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OBT History

Although the "OBT Thespians" group have only been on throne since 1994, the actual Theater (On Broadway Theater) pre-dates that by some 30 plus years.

In 1979 the area's first silent movie & intimate live theater, the On Broadway Film Society, and the Dolphin Players theatrical troupe, began and took shape in the careful hands of Larry & Tosca Means, Kit Lewis, Randy Ullom, Ross Klooster, and Betty Bingham. Showing old classic films, they ran the gamut from Laurel & Hardy to Ingmar Bergman, from John Wayne to Buster Keaton. Perhaps most memorable were the Silent Movie audiences who were treated to the wonderful live musical accompaniments of the late Don Loftus. In addition to old movie classics, On Broadway also dabbled in live entertainment sprinkled inbetween films, ranging from talented musical guests (solo guitarists, folksingers, local choirs and Dixieland Bands) to theater improv, poetry readings, belly dancing, pantomine, and even full blown musicals. It was a time of wonderful local talent showcases!

Then slowly over the years, one by one the core members left to pursue other venues, leaving Tosca Means to trade in those old classic movie projectors for the power of the small intimate stage. Thus the On Broadway Theater sprouted wings and lined its nest. Whether drama or comedy, musicals or children's theater, the quality & scope of this small stage to be able to reach its audience has been nothing short of phenonemal. Perhaps one of the many reasons why OBT was approached in 1999 about hosting acting classes for the Alternative Youth Activity (youth at risk) programs, funded by the Oregon Arts Commission.

OBT has seen its share of in-house Theater core groups stream through its lobby the past few years, beginning with the Dolphin Players, then PACT (Playwrights American Conservatory Theater), and eventually the On Broadway Thespians core group.

In the Fall of 2006, the building that housed the On Broadway Thespians changed hands and thus the group ultimately lost it's lease and had to face the prospect of relocation. The first move was across the street to the old Egyptian Theatre movie house that had been vacant for some time until another group (ETPA or Egyptian Theatre Preservation Assoc) got involved. The idea was to renovate and turn an old historic building worth saving into a productive performing arts center for the entire community. Inviting the On Broadway Thespians to relocate there as the first Live Theatre resident group seemed like a natural fit, as was wanting to show old classic films (movies). In addition, ETPA wanted to also offer a myraid of other performing arts such as music, dance, and other local events.

Five OBT productions were staged there, but ultimately the lack of green room (dressing rooms) and prop storage areas in addition to set lighting proved problematic, and so the theater group started looking elsewhere for more permanent digs.

In 2008, OBT added a second venue to their new nomadic venture, Dinner Theater, at Stray Katz/Genevieve's (formerly Gussies) Restaurant in the downtown Empire district of Coos Bay. Again, five more productions of various genre plays were tried there, and once more, lack of stage size and adequate lighting, coupled with green room/dressing room woes further compounded everyone's frustrations. Parents were nervous about letting their children be in a play that was running next door to a bar. Play attendance sank to an all time low.

OBT then decided to experiment staging another children's play over at the Pony Village Mall. Since there had been another theater troupe there previously, it was hoped that such a public venue could support having us there as well. Sadly, it did not. Set logistics, lighting problems, lack of green room ammenities, and low play attendance once again played a role in holding OBT back. With operating funds at an all time low, and no permanent home in sight, OBT went into hiatus for nearly two years.

2011 marked the group's foray back into the performance limelight, starting with a popular family-friendly comedic piece staged over at Liberty Theatre (aka "Little Theatre On the Bay"), a friendly rival theater troupe with a lifelong history of ties to us. The local community responded in return with great support, and as a result, OBT nestled in nicely ever since.

(For additional OBT history, don't forget to check out our special Memorials page.)

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Plays staged over the past 35 years:
24 yrs as On Broadway Thespians,
6 yrs as PACT, and
7 yrs as The Dolphin Players

2019 Season,
OBT Thespians
(LTOB - Liberty Theatre)

2018 Season,
OBT Thespians
(LTOB - Liberty Theatre)

Mama Mia!

Ghost the Musical

2017 Season,
OBT Thespians
(LTOB - Liberty Theatre)

2016 Season,
OBT Thespians
(LTOB - Liberty Theatre)

Annie (the musical)

The Addams Family Musical

2015 Season,
OBT Thespians
(Little Theatre On the Bay)

2014 Season,
OBT Thespians
(Little Theatre On the Bay)

The Full Monty

Clue the Musical!

2013 Season,
OBT Thespians
(Little Theatre On the Bay)

2012 Season,
OBT Thespians
(Little Theatre On the Bay)

Halloween Thrillogy: (Dead,
The Babysitter, Country Gothic)

Nunsense: the Mega-Musical!

2011 Season,
OBT Thespians
(Little Theatre On the Bay)

2010 Season,
OBT Thespians

Night At the Wax Museum

N/A (theater went dark all year long)

2009 Season,
OBT Thespians
(The Stray Katz Club)

2008 Season,
OBT Thespians
(The Stray Katz Club)

NunSense Amen!

An Evening of Dinner Theater (singer showcase)

Knock 'em Dead (cancelled)

The Magician's Nephew

OBT Awards Gala (cancelled)

Same Time Next Year

King Arthur & the Lords of Avalon (Pony Village Mall)

2007 Season,
OBT Thespians
(The Egyptian Theatre)

2006 Season,
OBT Thespians
(On Broadway Theater)

Big Bad

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

Dorothy Meets Alice

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Much Ado About Nothing

Murder In Green Meadows


Hansel and Gretel

Bah Humbug!

