Redlands Footlighters Theatre
Established in 1945, Redlands Footlighters Theatre is a volunteer-run arts organization that produces high-quality live theater for the Inland Empire community.
Show tickets are $18 general admission, $12 students with ID.
Help support a 78-year long tradition of quality theatre by joining as a Sustaining Member. Contact us for more information.
A Community of Actors Since 1945
The vision began with four women – Mary Armstrong, Marianne Finley, Lucille Crews Marsh, and Ruth Welch – and grew over the years to become a thriving, volunteer-led community theatre.
The first production, Mr. and Mrs. North, directed by Bernard Craven, was presented in Clock Auditorium at Redlands High School. For several years Footlighters traveled between venues, presenting shows in the Contemporary Club, the Y.W.C.A., the Redlands Bowl, as well as at locations in Yucaipa and Banning.
In 1952, Merl Williams proposed the vacant Grove Theater as an ideal location for a permanent Footlighters home. Robert Sherrod, Joe Camp, Howard Avery, and Stuart Campbell contributed leadership and expertise while the Footlighters’ members went to work fashioning a center stage utilizing the unique sloping floor.
Footlighters incorporated in 1955, acquired non-profit status and began saving for a theatre. In 1969, Merl and Peggy Williams led some far-sighted members in negotiating the purchase of the land on for the theatre’s current location on Barton Road in Redlands. The new theatre opened in 1980. Construction was supervised by Joe Camp, Nick Salpas, and many volunteer members. Stuart Campbell, who directed the first play at the Grove, also directed that same first play, The Curious Savage, at the new theatre. There was much to be done in the building, but shows were presented while work continued.
For over 77 years, the dedicated actors, directors and volunteers at Footlighters have produced annual seasons of quality amateur theatre for the Redlands community. During the 2020 Covid-19 shutdowns, a series of outdoor benefit concerts and plays helped Footlighters survive the difficult financial setbacks. In 2021, the Greenroom at Footlighters was renovated as a ‘second-stage’ venue for improv, comedy, and music performances.