Mission & History

ACT INC was founded in 1979 by a group of actors who wanted the opportunity to perform in the summer. At that time, the only consistent summer theatre in St. Louis was the MUNY; no Non-Equity groups produced in the summer. Our charter was to produce the “lesser-known works of well known playwrights or plays not often produced”.

Over the years this, most well-known works we did (Charley’s Aunt, Life with Father, The Matchmaker) were no longer popular. We introduced lesser-known playwrights, such as Cicely Hamilton, Lennox Robinson, Ashley Dukes. We did some very old shows (Servant of Two Masters) and some pretty new ones (All in the Timing and Heroes). We love to produce “plays of charm and literary merit.” Certain playwrights keep appealing to us: we’ve done four Shaw’s, four Noël Cowards, three J.B. Priestleys, three A.A. Milnes, three Agatha Christies, two Oscar Wildes, two J.M. Barries, two Somerset Maughams.

We produced at the Studio Theatre at the Loretto Hilton (now The Rep) from 1979 through 1996, but in 1997 Webster University needed the space , so our ’97 and ’98 seasons were in the old proscenium theatre at Fontbonne. In 1999 Fontbonne closed that theater, and we moved to proscenium theatre at the College of Pharmacy, near Barnes Hospital. In 2001, Fontbonne opened it’s black box theatre, and we were happy to return there, where we remained through 2013, when Fontbonne told us they needed the space.

We now perform at the Emerson Black Box Theater at the J. Scheidegger Center for the Arts at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, MO. We are pleased to announce that Lindenwood University has named us their Resident Summer Repertory Company.

Our board of directors is unusual—perhaps unique—in that the members are involved in the actual production of the plays. In many ways, we are more of a Theatrical Company than a traditional board. Current board members are:

Rob Grumich                      Tim Grumich

Susan Howat                       Emily Jones

Liz Hopefl                            Brian Mischel

Lori Renna                          Emily Robinson

Jane Sullivan                      Michael Sullivan

We are dedicated to reviving “forgotten gems of theatre history” Only two other theatres in the country have similar goals—the Mint Theatre and the Actors Company Theatre, both in New York. And so, as we say, “when you’re looking forward to looking back . . . “ it’s time to see what’s ‘on the Boards’ at ACT INC.