THE HISTORY OF HARLEQUINS
In September of 1927, a local physician, Dr. Paul Squire, invited a group of Sandusky men and women interested in the advancement of culture to a meeting in McKittrick’s Tea Room on East Adams Street.
Out of that meeting came an organization that has entertained our area for more than three-quarters of a century: Harlequins Community Theatre.
In the beginning, Harlequins had no permanent
home. Performances were held in churches,
a warehouse, an attic and several local schools.
Finally, Harlequins arrived at its present home,
the coach-house of the fine old mansion at
414 Wayne Street.
The intimate, 97-seat space was first leased as
a work area in 1940 with the first production
being held there in 1958. Before that first show,
however, Harlequins members removed the
horse stalls, laid a concrete floor, erected an
addition to provide the stage area, and
converted the loft into a green room and
storage space for costumes and properties.
Today, Harlequins is the oldest continuously running community theatre in the state of Ohio. We are a non-profit, volunteer organization associated with the Ohio Community Theatre Association (OCTA) and the American Association of Community Theatres (AACT). We produce three to four shows each year between November and May. Most shows are performed 6 times over two weekends.
Harlequins provides a theatrical experience that demonstrates that an appreciation of the arts is still of vital importance to many individuals in Erie County and the surrounding area. We often recruit young people from local schools for our various shows as a necessary part in a particular play. Their satisfaction in achievement and understanding of commitment and responsibility is immeasurable.
The next time you see one of our shows, take the time to think about the dedication, talent and sincere desire to please our audiences that is “behind” the scenes.