Harbor Playhouse History
Corpus Christi Players
The Harbor Playhouse has served as the premier live performance venue in the Coastal Bend for 94 years. Tracing its history back to 1925, the organization known now as Harbor Playhouse Company began with a newspaper advertisement for performers interested in being a part of a production Booth Tarkington’s Seventeen. That year, Seventeen was performed at the old high school on Carancahua, the first performance of the group then known as the Corpus Christi Players. Producing an average of four plays a year until the Depression, the group reformed in 1935 under the name Corpus Christi Little Theatre.
Little Theatre Corpus Christi
On August 4th, 1948, the Little Theatre Corpus Christi was incorporated under the leadership of Dorothy Hawn Blakeney. Cyril Delavanti was the first professional director of LTCC, producing two seasons of plays at Wynn Seale Middle School. In October of 1950, the Little Theatre building on Alameda Street was proudly opened with a production of Light up the Sky. This was to be the home of community theatre in Corpus Christi for almost twenty-seven years. Although it was only a Quonset hut with a shed at the rear for a stage house, hundreds of plays were produced there to the delight of audiences and producers alike. During the 1965-66 seasons, the members built a shop providing long needed storage and workspace, and the theatre’s programs continued to grow
Harbor Playhouse Company
In 1972, the Sam’s Foundation approached the Little Theatre board of directors with the offer to build a new community theatre in what would become Bayfront Plaza. The City of Corpus Christi provided the land and the Sam’s Foundation paid for construction of the facility, which was then given to the City of Corpus Christi as a gift to the community. The Little Theatre Corpus Christi officially changed its name to Harbor Playhouse Company and moved into the new facility in 1976, opening the theatre with a production of 1776. The facility included a proscenium theatre which seats 454 people, a shop connected to the backstage area, dressing rooms, an open and inviting lobby with a view of the Bayfront, and a concession stand.
Harbor Playhouse Studio
In 1985, the Harbor Playhouse board of directors worked together with Whataburger and other foundations to complete the Studio theatre addition, which includes the Studio theatre and the costume loft. The Studio is a flexible, black box style theatre, which provides an intimate atmosphere for small productions, dinner theatre, and melodramas, as well as classroom space for the School of Theatre. Harbor Playhouse’s costume loft provides warehouse sized storage for the theatre’s large costume collection, allowing the organization to save substantial money on costume rental by keeping a large and flexible inventory to draw on for a variety of clothing styles and periods.
The Harbor Playhouse Story
NOW Harbor Playhouse is located in the Arts District, the cultural heart of Corpus Christi, 1802 North Chaparral - Building #2, their home for the past 40 years. Annually there are more than 700 volunteers, actors, technicians, and support staff who give their time…100,000+ hours per season! Volunteers range in age from 5 to 80 and reflect the cultural diversity of the area. With a varied schedule of contemporary and classic musicals and plays for both adults and children - including works by local playwrights - Harbor Playhouse truly presents exceptional works of art by the community and for the community. Audiences include patrons of all ages from around the world.