The History of Scripps Ranch Community Theatre & Other Performing Arts
On June 16, 1978, the Scripps Ranch Community Theatre presented its first production, Our Town, at the little theater at United States International University. Open auditions had been held in the multipurpose room at Miramar Ranch Elementary.
The idea for a community theater came from B.J. Scott, a Scripps Ranch resident who had appeared in a Patio Playhouse production in Escondido and was tired of the commute. She advertised in area newspapers and got a great response from interested thespians.
In August 1978, the second production of the Scripps Ranch Community Theatre, Pure as the Driven Snow, was performed outdoors on a concrete slab, near the old Vons on Scripps Ranch Boulevard.
Lighting was provided by Steve Tuttle via “the longest extension cord you ever saw” from his dental office. Dr. Arnold Gass was the prime volunteer who helped to get this production started.
In 1980, The Scripps Ranch Community Theatre’s production of Mousetrap qualified the SRCT for membership in Associated Community Theatres (ACT) and SRCT was first represented at the Aubrey Awards.
During its first six seasons, the Scripps Ranch Community Theatre did not have a steady venue for its performances. They performed at USIU, Wangenheim Middle School, the Scripps Ranch Swim and Racquet Club, and an outdoor basketball court. They couldn’t publicize plays too far in advance because they didn’t know where they would be performing.
During its 10th season in 1987, the SRCT performed a reprise of its first production, Our Town.
In December 1990, the Scripps Performing Art Centre put on the first annual production of The Nutcracker Suite, which was the only all-children production of this classic Tchaikovsky ballet in all of San Diego.
The founding members of the Scripps Ranch Music Club answered a call for “serious music lovers who would enjoy performing for others in the nonjudgmental setting of a Scripps Ranch home” and met in the home of Bob and Marianne Paul in the summer of 1991. The initial members included Russ Schaefer, Miriam Cole, Dorothea Kramer Elaine Neuss, and Bob and Marianne Paul. The club performed at the Scripps Ranch library, nursing homes and other venues around the county.
In 1994, after 16 years of moving venue to venue, the Scripps Ranch Community Theater moved back to Scripps Ranch with a long-term relationship to use the theatre at USIU, which is now Alliant University.
The Scripps Ranch Theatre took 23 awards out of a possible 43 awards for creativity and artistic excellence at the 38th annual Associated Community Theatres of San Diego Celebration and Aubrey Awards on July 28, 2002.
Scripps Ranch Community Theater celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2008.