The Foreigner

NunSensations! Vegas Review

The Secret Garden

1940's Radio Hour (@ Egyptian Theatre)

2005 Season,
OBT Thespians
(On Broadway Theater)

2004 Season,
OBT Thespians
(On Broadway Theater)

Peter Pan

Jungle Book

Little Girl That Lives Down the Lane

Angel Street

Last Of the Red Hot Lovers

Beauty and the Beast

Any Given Day

Mesuggah Nun

Steel Magnolias

Bleacher Bums

We The People


Charlotte's Web


The White Rose

It's A Wonderful Life

The Elephant Man

Christmas on Broadway

2003 Season,
OBT Thespians
(On Broadway Theater)

2002 Season,
OBT Thespians
(On Broadway Theater)

The Only Game In Town

Here and Now


On Golden Pond

You Can't Take It With You

The Hobbit

Brighton Beach Memoirs



Lost In Yonkers


Treasure Island

Visting Mr. Green

The Strange Case of Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde

Jack the Ripper

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Little Women

A Christmas Carol Radio Show

2001 Season,
OBT Thespians
(On Broadway Theater)

2000 Season,
OBT Thespians
(On Broadway Theater)

Private Wars

2 For The Show/Same Time Another Year
(Readers Theater)

Six Short Comedies

A Walk In The Woods/50 Years Ago/The Diaries
of Adam & Eve/Love Letters/Molly & James


Tennessee Williams a-la-mode

The OBT Talent Show

The Pigman

The Country Kickers line dancers
& Ocean Pacific Cloggers (dance)

Crimes Of the Heart

The Deadly Game

Weekend Comedy

Alice in Wonderland

Peter & The Wolf

The Haunting of Hill House

Legend of Sleepy Hollow

The Subject Was Roses

The Drunkard


A Tuna Christmas

1999 Season,
OBT Thespians
(On Broadway Theater)

1998 Season,
OBT Thespians
(On Broadway Theater)

Zelda, The Last Flapper

Tales From The Kitchen Table

Cat On A Hot Tin Roof

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf

Home At Six (AYA/OBT)

Raggedy Ann & Andy

An Evening With Anton Chekov

A Garden Of Fashion

The Elves And The Shoemaker

Spring Fling (Dinner Theater)

Nunsense Jamboree III

Daddy's Dying Who's Got The Will?

The KitKat Club

Dancer's Spotlight


Songwriter's Showcase

Peter Pan

Red, White, & Blues (Dinner Theater)


Driving Miss Daisy

God's Favorite

Wait Until Dark

Best Little Christmas Pagent Ever

You're A Good Man Charlie Brown

Veronica's Room

The Christmas Carol

1997 Season,
OBT Thespians
(On Broadway Theater)

1996 Season,
OBT Thespians
(On Broadway Theater)

Frozen Rain (R&R)

Octette Bridge Club

Finnagan's Wake

Life With Mother Superior

Out Of The Shadows (dance)

Alive and Kicking

Park Your Car In Harvard Yard

The Cemetery Club

The Dining Room

13 Clocks

A Spring Fling (Dinner Theater)

Our Town

Hansel & Gretel

Shakespeare Exposed

Athentic Life Of Billy the Kid

Murder At The Howard Johnson

Intensity Rising (dance)

Alley Kids II

Red,White, & Blues (Dinner Theater)

Ladies In 509

A Midsummer's Night Dream

Lucifer's Child

I'm Not Rapport

As The Snow Falls

Winnie The Pooh

Bats In The Basement

Agnes Of God

Miracle On 34th Street

Sleigh Ride (Dinner Theater)

1995 Season,
OBT Thespians
(On Broadway Theater)

1994 Season,
OBT Thespians
(On Broadway Theater)

I Can't Hear You When The Water's Running

Shirley Valentine

Many Moons

Ransom Of Red Chief

On Broadway Social


Night Mother

Tamara Whiteaker with Harry Stitch
RSVP Luncheon (Dinner Theater)


Song Writer's Review

Nunsense II

Bel Canto Musical Recital


Golden Bough (Celtic Musical Group)

Celebrate Freedom (Dinner Theater)

Your Land & My Land (Dinner Theater)

Nunsense II (reprise)

You're A Grand Old Flag

Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs
In The Black Forest


Chicago's Dr. Laurie Sucher in Concert

Oregon The Way It Was
(Storytelling by Richard Stickroth)


Bus Stop

Papa Is All

Holiday Lodge (Dinner Theater)

The Fantastiks


1993 Season, PACT
(On Broadway Theater)

Together For The First Time

The Alley Kids


The Impressario

The Picnic

Come On In (Country Concert)

'Tis The Season (Dinner Theater)

1988-1992 Season, PACT
(On Broadway Theater)

1980-1987 Season,
The Dolphin Players

Peace Child

That Championship Season

To Life

Wait Until Dark

The Breasts of Patrona


Talley's Folley

Inherit The Wind

Tom Sawyer

The Caine Mutiny Court Martial

They're Playing Our Song

Lone Star, Laundry, and Bourbon


And Miss Reardon Drinks A Little

Something's Afoot

The Sea Horse


Side by Side by Sondheim


Same Time Next Year


The Trees of Lallapaloosa

Sea Marks

Cheaper By the Dozen

Diary of Anne Frank

OBT Talent Show

A Christmas Memory

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"OBT: Enriching the lives of patrons and players of all ages,
through the magic of live theatre."

(This page last updated August 22, 2019)

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