Josephine County Historical Society's "Passport To History" - Barnstormers Theatre - Grants Pass, Oregon

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Josephine County Historical Society's "Passport To History" - Barnstormers Theatre - Grants Pass, Oregon

Barnstormers Theatre

The Josephine County Historical Society's "Passport To History" program led us to the Barnstormers Theatre in Grants Pass.

Barnstormers Theatre

Susan Russell, the Managing Director, conducted our introduction to Grants Pass live theater.

Barnstormers Theatre

Barnstormers Theatre was started in 1952 by Mike Spooner.  The name Barnstormer was chosen because in the beginning, the group performed wherever they could.

Note:  In the 1920's "Barnstorming" was a popular form of entertainment where stunt pilots would perform tricks with airplanes.

Barnstormers Theatre

In 1961 the Barnstormers were able to purchase a church building, and thus, the Barnstormers Theatre  was born.  Charles Vannice is the only remaining founding member.

Barnstormers Theatre

The Barnstormers Theatre has three paid positions; Artistic Director - Daniel Grossbard, Managing Director, Susan Russell and a Business Manager.  These people are paid a whopping $500 per month for the many, many hours they work.  The actors, directors, stage and technical crews, office staff, etc. are all volunteers.   If you ask them why, it's all because of "Love of the Craft."

Barnstormers Theatre

Barnstormers Theatre puts on seven plays each season from September until June.  They also have a youth theatre camp every summer. 

Barnstormers Theatre

A very creative circular, rotating center stage is manually operated to quickly change sets between acts.

Barnstormers Theatre

Here we interrupt "makeup," as a group of young actors are preparing for today's production.

Barnstormers Theatre

On the left is "Nan," the wardrobe manager.

Barnstormers Theatre

"Wardrobe" is well organized, and can come up with costumes for any time period!  Sharing is often done with other theatre groups in the valley, which enable the Barnstormers Theatre to have even greater resources when needed.

Barnstormers Theatre

The seating is comfortable, thanks to private donations and the generosity of the Barnstormers Theatre patrons. 

Susan did mention that today's seats are sure a lot wider than they were when Barnstormers acquired their building in 1961, as people today are also wider.

Barnstormers Theatre

Reserved seating may be purchased for the season for $80.  Since the Barnstormers were founded, they have produced 230 plays.

Barnstormers Theatre

Tickets for individual performances may be purchased online or at the ticket office on-site.

Barnstormers Theatre

Actors waiting for their entrance listen to the performance on speakers from under the stage in this waiting/prop room.

Barnstormers Theatre

Even though all the actors are volunteers, Susan said they have no shortage of quality performers available in this very "artsy" community.

Please visit the Josephine County Historical Society's website Barnstormers Theatre for more information on the Passport To History program.

Below are the links to my earlier Josephine County Historical Society's Passport To History blogs.

Introduction      Caveman      Schmidt House

Blind George's Newsstand        Grants Pass Historic Homes Tour

Historic District Tour      Grants Pass Pharmacy      Rogue Theatre

Hugo Community Church      Haines Apple Tree      Ament Dam

Grants Pass Cemeteries      Pottsville      Sportsman Park

Griffin Park      Lake Selmac      Granite Hill Cemetery

Pleasant Valley Cemetery        Josephine County Bridges

Grants Pass Fire Department      Reinhart Volunteer Park      Wolf Creek Inn

Applegate Trail Interpretive Center        Golden Townsite

Grave Creek Covered Bridge        Robertson Bridge

Wilderville Store and Post Office        Wilderville Cemetery

Granite Tombstone Quarry        Merlin Park - Veterans Walk of Honor

Gotcher Cemetery      Provolt Store      Missouri Flat Cemetery

Siskiyou Smokejumper Base        Rough & Ready Botanical Wayside

Rough & Ready Lumber Co.        Pacifica, A Garden In The Siskiyous

Riverside Park      Daily Courier     Daily Courier "Boss" Voorhies

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Respect Realty LLC
Respect Realty LLC - Milwaukie, OR
Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate

I love the history and I would love to hear how they came up with the name for the group and theater. I think that maybe just as fascinating as the theater itself.

Jul 25, 2010 07:33 PM #1
. 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC
What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779

Thank you for this trip to Grants Pass and the Brainstormer Theatre...I loved seeing all the photos and felt as if I had been there...

Jul 28, 2010 03:47 AM #2
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