Editorial: The Dalton Little Theater makes our community better

When there is talk about a community, you often hear about its "quality of life," how important that is.

Many things go into making a good or desirable quality of life, including how well the schools are educating their students and the recreational and cultural opportunities that are available.

For 150 years, the Dalton community has been blessed with a local institution that has contributed greatly to its residents' quality of life, and which continues those contributions today.

The Dalton Little Theatre, according to its website, had its first documented performance in 1869, beginning as The Dalton Amateurs and continuing as The Sophoclean Dramatic Club and The Dalton Players before becoming the Dalton Little Theatre in 1955. It has operated continuously except for breaks during World War I and World War II.

"The organization formally incorporated in 1958, and found its first home in 1981 when it converted the former firehouse built in 1888 into The Firehouse Theatre," the website states. "The Firehouse Theatre is often referred to as The Old Dalton Firehouse and it remains the home of Dalton Little Theatre to this day."

This community has been blessed by the many productions of the theater over the years, but what may be overlooked are the numerous people it takes to put on a show -- the DLT is a volunteer-run organization -- including of course the actors and actresses and directors, but also the many behind-the-scenes volunteers, including those who design and build the sets, work on the costuming, serve as ushers and concessions staff and give of their time to the theater through its board of directors.

All of these fine people deserve our gratitude for continuing the legacy of this important cultural component of our community.

To celebrate the Dalton Little Theatre's illustrious history, the DLT is offering shows today and Saturday that promise a review of the theater's history, performances from past shows and a staged reading of "The Green Mountain Boy," the DLT's first documented production. Numerous DLT veterans will participate. There will also be a slideshow of historical photos.

"I love Dalton Little Theatre because it reaches out to the community and tries to bring the community in," said Jennifer Jones, who is directing the performances.

We couldn't have said it better.

Today's and Saturday's shows both start at 7 p.m., with doors opening at 6:30. The performances are free, but reservations are encouraged. Reservations can be made online at daltonlittletheatre.com, by calling (706) 226-6618 or emailing dlt@optilink.us.

As the Dalton Little Theatre reaches out to the community once again with its love of performance and the theater, we encourage you if you can to accept its invitation and attend one of these shows, marveling in the commitment and passion of your fellow community members who come alive on stage (and behind it) so that your quality of life is enhanced and your community is a better place to live.

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