Founders: Mr. Joseph J. Schramm & Mrs. Susan White Schramm
All children are accepted and made to feel important. We provide shows with a wide range of parts to accommodate many children with lines, writing additional songs to add to productions so that more children will have an opportunity to shine.
West Deptford Little Theatre had its conception in the fall of 1973. It was the project of Mr. Joseph J. Schramm, a teacher at WD High School and his wife Susan T Schramm, an elementary school teacher. The Schramms and some students of the high school approached Mr. Robert Oldt, a member of the WD Township Recreation Commission about a community theatre group for children and teens. The township supported the idea with start up money of $1000.00 and the use of the high school for its productions. Mr. and Mrs. Mike Cassabian, parents and township residents offered their home and yard for rehearsals.
Little Theatre began with about 65 children from age 7 thru 15. High School students helped by teaching music, dance and designing scenery, thus earning independent study credits from the school. The first season of theatre lasted from the end of June to the middle of August and produced four shows. They were Cinderella, The Emperor’s New Clothes, Snow White and an original piece written by one of the high school students called “The Fantasy Matchmakers”.
Since then, every season the organization has grown. The township gave us a building to rehearse in and store our equipment. We were also continued the use of the High School stage and on occasions when that was not available, the Middle School or Redbank School was made available to us. This allowed us to give the high school and college students who direct and produce for us, a scholarship to help further their education. Over the years, our numbers have grown from the original 65 members to now being almost 300 members strong. Children’s theatre is still running strong, but we also have one of the best Community Theatre groups in the state.
We have traveled state wide to perform and even spanned out to a major theatre competition in Atlanta, GA, this competition is sponsored by Music Theatre International Inc. Here we won a number of awards, including Best All Around Production and Best All Around Actress. This experience allowed us the opportunity to perform on the stage of the historic Fox Theatre in Atlanta. Besides traveling to performances and competing we also have represented our community in parades and benefits around our state.
West Deptford Little Theatre and Community Theatre continue to have a great deal of community support and its productions have grown in size and scope. Our members have gained an appreciation for live musical theatre and some have gone on to be successful professionals in the theatre and performing arts. We are very proud of our organization and what we have accomplished. Theatre continues, six weeks of fun, learning, and excitement with more kids and fabulous shows! West Deptford Little Theatre Motto for the last 40 years: “Live Theatre….Entertaining, Exciting and Educational fun for the whole family!”