In April, 1989, two members of the Spring City Woman’s Club put out a call to anyone interested in starting a community theater in Rhea County in order to bring “live” theater to the county and to showcase the many talents of the area residents.
An organizational meeting was announced. Twenty-four people came to that meeting to hear that the would-be theater had no money, no equipment, no play, no cast, no sets, no stage, no props, no name, and no place to put on a production. We had nothing except enthusiasm and the sure notion that, YES, Rhea County should have a community theater and the general attitude of “Let’s Do It!”
Three weeks after that first meeting, a play-reading committee had selected a play; a fund-raising drive was started; a director and co-producers were chosen; auditions were announced; publicity was published; set crew was appointed; play books ordered; tickets and posters were readied; and a place was provided by a local resident. It needed cleaning, wiring, and a stage curtain, and also “Porta Pots.” It was ideal. More than 40 volunteers spent four Saturdays getting this theater ready.
With the reinstating of the old TVT charter, the new TVT opened with “Harvey” in June, 1989. Since its reorganization, TVT has given benefit performances for the Grandview Community Center, the Spring City Depot restoration project, and the WE CARE group. In addition, TVT has sponsored a free summer children’s theater workshop every year.
Productions have played in Spring City, Watts Bar, Grandview, Dayton, and Harriman. Several plays were performed in conjunction with the annual Strawberry Festival.
The long-range goal of TVT was to acquire a permanent “home” in Rhea County. This was accomplished by the generosity of many members of the community, especially Bill Hilleary for his donation of a building, which was completely renovated by volunteers and became the beautiful theater you see today. It would have been impossible without many, many volunteers working very, very hard for many, many hours. TVT thanks all of them. In June 1996, our dream came true. Our premier play was Neil Simon’s “Rumors.”