Fifty-one years in the Greenbrier Valley

Fifty-one years ago today, Greenbrier Valley Theatre incorporated as Greenbrier Repertory Theatre Co.

One year before, in 1966, John and Betty Benjamin founded the theatre, holding the first performances in a tent on the Greenbrier River. An old photo in our archives depicts the entrance to the area surrounding the tent – a dirt road leading up to a large tent with a smaller, striped tent behind. You can imagine how our audience must have felt as they approached – giddy with anticipation that something special and unusual was likely to unfold inside those fabric walls!

1960s-tent.jpg

In ’74, we revitalized as Greenbrier Valley Theatre, and two years later, made our first permanent home at “The Barn” at Greenbrier Valley Airport. In 1977, the goal was made to become a year-round theatre. In 2000, we achieved that goal.

Now, here we are – the state professional theatre of West Virginia, housed in a beautiful, state-of-the-art building in beautiful downtown Lewisburg. We are on the cusp of our Mainstage Season, with An Enemy of the People opening Friday night!

The stage will host a fantastic cast of accomplished actors including our own Music Director Kermit Medsker (playing Morten Kiil) and Education Director and Associate Artistic Director Courtney Susman (playing Petra). Local students Jameson Vance (playing Ejlif) and Christian Montgomery (playing Morten) bring fresh talent to the stage, continuing our long tradition of nurturing young actors. National talent includes the Emmy Award-winning actor Stuart Margolin in a stunning turn as Dr. Thomas Stockmann and a full cast of actors who are thrilled to perform on the stage in our little gem of a town.

From the banks of the Greenbrier River to the stage professional theatre of West Virginia – what a wild, wonderful 51 years it has been. We hope you will continue to enjoy this journey with us, beginning with the compelling drama opening this week.

Laura Kastenbauer