Late in the 50’s, armed with some paper, pencil and an indomitable spirit, a group of musical theater lovers from the Walnut Creek area gathered for the first time with the idea of creating their own amateur company to produce their favorite Gilbert and Sullivan operettas. After considering several names for the new company, they decided to name it after the gentle, taciturn mountain which overlooks the area….and Diablo Light Opera Company was born.
The initial performances were in very modest quarters, but with the years came steady growth and the company gradually moved to larger and larger venues as their notoriety spread. In the early 90’s, after a long stay at the old Civic Arts Center, which was a converted walnut shelling house, the company became one of the anchor tenants at The Lesher Center for the Arts, a state-of-the-art theatrical facility capable of supporting large-scale musical productions.
In 2009, the company celebrated its 50th Anniversary and solidified itself as one of the Bay Area’s premier producers of musical theater. With this golden anniversary, the company decided a name change was needed to more accurately reflect the types of entertainment the company now provides – Broadway Musicals. So moving away from light operas (the last one was produced in 1996) the company is now known as Diablo Theatre Company.
Today, Diablo Theatre Company continues to enrich and entertain the East Bay by celebrating contemporary musical works and re-imaging musical classics. The company also offers theater education programs for adults and youth, through their Performing Arts Academy, which includes the acclaimed Stars 2000 Teen Theater, as part of its mission to inspire new audiences and cultivate the next generation of theater artisans.