The mission of Amil Tellers of Dramatics, Inc. is to provide the community an artistic outlet, rooted in theatrical education and tradition, with events to raise public interest in Encore Theatre and community theatre as a whole.
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Our facility – Encore Theatre - is owned and operated by the Amil Tellers of Dramatics, Inc. which is organized as a 501c3 non-profit corporation.
Members of the corporation elect a 7-person Board of Trustees to oversee the annual operations of the theatre.
Voting membership in the corporation is obtained by paying annual dues (currently $12), attending bi-monthly corporation meetings and performing tasks to support the theatre functions.
We generally produce 9 shows per season, 6 Adult shows and 3 Youth shows. Most Youth shows are open to all children to audition. One show per season is aimed at those children 8th grade and under. During the youth productions, the children are involved in the acting, technical aspects of lighting and sound and directing.
Theatre creates strong bonds and relationships within communities and provides an opportunity for every age to work together to create health and happiness within the community.
Our youth learn to work with our experienced adults and a natural mentoring derives from being a part of a production. One cannot underestimate the importance of theatre to help bring a community together.
We are currently the only community theatre in Allen County which produces shows on a regular basis for both youth and adults and much of this is possible because we own our own facility and have wonderful volunteers and faithful audiences.
We often have served as a resource for other theatrical groups or school productions in the area.
Amil Tellers of Dramatics - A Short History
Memory Wilson & Christie Thomas
The history of Amil Tellers of Dramatics starts in 1932 when 12 people met to form a club for people interested in theatre. The name comes from “Amil” which is Lima spelled backwards and “Teller” - one who tells a story.
The first business meeting was held on January 4, 1933 in the basement of the old Lima library. On February 1 of that year, a charter was adopted and the first production was scheduled. Plays were given whenever they could get a place, people and money to put one on. Some of the first productions were held in the public library basement, various churches, South High School and the Recreation Center. In the mid 1930's, they also did radio dramas on WBLY in Lima and WOWO in Ft. Wayne, Indiana.
In February 1939, the group was given use of a carriage house off Lakewood Avenue. They could use it if they didn’t damage it. This became known as Stable Gables and was close to Faurot Park. Audio equipment was brought in for each show and there was no heat except for a pot-bellied stove and fireplace. A stage was built and stalls were used for dressing rooms. The tack room became the green room where they served coffee and cookies at intermission. Tickets were 25 cents and there were 55 - 60 seats. Plays were presented here from 1939 - 1945 when the property was sold.
From 1945-1958, they were roving players and presented their plays in various locations such as Central High School, The Crystal Room at the Argonne Hotel, the American Legion Hall and the Temple.
In 1958, Homer Reeder provided land to build the current theatre. He originally loaned the group $100,000 which was used to build the box office area, auditorium and stage. The 1958-59 season was so successful, that he provided another loan to add the scene shop, green room, props and costume rooms and make-up area. This loan was paid off in 1966. October 23, 1958 marked the opening of the melodrama The Drunkard, the first production at the Encore Theatre.