History

In June of 1937, a group of six enthusiastic people met to discuss the possibility of forming a club to perform the operettas of Gilbert & Sullivan. By September, these six had doubled, and by the end of October 1937, had grown to 100 interested thespians. These 100 passionate devotees to the stage organized themselves that autumn and founded the Worcester County Light Opera Club. Mr. Leslie Moore, who was then the chief editorial writer for the Evening Gazette, was the first elected president. In 1937, WCLOC initially got its feet wet with a modest production of The Pirates of Penzance. However, it was on February 3rd, 1938, at Tuckerman Hall that the first major production of WCLOC premiered. The production was the joint presentation of Trial by Jury and HMS Pinafore, and it played to packed houses over two nights. In 1939, after its second triumphant year of Gilbert and Sullivan productions, WCLOC received state approval for incorporation.

After many years of utilizing various performance venues throughout the city, it was in 1948 that WCLOC acquired its permanent home at 21 Grandview Avenue, Worcester. This acquisition has been a major contributor to WCLOC’s longevity. The “Clubhouse” not only continues to serve as an intimate and flexible “black box” theatre to hold its 3 in-house productions, but it also boasts residence to WCLOC’s auditions, rehearsals, workshops, and meetings, not to mention scene shop & storage facility where WCLOC’s stunning scenery, props, and costumes are created and housed.

Due to the diminishing appeal for light opera in the mid 1950’s, and the growing popularity of the musical theater genre, WCLOC adapted to the ever-changing times by producing its first “Broadway-Style” musical in 1956. The production was No No Nanette, and due to its overwhelming success, WCLOC decided to shift its focus from light opera to its rapidly transforming next of kin, musical theater. As a medium to discover and nurture promising local talent, theatrical workshops for the adult population were held at the “Clubhouse” in the late 1950’s and continued through the 1960’s. Well received, these workshops were expanded to include children in the early 1970’s, and have been proven to be one of WCLOC’s most successful endeavors. Scholarships to gifted students (as stipulated in the original by-laws) continue to be awarded annually.

In addition to the summer musical theater workshops for children, WCLOC also has four in-house productions at the “Clubhouse”, WCLOC rounds out the annual theatrical season by producing a “Broadway-Style” musical.

From comedy to tragedy, classical to contemporary, musical to non-musical, WCLOC produces a wide array of theatrical works today. WCLOC has also been privileged to produce new plays written by local playwrights, giving talented Worcester County residents the opportunity of having their local works produced, showcased, and critiqued. Although the Worcester County Light Opera Club has exceeded the boundaries of its light opera roots, it continues to produce dramatic and musical works of only the highest caliber, while maintaining the impressive legacy of discovering and developing the brightest talent in the collaborative art of theater.

Presidents

Current

Lenny McGuire (2019–present)

2000 to 2019

2017–2019 Mr. Eric Butler

2014–2017 Mrs. Jo Ann Savage

2013–2014 Mr. Mark Goodney

2011–2013 Ms. Lisa Mielnicki

2009–2011 Mr. Ed Savage

2007–2009 Mr. Michael Celularo

2005–2007 Mrs. Linda Johnson

2003–2005 Mr. Michael Celularo

2001–2003 Dr. Michael S. Casey

2000–2001 Mrs. Pat Lapomardo

 

1990 to 1999

1997–1999 Mrs. Harriett Katz

1995–1997 Mr. Vic Kruczynski

1993–1995 Mrs. Pat Lapomardo

1991–1993 Mrs. Barbara Weihrauch

 

1980 to 1989

1989–1991 Mr. Michael Lapomardo, Jr.

1987–1989 Mr. Ed Savage

1985–1987 Mr. Michael Lapomardo, Jr.

1983–1985 Mrs. Barbara Weihrauch

1981–1983 Ms. Jane Grady

 

1970 to 1979

1979–1981 Mr. Ed Savage

1976–1979 Mr. John Riley

1974–1976 Mr. Dennis Metro

1972–1974 Ms. Beverly A. Brooks

1970–1972 Mr. Jack Feldheimer

 

1960 to 1969

1968–1970 Mr. Harold E. Simmons

1966–1968 Mr. Ramond Hagglund

1965–1966 Mr. William Sigalis

1963–1965 Mr. Russell Dupre

1963–1963 Mr. Robert Briggs

1962–1963 Mr. George Shamgochlan

1961–1962 Mr. William Butler

 

1950 to 1959

1959–1961 Mr. Demetre Steffon

1958–1959 Mr. Vincent Defeudis

1957–1958 Mr. Charles Phelps

1956–1957 Mr. Harold Simmons

1955–1956 Mr. Richard Schramm

1954–1955 Mr. Arthur Chase

1953–1954 Mr. Oris Phelps

1952–1953 Mr. C. Russell Johnson

1951–1952 Mr. Carl Steelman

1950–1951 Mr. George Shamgochian

 

1940 to 1949

1949–1950 Mr. Simon Sherr

1948–1949 Mrs. Erna O. Birchall

1948–1948 Mr. Donald L. MacRoberts

1947–1948 Mr. Alfred A. Companion

1947–1947 Mrs. Lena Wolcott

1947–1947 Mr. Myles R. McAleer

1946–1947 Mr. W. Earle Lingner

1945–1946 Mr. Robert Keith

1944–1945 Mrs. Erna O. Birchall

1943–1944 Mrs. Elizabeth Cody

1942–1943 Mr. Edmunc Q. Abbot

1941–1942 Mr. John F. Kyes

1940–1941 Mr. Franklin Feeney

 

1937 to 1939

1937–1940 Mr. Leslie Moore

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Contact Us

admin@wcloc.org

508-753-4383

Grandview Playhouse

21 Grandview Avenue

Worcester, MA 01603

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