The Charleston Light Opera Guild
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About the Charleston Light Opera Guild



The Charleston Light Opera Guild was founded in 1949 by area vocal teachers and a relocated former professional singer and actor, Leonard Stocker. The first production was HMS Pinafore. Early productions were operettas.

The Guild is a community theatre that strives to present quality classic, new and cutting edge musical theatre to area audiences at affordable prices and to provide an outlet for nurturing the talents of singers, actors, dancers, musicians and behind the scenes civic volunteers.

Over 225 productions have been mounted of over 130 unique musicals.

A production of Oklahoma! in 1960 introduced the Broadway musical.

All casts are chosen in open auditions by the show directors and an audition committee.

Annually Guild productions provide performance opportunities for over 200 singers, actors, dancers and orchestra members.

Over 14,000 audience members view a Guild production each year and co-productions with the Clay Center enable another 2,400 students to attend a performance.

Productions are mounted in the Charleston Civic Center Little Theatre, Clay Center Maier Performance Hall, Norman L. Fagan State Theatre at the Culture Center and at the Charleston Light Opera Guild Theatre.

The Charleston Light Opera Guild owns and maintains its own theatre and workshop where costumes are stored, some sets are built, productions are rehearsed and some smaller and summer musicals are presented.

The Guild has an active summer theatre program that is over forty years old. Summer theatre has mostly been designed for older high school and college age students plus young adults.

The first Guild African–American musical, The Wiz, was mounted thirty years ago.

The Guild is governed by an elected Board of Directors and a contracted artistic and musical director.

The Guild has mounted a new production for FestivALL Charleston since FestivALL's origin in 2005.

The Guild credits many working professionals in theatre, dance, music and production among its alumni including Jennifer Garner, Kathy Mattea, Ann Magnuson and Joe Chrest.

A gala benefit show and reception was hosted by Golden Globe winning actress and Guild alumna Jennifer Garner during the FestivALL 2009 production of Thouroughly Modern Millie at the Charleston Civic Center.  The Charleston Light Opera Guild presented The Civil War at the Culture Center in June 2013 as part of the West Virginia Sesquicentennial Commission's official commemoration of West Virginia's 150th birthday.  Guest artists included West Virginia native and noted actor David Selby who appeared as Abraham Lincoln on June 20 and Mountain Stage host Larry Groce.  In February 2014 the Guild recognized 40 years of continual summer theatre for teens and young adults by reprising the first summer theatre production, Godspell.  Many original cast members were present including Grammy winner and honoree Kathy Mattea.

The Charleston Light Opera Guild is the recipient of the Mayor's Award for the Arts, the 2016 Arts to the Max Award from Charleston Area Alliance and an award for Excellence in Support of the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts Organization Leadership Recognition presented at the 2016 Governor's Arts Awards.

Proceeds from ticket sales only cover a small portion of the cost of producing a musical. The group is most grateful for sponsorships, grants and donors.


