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Begun in 1936, Raleigh Little Theatre is now one of the oldest continuously operating community theatres in the country. RLT started when a group of Raleigh performers joined forces with technical workers from the Federal Theatre to bring community theatre to Raleigh.

Then, civic leader Cantey Venable Sutton pushed through bureaucratic red tape and galvanized the Federal Works Progress Administration construction of our main theatre, amphitheatre and Rose Garden. We are still the beneficiaries of her diligence and passion. In 2000, we named the main theatre in honor of Mrs. Sutton. RLT’s annual performance awards, given each June, have been called “Canteys” in her honor for a number of decades.

Read the story of our history and see some of the photos in Curtain Up! Raleigh Little Theatre’s First 50 Years by Guy Munger. This book was published by RLT in 1985 and is presented below.

The original entrance to the theatre. This wall now forms the interior entrance to the Cantey V. Sutton main stage theatre from the lobby.

Curtain Up! Raleigh Little Theatre’s First 50 Years

By Guy Munger
Book designed by Lynne Evers and Sue Sunday
Book ISBN: 0-9615689-0-9

© Copyright 1985, Raleigh Little Theatre

Table of Contents:

Chapter 1: The Beginnings
Chapter 2: A Permanent Home
Chapter 3. The War Years
Chapter 4. The Pryor Years
Chapter 5. The Snavely Years
Chapter 6. A Time of Upheaval
Chapter 7. A Time for Rebuilding
Chapter 8. Encore for Newell Tarrant
Plays Produced at RLT 1936-1986
RLT Performance and Technical Award Winners 1949-1985
RLT Staff 1941-1986
RLT Boards of Directors 1936-1986
About the author