The community theater for the Plant City area began with the idea of one young woman, Clare Mills, who had returned to Plant City after college and began her teaching career, and had been involved in theater and dance at college. She found she missed these arts and decided it was time to see if the community would support a community theater.
The first production was a variety show put together by Mills and David Graves, Plant City High School’s choral director. Called “Let’s Hear It for Me,“ it was staged in August, 1980, outdoors in the paved area at the old Union Station Depot in downtown Plant City. The facility had not been used in many years and since the depot building was to be used for dressing rooms and a green room, it needed cleaning, so a group of theater devotees spent many hours cleaning, taking out trash and garbage and the remnants of where street people had been living.
Since the fledgling group had no money, the Arts Council of Plant City was approached for help. The council put up $400 as a contingency fund and the theater was at that time considered a part of the arts council.
Theater in Plant City was off and running. Twenty-six years later, it has become an institution in the community and the training ground for many young people who have gone on to theater-related professions. The membership continues to grow and not only has it become financially self-supporting, a fund has been established to eventually fund a theater building of its own for the group.
In November, 1994, the group incorporated under the name of Plant City Entertainment, Inc., a step that was necessary in applying for a non-profit status under the 501(C) tax rulings, a feat that was also completed a short time later.