A New Theatre is Born
"In 1959, Bing Limbaugh ,a former Sikeston student attending college in Memphis and an active participant of the Memphis Little Theatre; met with a group of Sikeston residents interested in starting a theatre group in Sikeston. The group met , elected a board of board of directors, filed formal incorporation papers, selected the first season selection of plays and Sikeston Little Theatre, aka SLT was born. In October of 1959, Blithe Spirit was performed at the High School Gym. As the town grew, new schools were built but SLT continued to perform there for 13 years, under the names of Jr High School Gym and Middle School Auditorium. It is now part of the YMCA.
Auditions were held in Dr. offices, homes, library basement or where there was space available. Sikeston Little Theatre would eventually be performing in many different places until a place to call ""Home"" was built, but that would be many years down the road.
"As for the beginning of SLT, it was during my involvement with Memphis Little Theatre while in school at Memphis State that the idea of a community theatre in Sikeston first occurred to me and, eventually became a goal. I discussed the "how" of starting one with Eugart Yerian, the long-time resident director of Memphis Little Theatre and very experienced in community theatre administration. Given the population of Sikeston at the the time and, my age (19), he was somewhat skeptical that the endeavor could attract enough support to succeed. Nonetheless, he was very patient with me in his tutoring and, as it turned out, grossly underestimated Sikeston's enthusiasm. Upon returning to Sikeston during the summer, I started talking about the possibility of a community theatre with various people who might have an interest in developing such a project. Although some skepticism was encountered, there was enough positive reaction that Mrs. Norma Carter and I did a little advertising and scheduled the first organizational meeting. The turnout was terrific, including some of the people still very active in SLT, and that, as they say, was that. Others took it from there and made it a success. It is very gratifying to see that it is a spirited and thriving community group after almost 30 years. SLT has successfully tackled some difficult productions, which I think reflects the dedication of those involved over the years, whose time and considerable talents are what has really made it work."
Added note, at the time of this posting another 30+ years have passed and SLT is still going strong in its 63rd season. Many new technical aspects, costuming, sets have been added since those early days. I wonder what the early founders would think about them. Thanks for the seed that was planted so long ago. Please take some time and browse our site.