today is governed by an Executive Board, which also operates through special purpose committees, such as Playreading and Staffing.
Our first theatrical production, The Sound of Music, opened in January 1991, in the gym at the Greenwood School. This began the annual tradition of our winter mainstage musical, which since 1993 has been presented at the Galvin Auditorium. Our winter musicals to date remain perhaps our most visible presence in the community, but WRT has staged numerous theatrical productions, not including our many original and creative events produced as fundraisers: cabaret evenings, murder mysteries, haunted hayrides, and others.
Roughly three quarters of our productions have been musicals, usually with full orchestra, although we have also produced a dozen straight plays, including both dramas and comedies. In addition to full company productions, roughly half of our shows have been youth theatre productions where all performers are students. These have largely been geared toward elementary and middle school students, with a handful of summer shows reserved entirely for high school and college students.