THIRTY-FIVE YEARS IN THE MAKING
Our Mission Statement
The primary purpose of HCCT is to present and promote
quality theatre activities and programs that entertain, educate, and encourage
community participation in support of performance and related cultural arts.
On June 6, 1985, GiGi Fischer and Phyl Holbert hosted a cocktail party at the Fischers' home for people they thought might be interested in having a theatre in Horseshoe Bay. They were surprised and pleased when 22 guests attended and expressed their enthusiasm for the project. That evening Melissa Rowe came up with the name "Hill Country Community Theatre," a name they chose to signify that the theatre was an enterprise for all of the surrounding communities to participate in and enjoy.
After the first meeting, we chose the original board of governors: GiGi Fischer, Phyl Holbert, Cookie Puckett, Charlie Keiser, Jim Rowe, Ken Holbert, George Edgerton, Marge Oberholtzer, and Gloria Sams.
The early meetings were covered dish suppers where members could get acquainted and enjoy some theatre-related activities. They brought in people to talk about different aspects of the theatre and to do some entertaining and teaching. They also enjoyed doing informal readings from various plays. Betty Delisle volunteered to do a regular newsletter, and thus "The Stage Whisper" was born.
For their first public outing, Carolyn Young pulled together some musical numbers, and GiGi prepared some readings from comedies. They performed their revue at Quail Point, and it was so successful, the Yacht Club invited them to perform as well.
By this time, they were ready to start building a patron base. They got their non-profit status and began inviting members to join them for $25 a year. To prepare for their first performance for patrons, they rehearsed at Quail Point, built sets in a warehouse Jim Rowe managed to find for them, and put on the production at Marble Falls High School. Tickets were $2 each.
They never turned down an opportunity to go out in the community to talk about the theatre and perform for interested groups. The Horseshoe Bay Heritage Guild asked them to do an old-time melodrama for the Fourth of July celebration, a tradition that continued for many years. With some help from people who came in to give classes on acting, directing, and set construction, they began to prepare for their first season.
Over the years finding space to perform was sometimes a problem. At one point at the old high school, they were rehearsing while a basketball game played on one side, and a town meeting was taking place on the other. Thanks to Dutch Lemming, the Cottonwood Shores Fire Chief, they moved in with the Volunteer Fire Department, where they shared the space with the fire trucks and crews. When the building sold at auction, they hit the road doing one-act plays throughout the area. Finally, with the help of loyal supporters and fundraisers, they were able to buy and renovate a boat dealership in Cottonwood Shores, where the theatre has been ever since. The first show in the new theatre was Steel Magnolias.
Over the years, not only was the building expanded (Jim Rowe helped add dressing rooms, a scene shop, a kitchen, and other amenities), but activities have grown as well. They brought in shows, they began a children's summer program and offered acting and directing lessons to those interested. They took bus trips to see other theatres perform. Various outreach programs were introduced, including a scholarship program, an endowment fund, a playwriting festival, and networking with Harmony School and Faith Academy in Marble Falls.
As we look toward the future and the many challenges that lie ahead, we offer our heartfelt gratitude for the dedication and support of all the volunteers, the patrons, and the audiences who have made the Hill Country Community Theatre a reality!