50 years ago, in 1972, a group arts leaders met in the Gopher Hole in the basement of the Weatherford Hotel. Their mission: To build a theatre for the city and people of Flagstaff.
The fledgling theatre’s first show, which had just recently closed on Broadway, was the comedy What Did We Do Wrong? Apparently, we did things right. Because 50 years later, we’re still going strong. In a 7/13/72 article in the Daily Sun, Theatrikos’ first director Mary Sides said the show marks the debut of Theatrikos, “the year-around theatre group.” Since then, Theatrikos has done over 200 shows.
In 1988 we moved into our current home, Doris Harper-White Playhouse in downtown Flagstaff. The theatre, built in 1923, had served as an Elks Lodge, dance hall, furniture warehouse, union hall and public library before Theatrikos moved in. In 2001 Theatrikos was named Flagstaff’s Organization of the Year. The following year, at Theatrikos’ 30th anniversary in 2002, the theatre was named in honor Doris Harper-White, a former Flagstaff Citizen of the Year and a 32 year Flagstaff theatre veteran.
Education programs are a vital part of Theatrikos’ mission. TheatriKids continues to teach students not just theatre, but life skills they’ll take with them forever. The first educational performance workshop was Where the Sidewalk Ends on 7/5/03. TheatriKids also continues to this day as a integral part of the Flagstaff community.
Theatrikos is proud and excited to be celebrating our 50th anniversary. We are humbled to stand on the shoulders of our founders, build on their successes, and continue to move the theatre forward for another 50 years.