The Little Theatre Company That Could…
The Indian Valley Theatre was originally created as Indian Valley Children’s Theatre by the American
Association of University Women (AAUW) who lived in the Sandwich Area. Many of these women were
teachers in the Sandwich schools and had recognized a need for appreciation of the performing arts in
the community. They provided startup donations to do their first production of “Hansel and Gretel”,
which was performed at the Plano Middle School in the spring of 1983. This production was a huge
success in our rural communities. Our name was later changed to just Indian Valley Theater (IVT).
After their first successful production the AAUW now was looking for a venue to do more children shows
and with the help of other community leaders’, historical status was sought to help retore the Sandwich
Opera House where since 1877 community events had been held until in 1944 when the opera house
closed their doors.
In the summer of 1983, a summer children’s workshop was started at the Sandwich Library and Gazebo;
and in the fall of 1983 the now IVT members produced their first Melodramas in a tent at the Sandwich
Fair. The money raised the first 3 years went to help with the restorations of the Opera House. Our
Children’s Summer Workshops and Melodrama shows have continued to the present day. The
workshops are open to children attending 1 st grade through graduating seniors.
IVT has enjoyed producing many shows at the Sandwich Opera House. Our first show in 1986 at the
newly restored opera house was called “The Showcase” and included excerpts from shows since we
began. For nearly 40 years we have produced musicals, dramas, comedies, and modern shows. Some
shows were done at other historic venues, dinner theaters, and in the early years taken on the road, and
we also produced young authors shows at the Sandwich Library.
Thousands of patrons have reserved seats to our shows; and children and adults alike have participated
in a variety of shows as actors, set builders, back stage help, costuming, producing, and directing. They
have come from the far north, south, east and west communities in the Fox Valley area and beyond.
We are a volunteer driven community theater and many hands and talents have been and still are
needed. Please consider membership to continue this worthy contribution to our communities.