Show History

Year   Production
2018   The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
2017   The Addams Family
2017   Anything Goes
2017   Bridges of Madison County
2017   Sister Act
2016   A Christmas Story
2016   Jesus Christ Superstar
2016   Beauty and the Beast
2016   The Wiz
2016   Spamalot
2015   A Christmas Story
2015   Mary Poppins
2015   Cabaret
2015   La Cage aux Folles
2015   Into the Woods
2014   Miracle on 34th Street
2014   Fiddler on the Roof
2014   The Wedding Singer
2014   Catch Me If You Can
2014   9 to 5: The Musical
2014   Godspell
2013   Les Misérables
2013   Chicago
2013   The Civil War
2013   Evita
2012   Hello, Dolly!
2012   Legally Blonde
2012   Next to Normal
2012   The Color Purple
2011   Annie
2011   Hairspray
2011   Thoroughly Modern Millie
2011   The Drowsy Chaperone
2010   Dreamgirls
2010   Hair
2010   Barnum
2010   Gypsy
2010   Pirates of Penzance
2009   Peter Pan
2009   Rent
2009   Curtains
2009   South Pacific
2009   HMS Pinafore
2008   The Producers
2008   Grease
2008   Pump Boys and Dinettes
2008   A Chorus Line
2007   Cinderella
2007   High School Musical
2007   They're Playing Our Song
2007   Ragtime
2006   Into The Woods
2006   Guys and Dolls
2006   1940's Radio Hour
2006   A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
2005   Beauty and the Beast
2005   Anything Goes
2005   I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change
2005   The Wiz
2004   The Sound of Music
2004   Seussical
2004   Little Shop of Horrors
2004   Pippin
2003   The Music Man
2003   Babes In Arms
2003   Smokey Joe's Cafe
2003   1776
2002   Chicago
2002   Footloose
2002   Tintypes
2002   Annie
2001   42nd Street
2001   Fame
2001   The Fantasticks
2001   A Little Night Music
2000   The Gift of the Magi
2000   Fiddler On The Roof
2000   Grease
2000   Kiss Me, Kate
1999   Peter Pan
1999   A Chorus Line
1999   Follies
1998   Man Of La Mancha
1998   Li'l Abner
1998   The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas
1997   Gypsy
1997   The Sound of Music
1997   Pippin
1997   Hello, Dolly!
1996   La Cage Aux Folles
1996   Company
1996   Cinderella
1996   The Will Rogers Follies
1995   Showboat
1995   She Loves Me
1995   Ain't Misbehavin'
1995   Mame
1994   Damn Yankees
1994   The Goodbye Girl
1994   Godspell
1994   Dreamgirls
1993   My Fair Lady
1993   I Do, I Do
1993   Annie
1992   Guys and Dolls
1992   Sugar
1992   Into The Woods
1991   Funny Girl
1991   A Chorus Line
1991   South Pacific
1990   Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
1990   Gypsy
1990   Pump Boys and Dinettes
1990   Oklahoma!
1989   Cabaret
1989   Jerry's Girls
1989   A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum
1989   Fiddler On The Roof
1988   Anything Goes
1988   The Robber Bridegroom
1988   Leader Of The Pack
1988   Evita
1987   42nd Street
1987   Little Shop of Horrors
1987   Pippin
1987   The Music Man
1986   Sweet Charity
1986   Grease
1986   Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
1986   Annie Get Your Gun
1986   The Wiz
1985   A Chorus Line
1985   Something's Afoot
1985   Barnum
1984   The Sound of Music
1984   Life After High School
1984   They're Playing Our Song
1984   Guys and Dolls
1984   Company
1983   Annie
1983   Rodgers and Hart
1983   Carousel
1982   Pirates of Penzance
1982   The Apple Tree
1982   Man of La Mancha
1981   Chicago
1981   On a Clear Day
1981   Babes in Arms
1982   The King and I
1980   Grease
1980   Cabaret
1980   Diamond Studs
1980   Unsinkable Molly Brown
1979   Pippin
1979   Side by Side by Sondheim
1979   Li'l Abner
1979   My Fair Lady
1978   Oliver
1978   Fiddler On The Roof
1978   Shenandoah
1977   How to Succeed In Business
1977   Brigadoon
1976   The Music Man
1976   Jacques Brel
1976   Promises, Promises
1976   I Do, I Do
1976   Gypsy
1975   1776
1975   Company
1975   Godspell
1975   Man of La Mancha
1974   Applause
1974   No, No, Nanette
1973   Cabaret
1973   Wildcat
1972   Guys and Dolls
1972   Fiddler on the Roof
1971   Oklahoma!
1971   Your Own Thing
1971   Mame
1970   Showboat
1970   Most Happy Fella
1970   Spoon River Anthology
1970   Little Mary Sunshine
1970   Ten Nights In A Bar Room
1969   Hello, Dolly
1969   West Side Story
1968   Oliver!
1967   South Pacific
1967   Camelot
1966   How To Succeed In Business
1966   Kiss Me, Kate
1965   My Fair Lady
1965   The Music Man
1964   The Sound of Music
1964   Kismet
1963   Damn Yankees
1963   Carousel
1962   Guys and Dolls
1962   Brigadoon
1961   Annie Get Your Gun
1961   The King and I
1960   South Pacific
1960   Oklahoma!
1959   The Firefly
1959   Oh, Kay
1958   Ruddigore
1958   HMS Pinafore
1957   Where's Charley
1957   Countess Maritza
1956   Mikado
1955   Girl Crazy
1955   Roberta
1954   Carousel
1954   No, No, Nanette
1953   New Moon
1953   Patience
1952   Naughty Marietta
1952   Pirates of Penzance
1951   Red Mill
1951   Chocolate Soldier
1950   Mikado
1950   Sweethearts
1949   Gondoliers
1949   HMS Pinafore


Hello DollyHello DollyShowboatThe Sound of Music


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