Bay Area Educational Theater Company was established in 1996 by a group of ambitious and dedicated parent volunteers who identified a need for theater education in the community. They wanted to provide theater training and performance opportunities to anyone and everyone who had the desire to be involved in theatrical productions, regardless of age, cultural background, prior experience or level of ability. The vision of the founding board of directors was to expand the traditional idea of educational theater to include adults as well as children, giving all members of the family and the community at large the opportunity to grow together. The philosophy that adult roles would be played by adults and children’s roles by children led to a new genre of theater company that bridged the gap between children’s theater and community theater.
Bay Area eTc’s first productions were rehearsed at the Doelger Center in Daly City and performed at McAteer High School Theater in San Francisco (now San Francisco School of the Arts), the use of both venues having been donated by the community. Company business was conducted at participants’ homes and other donated venues. Sets were constructed and stored in volunteers’ garages.
eTc employed talented and professional artistic staff members to provide guidance and professionalism to the fledgling company. It was important from the beginning that we assert our dedication to our mission to provide a quality theater experience.