Our History

A brief timeline of the growth of TheatreWorks New Milford going back to 1967 and beyond. Our future is entirely in your hands. Let us go there together.

2019: TheatreWorks holds it’s initial ‘Tales From the Brookside’, an annual 10-minute one-act play festival.

2018: The TW Playwright’s Workshop is established. A free weekly roundtable allowing local writers to hear their works read aloud and workshop to improve upon them.

2018: TheatreWorks becomes an AACT accredited theater. The 2018 production of ‘An Act of God’ was invited to participate in the AACT Regional Festival. It received 3 awards including best Choreography.

2017: The theater celebrates its 50th year providing quality local theater. The occasion was marked by a retrospective cabaret featuring songs and stories from past performers and many others that have been involved over the years. TheatreWorks received a proclamation from Mayor David Gronbach and Town of New Milford to mark the occasion.

2017: The theater presents the world premier of a revised edition of Tom Jones & Harvey Schmidt’s musical ‘I Do, I Do’ in cooperation with it’s co-author, Tom Jones. The theater welcomed Mr. Jones to the final performance for a talk back.

2017: TheatreWorks is named 'Best Small Theater in Connecticut' by Connecticut Magazine.

2017: The theater is honored with CultureMAX Award by the Northwest Arts Council for its contributions to the arts scene in Northwestern CT as top Cultural Organization.

2015: The theater officially changes its name to ‘TheatreWorks New Milford’.

2014: TheatreWorks is named 'Best Community Theater in Connecticut' by Connecticut Magazine.

2014: In February, the Theatre's award-winning website (theatreworks.us) receives its largest overhaul since its inception in 2002, to make ticket purchases and interaction with theatre events simpler via PC, tablets, and even smartphones and other mobile devices.

2013: Thanks to a generous grant from the Harcourt Foundation, a new enclosed reception area is built on what used to be the outdoor deck, allowing for ticket pick-up without having to proceed up and down the staircase.

2011: Through a generous grant in memory of Barbara Farnol, the Theatre is now equipped with assisted listening devices.

2009: TheatreWorks receives its first ever operating grant from the State of Connecticut.

2007: TheatreWorks celebrates its 40th anniversary by installing a new, easy-to-use online ticketing system. Patrons can purchase their "e-tickets" and print them at home, or simply pick them up at will-call, meaning no more long lines at the box office.

2006: In January, a rotating stage is installed to allow for even more unique and intricate sets. The stage is also raised 9 inches, creating better sightlines for the audience.

2004: TheatreWorks launches a "Stipend Policy," offering pay incentives to both actors and crew.

2004: Master Japanese puppeteer Masaya Kiritake brings the ancient art of Otome-Bunraku puppetry to TheatreWorks from Osaka, Japan. Limited appearances in late 2004 and early 2005 are completely sold out.

2003: In January, a large balcony is built in the house to create a more sophisticated "technical booth," to make way for more seats, and to provide space for a band to play during musicals.

2003: Lush, new seats are installed with commemorative plaques purchased by the Theatre's loyal patrons. With the new space, the number of fixed seats in the house jumps from 88 to 112. theatregoers first enjoy the improved sightlines and comfortable seats during the summer musical "Bat Boy."

2002: The summer musical "Chicago" becomes the most-attended show in TheatreWorks' history and has yet to be surpassed as of 2014.

2002: TheatreWorks' first truly dedicated website – www.theatreworks.us – is launched on New Year's Eve.

2001: TheatreWorks completes upgrade and restoration projects of the now 100-year-old former Christian Advent Church. The facility is rededicated as one of New Milford's key artistic institutions.

1998: The Savings Bank of Danbury supplements other local donations by contributing $5,000 for building repairs.

1998: The Ellen Knowles Harcourt Foundation extends a $12,000 grant to boost TheatreWorks' hopes for the future.

1998: The Town of New Milford donates $30,000 to upgrade and restore facilities.

1997: Then-President Richard Pettibone announces the financial woes of TheatreWorks won't permit an estimated $20,000 in repairs needed for the building's roof. The season ends with then-artistic director Bill Hughes' "Ghost of a Chance," perhaps just about the hopes the theatre has of making it more than another year.

1992: As part of the 25th anniversary season, the group changes its name to TheatreWorks New Milford.

1989: Current "Ex Officio President" Richard Pettibone and writer-director Bill Hughes (who would become TheatreWorks' artistic director through 2006) bring their creative genius to the troupe, signaling a new era for what will become known as TheatreWorks.

1973: The Little Theatre of New Milford is dedicated in October with a black-tie dinner party and amidst "rave reviews," according to local media, for "The Fantastiks."

1973: The former Christian Advent Church on Brookside Avenue is purchased in the spring and dubbed The Little Theatre. Volunteers convert the building to a theatre during the summer.

1970: Its dream of a home off Route 67 all but abandoned, the Creative Arts Center is constantly searching for a place to rehearse and stage its productions. Even storage of the sets becomes a problem as they find their way from place to place, at various times landing in the town's Civil Defense barn and artist Harry Allsop's barn.

1968: The Broadway smash "Guys and Dolls" serves as an excellent vehicle for The Creative Arts Center to gain public acceptance in its first full year.

1967: In March, an 11-acre site off Route 67 north of Lake Lillinonah is targeted as the location for a possible, 400-seat, dream home for the theatre troupe.

1967: The Creative Arts Center of New Milford, Inc. is incorporated as an independent cultural organization designed to offer a variety of artistic opportunities.

1965: The New Milford Players (the forerunners of the Creative Arts Center of New Milford) mount "The Potting Shed" – a milestone production during its run at the virtually new New Milford High School. It's soon followed by the troupe's first ambitious musical, "Brigadoon."

1901: The cornerstone is laid Aug. 6th for the Christian Advent Church on Brookside Avenue. The building will one day become TheatreWorks' home.