In the summer of 1992, a group of determined thespians got together and formed what later became Encore Theatre Company. From the beginning, ETC attracted a cross-section of the community: all ages and professions. A few had professional experience; many had no experience in theatre at all. There was no money for scripts or lights, but this small, determined band of players was committed to produce "Quality Community Theater". The fall of 1992 marked ETC's first ambitious season with the productions of Nunsense, The Importance of being Earnest and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. With a whole lot of help from the community, our first season was a great success. Each year since then, we have produced three (and sometimes four!) quality productions between September and May.
During the early years we schlepped our sets from venue to venue to perform. In 1995 we found safe haven, (no more set schlepping), upstairs over the Pasquotank Arts Council Gallery. After receiving permission from PAC to renovate the unused upstairs, members scrubbed, cleaned out, threw away, added power, lights, sound, seating, and control booth, turning this space into a 131-seat theater now known as "The Main Street Stage".
In the Summer of 1997, with the impetus of Tom Campbell, ETC began the Starlight Readers Theater program to develop new directors and help give non-members a chance to "get their feet wet" in a forgiving environment. We performed three free performances a summer on Mulligan's Deck: many shows with children's themes to encourage participation by our younger thespians. The program eventually faded (some of you may be asking, "What is 'Mulligan's'?"), however, plans are underway to bring the popular program back!
PAC went through changes of its own, including changing their name to Arts of the Albemarle, and renovating the old Chesson's Building across the street into a state-of-the-art "Center" for visual and performing arts, including the two-story, 250 seat Maguire Theatre, where ETC again moved in 2009 to put on some of the biggest shows in our history! Encore is proud to have been able to donate funds to the renovations, participate in The Center's opening ceremonies, and christened the Maguire with its first theatrical performance, 'A' My Name Will Always Be Alice.
During the past 20 years, Encore Theatre Company has presented over three dozen main productions ranging from musical comedy, to farce, to serious drama. As our venues have increased, so has our audience, support from the community, and the demand for more performances per show.