The Joliet Drama Guild : a historical perspective and master five-year plan of operation
Martin, Sandra L.
MetadataShow full item record
The Joliet Drama Guild, a community theatre founded in 1933, has gracefully endured the demographic changes of the Joliet area and has endeavored to improve the cultural enrichment of the community as well as to better its own operation and artistic quality. Born out of the "Little Theatre" movement which swept across America in the first two decades of the 20th century, the Joliet Drama Guild, then known as the "Y" Players, performed its first production in a church basement. From its first performance in 1933, the Guild developed and maintained strong community support which survived the turbulent periods of the mid-1940s and the late 1960s resulting in it being one of the oldest self-sustaining community theatres in Illinois, operating a year-round season. Through the years, sponsorship, artistic goals, constitutions, theatrical seasons' duration and composition, physical theatre spaces, and budget requirements have changed to reflect the needs of the community and Guild members. Historical documentation viewed through an identification and analysis of changing patterns provide a stimulating basis for the production of future needs and goals of the Joliet Drama Guild. Prompted by a changing and aging complexion of audience composition, a narrowing of the talent pool which included directors, actors, and designers, a discontentment with the present rental/landlord relationship, and a shrinking nucleus of members, the board of directors of the Joliet Drama Guild sanctioned the Long-Range Planning Committee to study past and current trends and to develop future goals. Through extensive interviews and surveys, the Long-Range Planning Committee reviewed artistic goals, constitutional structure, physical plant location and operation, and funding. A Master Five-Year Plan was developed by the Long-Range Planning Committee which sustains and improves daily operations, delineates and clarifies membership roles, and projects future needs and goals for the next five years of the Guild's operation.