140 West Tampa Ave. Venice, Florida 34285
Box Office: 941-488-1115
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Venice Little Theatre (VLT) is formed by 40 volunteers. The theatre presents a three-show season in a converted hangar at Venice Airport.
Total attendance for the four-production season is 1,440.
The company is forced to leave the airport theatre. The city needs the building for a storage shed. After plans to construct a new building are thwarted by petitions from its new neighbors, VLT purchases one of Venice's original 1926 buildings, the former gymnasium of Kentucky Military Institute. Theatre seats 286. Local media calls VLT "the little theatre that wouldn't die."
VLT brings in a part-time manager.
The theatre hires an artistic director. Total attendance is 14,000.
Education programs begin with a summer camp.
Total attendance tops 20,000 for the first time. Operating budget nears $400K. After-school classes begin with one class per week. The Silver Foxes, a seniors-only performance troupe, meets for the first time.
Further renovation results in the building of Stage II, dedicated to contemporary, experimental, and original works.
Staff positions are realigned to include an Artistic/Managing Director. Partnership is formed with Loveland Center (for adults with developmental disabilites).
Stage II opens its first full subscription season, 1995-96. There are 25 subscribers.
Renovation continues. VLT expands and updates MainStage to seat 358.
MainStage attendance exceeds 43,000. Budget is $675,000 in 1997-98. Summer camps expand to three full "TheatreFests", involving 108 students. Year-round class enrollment tops 100 for the first time, with five classes per semester.
In an independent study, VLT is revealed as the second most-frequently-attended theatre in Sarasota County (behind the Asolo).
VLT hires full-time Education/Outreach director and becomes 3rd community theatre in U.S. to implement Technical Theatre Apprenticeship Program.
VLT completes $2 million-plus, four-phase renovation. Facility is now A.D.A. compliant, seats 432 in MainStage and 90 in Stage II, contains multiple classroom / rehearsal spaces and features upgraded production equipment and facilities.
VLT's Theatre for Young People production of I Never Saw Another Butterfly becomes part of Spielberg's US Project Tolerance, in conjunction with Jewish Community Center and Venice High School.
VLT's production of Fool For Love takes Best Production Honors at Florida Theatre Conference (2nd consecutive year for VLT), Southeastern Theatre Conference and joins 10 other shows nationally at AACTFest in Harrisburg, PA. VLT brings home the first national award for a Southwest Florida theatre.
Total attendance exceeds 68,000.
Board of Directors adopts new Long Range Plan
VLT's production of Tartuffe takes Best Production Honors at Florida Theatre Conference and Southeastern Theatre Conference.
VLT hires full-time Development/Advancement Director.
VLT's The Good Woman of Setzuan takes Best Production Honors at Florida Theatre Conference and Southeastern Theatre Conference. This is the fourth consecutive year at FTC and the third consecutive at SETC. The show is recognized at AACTFest in Torrington, CT with four awards.
Stage II, in its 8th season, sees dramatic increase in subscription sales, from 245 to 405. Total attendance nears 90%, with expanded performance runs.
VLT is officially commended by both the City of Venice and Sarasota County governments for "Outstanding
VLT conducts a series of community workshops to gain input on current artistic needs and ideas for future VLT growth. More than 150 government officials, teachers, students, arts and civic leaders, business owners, and financial advisors participate.
VLT completes negotiations in February 2003 with local bank on long-term amortization of theatre's remaining construction debt.
With grants from local foundation and the City of Venice, VLT purchases adjacent building and parking lot for $750,000. Immediate effect is that off-site storage becomes on-site. VLT saves $13,000 per year in space rental.
MainStage subscriptions increase 11% to 3,199; Stage II subscriptions increase 12% to 455. All fall shows in both theatres exceed aggressive cash budgets.
Venice Little Theatre is selected to host the 2010 International Community Theatre Festival.
Venice Little Theatre officially changes name - with unanimous board support - to Venice Theatre. We're not "little" anymore!
Venice Theatre hosts the Festival in Paradise, bringing the AACT International Community Theatre Festival to Venice. Because of the tremendous success, AACT invites VT to host it again in 2014. (The only time the same theatre hosts the international festival twice in a row.)