The Gaslight Theatre Company began in August of 2003 when a group of Wilkes-Barre actors got together to produce William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The play was produced on a shoestring budget. After a successful run, the group of actors-turned-producers decided to continue producing plays and Gaslight was born.
The company’s mission was to bring high quality productions of classical and under produced plays to audiences in the North Eastern Pennsylvania area. Moliere’s Tartuffe was the company’s second endeavor and the positive reception it received from local audiences helped the fledgling company build momentum.
During the 2004-2005 season, Gaslight revisited the work of Shakespeare on two occasions producing two of his great tragedies, Macbeth (2004) and Romeo and Juliet (2005). The company also added works by Samuel Beckett, Pierre de Marivaux, and Sophocles to their growing lineup of theatre greats.
In 2006, the company began the season by turning to an American theatre classic, A Moon for the Misbegotten by Eugene O’Neill. After a successful run, Gaslight submitted ACT III from this production for competition in the Pennsylvania Association of Community Theatres’ 2006 theatre festival. Actors Jack Evans (James Tyrone, Jr.) and Christa Manning (Josie) received awards for Excellence in Acting. The company also received The David Matthews Award for Excellence in Direction and the PACT-Fest 2006 award for Outstanding Production. This final award sent the performance to the Eastern States Theatre Association Regional Festival as the representative for Pennsylvania. The performance had repeat success taking home awards for Acting, Directing and the festival’s top prize for the production.
In 2007 Gaslight took The Dumb Waiter by Harold Pinter to the PACT festival as a performance piece. Although the play was not a part of the overall competition, the judges awarded Ron Arya (Gus) for Exellence in Acting and the David Mathews Award for Excellence in Direction to Sean J. McKeown.
From 2006-2008 Gaslight produced eight plays. They included the addition of a series of plays for children. The company continued to produce works by Shakespeare and added a number of contemporary works to the list.
By 2009 Gaslight had produced eighteen productions in what felt like no time at all. That group of actors-turned-producers from 2003 had not slept much in six years and for the duration of 2009 they took a break from producing. During this period Gaslight was idle but the members were busy enhancing their individual skills in preparation of Gaslight’s return. Some members completed advanced degrees, some acted, some traveled, and some began families. All of them read plays and looked forward to the next show.
In January of 2010 the break ended and Gaslight was back on the stage with a production of Dancing at Lughnasa by Brian Friel. That August, the group went back to where it all started in 2003 with a production of Shakespeare’s The Tempest. In 2011 Gaslight produced Quiet Cowboy, a play written by Gaslight member, Matthew S. Hinton. This play marked Gaslight’s first production of an original play.
Thanks for taking the time to read a little about us. We look forward to seeing you at the theatre.