History of the Santa Fe Little Theatre


The Santa Fe Little Theatre, aka The Santa Fe Playhouse, produces, develops and presents the full spectrum of the theatrical arts for and with Santa Fe's diverse community.


The Santa Fe Little Theatre was incorporated in 1922 and has presented a season of theatre ever since. It has created a historic and cultural legacy within the community, preserving a heritage that was created by its founder, Mary Austin, in the early 1900's. She envisioned a theatre that reflected the Anglo, Native American and Spanish cultures of New Mexico. The theatre accomplishes this task with its open door policy; anyone who wishes to participate, either on stage, backstage or front-of-stage, is welcome at the theatre.

The theatre is currently known as The Santa Fe Playhouse; the theatre was known as The Santa Fe Community Theatre during the 70's and 80's. SFP is the oldest continuously running theatre company west of the Mississippi. It is distinguished by being housed in an historic adobe building in the Barrio de Analco, one of the oldest town sections in America and is noted for the Fiesta Melodrama, a spoof and satire on the City Different, and its BenchWarmers Series, an evening of eight original 15 minute plays written by local authors.

The Playhouse is dedicated to presenting works that give voice to our many cultures and communities as was intended by Mary Austin. The Playhouse offers a variety of theatre year-round with musicals, comedies, dramas, murder-mysteries, children's theatre, and classics. The Playhouse offers its space at a reduced rate or free-of-charge for rehearsals, meetings and performances to various schools, artistic groups and institutions in the community. In addition, the Playhouse co-produces or rents the theatre at minimal fees to performing organizations and individuals that do not have their own performance space. These groups include IRONWEED PRODUCTIONS, The Arden Players, and New Mexico Dance Coalition, to name a few. The Santa Fe Playhouse serves an important function in a community where intimate performance space is limited and available for local artists.

Over 150 actors, directors, designers and technicians are enlisted each season, all artists and residents of the greater Santa Fe area. The Playhouse serves Santa Fe's diverse community, professional and amateur, aiming for the highest artistic caliber possible. The Playhouse provides first-time directors, actors, designers and technicians with the opportunity to work and gain hands-on experience at the theatre and supports the work of professionals, playwrights, musicians, comedians, dancers and poets. In addition to the artistic and production personnel, over 350 volunteers are enlisted annually in various capacities for the theatre.

The Playhouse offers its performances at affordable prices and serves a wide cross-section of populations. This includes Senior Citizens, students, teachers, Santa Fe's Diverse Tri-Cultural population, teens, children and tourists. Ticket prices range from $10 to $25, and we offer our volunteers free passes to the shows. Free tickets are also distributed to various institutions. No one has ever been turned away for their inability to pay, as we always need volunteers to help with the shows.

The Playhouse is accessible to physically challenged people and accommodates wheelchairs.