Fort Bend Theatre was founded in 1989 in Sugar Land, Texas by Frank and Karen Letts, based on the following mission statement: “Our purpose is to promote the arts and education of the arts in our community. Our goal is to provide children and families the opportunity to participate in the arts as we accomplish our goal.”
Productions were originally staged in a local church, but as support grew, so did the need for an exclusive location. In 1991, Fort Bend Theatre relocated to Westwood Mall and Tarra McCain joined the Letts’ to further the education of children, teens, and adults in the pursuit of excellence in the dramatic arts, and rose to become Artistic Director. Community involvement flourished, and Fort Bend Theatre increased its local outreach to such worthwhile audiences as the Ronald McDonald House, Texas Children’s Hospital, M.D. Anderson Hospital, and Richmond State School.
With the closure of Westwood Mall in 1998, Fort Bend Theatre returned to its roots in Fort Bend County, where it is currently located at 2815 N. Main, Stafford, Texas. With the founder’s departure from Texas in August 2000, Mrs. McCain position as Artistic Director grew to Executive Artistic Director, allowing for her to continue to further build the theatre.
Under her direction, new growth, enrichment and expansion of the arts included the following:
· Collaborative works with other fine arts and educational institutions, including the University of
· An original scriptwriting contest was created, further promoting local artists and their works.
· New scripts have been performed at FBT each year, and several of our local playwrights have gone on to win awards and publication.
· FBT and Tarra McCain have both won numerous awards for costume design, set design, and youth performances from Texas Non-Profit Theatres.
· Guest Artist contracts have been initiated with Actor’s Equity to allow for professional actors to work alongside of FBT actors.
· Several of our students and adults have gone on to professional contracts and are now employed by Disney, ABC, and on and off-Broadway.
· Community involvement and awareness has multiplied, with new outreaches began to Missouri City SnowFest, Richmond PecanFest, Ft. Bend Literacy League, Fort Bend Child Advocates, Stafford Historical Society’s Holiday Lighting Ceremony and Fourth of July Parade, Sugar Land’s SugarFest and Fort Bend Women’s Shelter.
· Increased annual outdoor performances including Sugar Land Town Center with plans for Miller Outdoor Theatre next August.
· Large musicals have been performed twice a year at the Stafford Centre, greatly expanding our audiences.
· A Teen Club, called E.N.C.O.R.E. (Exciting New Creators of Radacious Entertainment) wrote original scripts, cast, designed and directed their own shows.
· Technical workshops, acting, voice, dance, and musical theatre classes increased in size and variety.
Over one hundred productions and 400,000 excited audience members later, Fort Bend Theatre
continues to thrive, expand, and strive for excellence and education in the arts, while offering unique
opportunities for cultural enrichment to all of Fort Bend County.