The Drama Group was born on October 28, 1931. Its first production, Telegrams, was an original three-act comedy by Mabel Waters. Mrs. Waters later became president of The Drama Group, which at that time was under the sponsorship of the Arts and Literature Department of the Chicago Heights Women's Club.
From 1931 to 1957, community momentum built. The Drama Group was well received and continued to grow and prosper. Lacking rehearsal space for productions, the participants held rehearsals in the building that housed the Chicago Heights morgue.
During World War II, The Drama Group took 2 year hiatus from producing shows, as many of its members were involved in the war effort. After the war, as prosperity increased, The Drama Group looked for a permanent home. Finally, in 1956%u201357 two lots were purchased. The Drama Group board of directors successfully petitioned to have the property annexed to Chicago Heights and rezoned, and The Drama Group Studio Theatre was built, providing a working studio theatre complete with rehearsal/stage space, set workshop, costume and props loft, dressing rooms and offices.
In 1959 The Drama Group began staging musicals and larger productions at the Bloom Auditorium Theatre. In 1981, The Drama Group celebrated its Golden 50th Anniversary... in 2006, The Drama Group celebrated its Silver 75th Anniversary, each with a retrospective musical production entitled Encore and Encore 75, respectively.
Daytime Children's Theatre productions were added to The Drama Group roster of productions (2 per season) in 1994...as well a The Drama Group Kids Summer Theatre Camp, which began in 1998.
One of the Drama Group%u2019s most exciting additions to its activities in recent years has been the Theatre-Exchange Program, inaugurated in 1999 when The Drama Group traveled to Hastings, East Sussex, England, to perform Spoon River Anthology. The following year, The Stables Theatre brought Great Expectations to The Drama Group audiences. Several other exchanges have taken place since then, and the Group looks forward to a continued friendship and exchanges with The Stables.
The Drama Group, still one of the only volunteer theatre groups, is well-known and well-respected throughout the Chicagoland area. Our productions have been compared to the quality of those downtown and on Broadway.
As The Drama Group works its way toward its first 100 years, we continue to provide quality theatre at affordable prices and continue to put the community in community theatre - always welcoming and giving the community the opportunity to participate %u2014 whether it be onstage or off %u2014 and to become a member of this vital organization. The Drama Group exists through the benevolance of the community...through ticket subscriptions, fundraisers, patron donations, grants, advertising and road shows.
With an active membership and interesting, varied seasons of quality productions, The Drama Group is proud of its heritage and committed to a long future in the southwest suburbs.