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In 1959, a group of musicians met with the intent of bringing musical theater to our community. Under the sponsorship of the Little Theatre of Watertown, Brigadoon was performed at Case Junior High School in Watertown, NY. After the success of Brigadoon, the Watertown Lyric Theater was formed.
The first endeavor of our organization was held in July of 1962. It was Lerner and Lowe's hit, My Fair Lady, sponsored by the Watertown Education Association for the benefit of their scholarship fund. Following this, Camelot, Annie Get Your Gun and 110 In the Shade were produced between 1963 and 1968. These productions were sponsored by various school and college groups for the benefit of scholarship funds.
After a brief hiatus, we returned to the stage in January 1972 with Schmitt and Jones' charming two-character show, I Do, I Do. That fall, we initiated our first two-show season with Sherman Edward's historic musical 1776. This was our first performance in the Dulles State Office Building.
In 1974, we established our formal scholarship program in honor of the late Guy Smith. The first scholarships were awarded during the 1974-75 school year to three students pursuing a career in music and/or theater. 1978 saw the creation of the Watertown Lyric Theater Summer Stock Program, now known as the Watertown Lyric Youth Academy which immerses children and teenagers all the phases of theatrical production in our workshops.
- Adapted from the "Official History" provided by Joan Jones.