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SCCT 2014 to NOW!

In 2014, a group of aspiring actors took a class at the Western Institute for Life Long Learning, a part of Western New Mexico University (WNMU) in Silver City, NM. Out of that class, Silver City Community Theatre (SCCT) developed and became established as nonprofit in November 2014. Founders included Phyllis & Jim McQuaide, Sharyn McDonald, Randy Carr, Billie Turrieta, Theresa Murphy, and Marjorie Alkire. SCCT’s goal is to entertain Silver City and Grant County audiences by producing fun, thought provoking, and periodically original works. And, not coincidentally, to enable those aspiring actors to act. SCCT’s first production was “A Twilight Christmas,” an original work written and performed by SCCT members.

As a theater without a permanent venue, SCCT is very community-based and has performed at coffee houses, Silver City’s historic Silco Movie Theater, at the Silver City Museum, at the Fine Arts Theater and Light Hall at WNMU, at the Silver City Women’s Club, in church halls and schools, at dinner venues, in the ballroom of the historic Elks Lodge, at festivals, in store fronts, outdoor venues, and on community radio. In 2024, SCCT is contracting to use the El Sol Theater and the WPA Theater at Historic Fort Bayard.

From 2014 through 2020, SCCT staged two to three major productions a year including: “Deathtrap,” by Ira Levin; “Over the River and Through the Woods” by Joe DiPietro; “A Murder Is Announced” and “Then There Were None,” by Agatha Christie; “Don’t Drink the Water,” by Woody Allen; “The Days Are As Grass,” by Carol Hall; “Love Letters,” by A.R. Gurney; “Next of Kin,” by Ron Simonian; “Last of the Red Hot Lovers,” by Neil Simon; and “Relationships in Review,” an original musical revue curated by the SCCT ensemble. In addition, SCCT performed dinner theater, readings and monologues in local coffee houses. In July 2019, SCCT presented a 10-minute play-writing workshop, and their subsequent 10-Minute Play Contest received submissions from playwrights nationwide. The contest winners (including two SCCT members) were performed via “An Evening of 10-minute Plays.” to enthusiastic audiences.

SCCT stayed active through the Covid lockdown with a series of Zoom productions including “Sheltering Out of Place,” by Sylvia Ashby; “All You Get,” by Barbara Lindsay; and “Just A Song at Twilight,” by Marcia Savin. Every Sunday afternoon, “SCCT Radio Hour” has returned listeners to The Golden-Age of Radio on Gila-Mimbres Community Radio (KURU FM, 89.1), produced by Wendy Spurgeon and recorded by Chris Wellman in front of live studio audiences. This included “Orson Wells’ The War of the Worlds”, a major event recorded live on the stage of the Silco Theater for broadcast on Halloween, 2022.

SCCT emerged from the Covid lockdown with an SCCT Youth Project outdoor production of “Bug,” by Lainie Vansant. Then, SCCT presented monologues from “Talking With…,” by Jane Martin at The Shaking the Tree Performing Arts Festival; presented a 5-day Spring Break Theater Camp for youth; produced “12 Angry Jurors,” by Reginald Rose and Lois Lowry’s “The Giver,” adapted by Eric Coble. SCCT celebrated Spring 2023 with Ditch-Speare—monologues and songs from Shakespeare—performed in Silver City’s Big Ditch Park. and directed by Hallie Harris.

Original works by SCCT members have been featured by SCCT since its inception. In 2024, SCCT will produce “Poker Queens of Silver City,” by SCCT member Joanie Connors. “Poker Queens” is the first installment in what Joanie anticipates will be Silver City Chronicles, a series of works based on Silver City’s rich and diverse local history.

During its ten years of theatre, SCCT has also offered workshops and trainings for actors, writers, directors and stage crew. Currently we are planning trainings for directors, producers, and stage-managers for spring, 2024.

SCCT has collaborated with and supported local non-profits including The Southwest Word Fiesta, Rotary Club of Silver City, Silver City MainStreet Project, Silver City Museum, Mimbres Harvest Festival, Shaking the Tree Performing Arts Festival, Starlight Theater and The Virus Theater. Proceeds from SCCT’s 2023 Winter Gala were shared with Aldo Leopold Middle School drama class, Starlight Theater, and The Virus Theater.

In 2021, the populations of Silver City and Grant County, NM, respectively were 9,578 and 27,889, essentially unchanged since 2014.  This relatively small, rural population (augmented by many visitors) supports a vibrant and varied theater scene to which SCCT contributes high-quality, original, and varied productions. As a small community-based non-profit, SCCT relies on local donations through Grant County Community Foundation’s Give Grandly, individual and business contributions, and ticket sales.

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