We were established in 1999, and are the very heart of live performance in Ellensburg and the Kittitas Valley. As we enter our 25th anniversary year it is good to reflect on where we’ve come from and where we are going. In the late 1990's, Laughing Horse Summer Theatre, a long-running community produced summer stock theatre program in Ellensburg, shut its doors. At that time, a sub-committee of the Laughing Horse Arts Foundation earnestly committed to step-up into the gap to provide quality community theatre, with a specific focus on musical theatre. From those early discussions, Valley Musical Theatre was born, and our first production of Oliver! took place in the summer of 1999.
Over the past 25 years, we have expanded our theatrical offerings from one summer musical blockbuster to 5 regular events, including the summer mainstage musical, a youth production, a cabaret style dinner theatre, a Christmas music/poetry event, and a more edgy “After Dark” series with small cast plays and musicals. We’ve also added workshops in acting, technical theatre, stage combat and more.
While our mission to provide quality community-based theatre remains unchanged, the number of actors, crew and patrons have grown as well, and there has been a greater need to offer more than just musicals. In the future, we have visions of being able to offer Shakespeare in the Park, Reader’s Theatre, workshops, youth camps, and more! All these changes gave the Board of Valley Musical Theatre clear indication that we needed to change as well, and update our organizational name to better reflect the breadth and scope of the performing arts we currently deliver, and plan to bring to the community in the future. Hence we transitioned to Valley Theatre Company in July 2023.