It all started in the men's dressing room at Merrimack College, which may seem like an odd place, but it seems that great things often begin in odd places...

Three actors were playing the Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Lion in a community theatre production of The Wizard of Oz.

On a nightly basis, while getting dressed in their character costumes and applying makeup, discussions inevitably were held about theatre and all it can offer a community. Concern was expressed about how much potential the city of Haverhill held, yet no community theatre called it home.

Over the course of these talks, the three actors decided to invite a group of people together to share the fun of group play readings. This camaraderie developed into what has become the Haverhill Dramatic Reading Association.

Once a month a group of people get together to socialize and read a play. At the end of each reading the next play, director and host are selected.

The readings were attended by quite a few people who were all there just to enjoy each others' company and experience a little bit of theatre. And they were open to anyone who wished to join, regardless of their skill or ability.

The original reading had seven people in attendance. Since then, more than fifty different readers have participated in this reading series.

At the end of the readings the group would linger to discuss the play that was read and theatre in general. Talk often returned to how Haverhill lacked a community theatre of its own. Eventually, it was put out as a challenge: "Why couldn't we start a community theatre?" And so on a warm June 3rd evening in 2008, Spotlight Playhouse was born.

Throughout this evolutionary process Spotlight Playhouse has welcomed in a number of very talented people who are committed to making this theatrical troupe a successful venture. These people have immense skill and desire to serve the community by developing the arts. Some are sharing their skills behind the scenes forming the structure of the new troupe; others are involved in the production crew or performing on stage.

It has become our goal to create a theatre that truly involves the entire community. We want to become an organization that harnesses the talent and resources of the community and gives back the performing arts with a high level of quality.
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