Collections and Personal Papers:

Boar's Head Dramatic Society of Syracuse University: Rome Civic Theatre

Rome Civic Theatre In 1951 a non-profit theatre organization called The Rome Civic Theatre was founded with the intention to bring to Rome, Oneida Co., NY and the surrounding communities a different play each week. The small, 200 seat theatre, called the Civic Theatre was located on the second floor of 219 E. Dominick Street. The first production June Mad, a three act comedy by Florence Ryerson and Colin Clements, opened on June 19th, 1951 with Gerald F. Reidenbaugh as director and a cast and crew including many Syracuse University students. Throughout the summer of 1951 a total of nine plays were performed. It was the only summer stock theatre in the area since theatres at Oneida Castle, Bridgeport, and Skaneateles did not open for the summer season. The following year, 1952, the company brought a total of eight different plays to the theatre. In 1953 the group joined with another group to become the Rome Community Theater.

The playbill for the final 1951 production, The Fatal Weakness carried the following statement from the Director:

    It is with trepidation that a director introduces himself to a new audience. He frets over his schedule of plays, attempting to keep it diversified and still display his company to its best advantage. Most of all, he is fearful that the audience he is about to meet will not respond with the eagerness he feels in wanting to meet them. As a director, I soon found that my latter concern was my least one. Rome responded both graciously and enthusiastically to its new theatre.

    Now before the opportunity escapes itself, I especially wish to express my gratitude to local merchants and kind friends who by their generosity have supported the Rome Civic Theatre, I wish to singularly thank producer Alvin C. Goddard and those key citizens who comprise our theatre's board of directors. It has been pleasant working with them. I also want to give my very best wishes to the company hoping for their continued success in the future. Finally, I wish to extend a warm-hearted farewell to the Rome Civic Theatre audience. You have been kind and gracious. I speak for the company and myself in saying I hope we will meet soon again.

    G. F. Reidenbaugh

1951 Productions

  • June Mad
  • The Bishop Misbehaves
  • The Second Man
  • Night Must Fall
  • Hay Fever
  • Smilin' Thru
  • See How They Run
  • Outward Bound
  • Good Housekeeping [no photographs available]
  • The Fatal Weakness

    Slideshow (click to view)

1952 Productions

  • The Curious Savage
  • Claudia
  • Brighten the Corner
  • Ladies in Retirement
  • Nothing But the Truth
  • My Heart Don't Say So
  • Seven Keys to Baldpate
  • Harvey

    Slideshow (click to view)