About American Theatre Company
In the summer of 1970 a group of former University of Tulsa students under the leadership of Kitty Roberts founded what was destined to become the American Theatre Company. The theatre was formed to provide audiences with an alternative to the limited theatre offerings available at that time in Tulsa and to develop a professionally oriented theatrical experience with an aim of establishing a resident professional company. The first season offered a variety of plays ranging from the very newest off-Broadway works to classics like Shakespeare’s Hamlet. That first season also saw the theatre’s first touring shows going to other cities in Oklahoma and New Mexico.
The second season found the theatre moving from their abandoned furniture store at 1st and Main to the Central Library’s Aaronson Auditorium where they stayed for three seasons before being named the official resident theatre at Philbrook Art Center where they premiered the long-running holiday musical A Christmas Carol. With the opening of the Tulsa Performing Arts Center, ATC had a new home.
During these years, ATC continued to offer touring shows all over the state and educational programs in schools throughout Oklahoma. American Theatre Company continues to present Shakespeare under the stars and on the lawn at Philbrook Museum of Art.
In the late 1977 ATC became the only nationally recognized resident professional theatre in Oklahoma by becoming a member of Theatre Communications Group, the national organization for nonprofit professional theatre. In 1979 ATC began doing shows in their “second stage” at the Brook Theatre, which they had converted into a legitimate theater. The Brook and ATC are credited with, if not starting, at least greatly helping the start of the revitalization of Brookside. ATC occupied the Brook for eight years before consolidating the season again at the PAC.
In 2013 American Theatre Company opened a new 6,000+ square foot facility in Tulsa’s burgeoning East Village District. This new space holds offices, two rehearsal/performance spaces as well as is utilized as a multifunctional event space, which includes a small gallery as well as a bar. This time helping to revitalize the east end of downtown Tulsa.
After 44 seasons of offering Tulsa and Oklahoma shows ranging from Hamlet to Twelve Angry Men, Peter Pan to Greater Tuna, Hedda Gabler to Candida, The Boys in the Band to My Big Gay Italian Wedding, The Taming of the Shrew to Red, The Diary of Anne Frank to Romeo and Juliet, Driving Miss Daisy to …Always Patsy Cline, Waiting for Godot to Of Mice and Men, ATC continues to strive to present great shows well told. Continuing the goal of providing Tulsa with the highest quality of live theatre; to create, perform, enlighten and educate; and to explore every possibility of theatre as an art form.