Open Door History
For over 30 years, Open Door Theater has provided family-oriented entertainment and theater experience to hundreds of families.
How It Began
From the start it was a community affair. The first production, Oz, involved ladies from a Littleton nursing home -- some as old as 95. They constructed the life-sized puppets Penny designed, and then manipulated them during the performance as the Citizens of Oz. The Friday Night Fun Club, a social club for people with special needs, painted sets in Nancy's basement on weekends.
No one knew then how well this great idea would persevere.
The Early Years
By the third show (Pinocchio), the troupe took a scaled-down and improvised version of Pinocchio to the Gates School in Acton, and also to the children's unit of Metropolitan State Hospital (at the time a locked unit for children with mental illness). With a small cast and lots of costumes, the troupe acted out the main plot, and when more characters were needed, they asked children in the audience to volunteer, bringing community theater to a locked ward of a mental hospital.
The Middle Years
Alice In Wonderland and Peter Pan were two memorable shows from the middle years. With Alice, Open Door returned to the idea of traveling a show, and took it to a rehab center in New Hampshire. With Peter Pan, there was the high-flying excitement of the show -- literally, as Open Door brought in a well-known theatrical company to fly the lead role.
Over the course of time, families came and went, but many came and stayed. There are families still involved with the shows today that have been involved for over a decade. Adults whose kids have gone off to college still return to be a part of Open Door family.
Open Door Today
Adapted with permission from work by Ann Seamans for the 25th anniversary show.
Copyright © 2008-2017 Open Door Theatre of Acton, Inc.