"The theatre is so endlessly fascinating because it is so accidental. It is so like life."
In 1958, Bing Limbaugh, a former Sikeston student attending college in Memphis, met with a group of Sikeston residents interested in starting a theater group, which led to the selection of a board of directors. When formal incorporation papers were submitted to the state of Missouri, Sikeston Little Theatre (SLT), Inc was born.
In October of 1959, SLT presented its first play, Blithe Spirit, in the old high school gym (now part of the YMCA). This would be SLT's home for the next 13 years. In 1964 SLT scheduled its first summer workshop providing instruction in acting, directing, make-up, costumes and theatre management with presentations by Southeast Missouri State faculty members. In 1965, SLT presented its first musical, Sound of Music, and with its success, SLT decided to stage a musical each season.
In 1971, stage productions moved from the gym when SLT helped the city purchase the old First Baptist Church on South Kingshighway, and with grant money, the building became the Sikeston Activity Center.
In September, 1981, with a bequest from Margaret Harris, the Activity Center was sold, and the city of Sikeston purchased the old Malone Theatre for use as a cultural center. SLT was to manage the building and it was renamed the Chaney-Harris Cultural Center. With the help of many organizations and individual volunteers, over $38,000 in renovations were completed and the first stage production, Alice in Wonderland, took place in 1983.
To be continued . . .