The Lakeland Little Theatre, organized in 1951, was a volunteer group of actors, stage hands, costumers, etc. and a Board of Directors whose goal was to bring live theater to Lakeland, Florida. The first production was a one night performance of Ayn Rand's comedy-drama, "The Night of January 16th" at the Mayhall Auditorium on April 3, 1951. It was directed by Mildred Springer Iberson, a Florida Southern College faculty member.
In 1952, the Junior Welfare League hired Jimmy Dyas to produce its annual fundraiser follies show, "Red Stocking Time." The Little Theatre Board hired Jimmy Dyas to direct its first formal production of James Thurber’s “The Male Animal” in April 1952. He continued as the director for two seasons before moving north. Mr. Dyas returned to Lakeland in 1971 to direct until the end of 1975. He also directed the final play, “Sunday in New York” in 1982 when the Theatre closed for good. There were many other directors during the 30 year history of the Little Theatre.
The Lakeland Little Theatre performed in the Mayhall Auditorium, which was located on the site of the current City Hall buildings. In 1958 it moved to the new civic center on Lake Mirror where it staged many successful productions. In 1977 the city urged Lakeland Little Theatre to move its productions to the theater of the newly completed civic center, now known as the Lakeland Center. However, because the auditorium was too large for a small community theater group, it lost money. The Lakeland Little Theatre returned to the Lake Mirror center in 1980 until its demise in 1982.
This collection consists of a selection of programs and playbills of the many productions the Lakeland Little Theater staged in its more than thirty years of existence. Advertising pages in the program were not scanned because they varied so little from program to program.