HMT History

HOME MADE THEATER is in residence at the Spa Little Theater in the Saratoga Spa State Park. HMT was incorporated in 1985, and founded by Jonathan Foster and Susan Miller. Throughout our history we have gained a reputation for presenting professional quality community theater. Our success can be credited to the thousands of hours of work each season, accomplished by the unique joint effort of professional directors, designers, technicians, local actors, and hundreds of volunteers in all areas of production.

Our history speaks for itself. Our growth from a 55 seat theater at Caffe Lena’s, in 1985, to our first three production season, in the 496 seat Spa Little Theater, in 1986, was a great accomplishment for a young company. In our 1990-91 season, we added our Theater for Families production during the holiday season. Family audiences have delighted in such productions as CHARLOTTE’S WEB, ALADDIN AND THE WONDERFUL LAMP and THE WIZARD OF OZ.  HMT’s tremendously popular acting and theater workshops for children and teens have continued with the expansion of our summer camp and youth theater conservatory programs, which brings young people the experience of creating theater.

Home Made Theater is committed to creating affordable quality theater for Saratoga Springs, Glens Falls and the greater Capital Region. We wish to foster the advancement and education of artists, actors, designers, and others involved in the theatrical arts. HMT is committed to being a place where people can learn the theater craft while working side by side with professional designers and directors. We are Community Theater with a professional edge.

History 1985-2016

1985: Home Made Theater incorporated as a non-profit organization.
First production: WAIT UNTIL DARK at Caffe Lena’s a 55-seat theater in March.
YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU followed in November and performed to sold out houses, additional performances were added. YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU saw the beginning of our Dinner/Theater package.
1986: In search of a larger space, we moved to the Ballet Regent Studio and produced CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF in April. Two series of Play Readings were produced. Acting workshops were offered.July found us signing a one-year agreement for the use of the Spa Little Theater; from that point on our history was tracked in seasons.
1986-87: THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER
LAST OF THE RED HOT LOVERS
THE RAINMAKER

  • Received a Gannett foundation grant to host a children’s opera.
  • Signed a three-year agreement for the use of the Spa Little Theater.
1987-88: ON GOLDEN POND
NIGHT MUST FALL
THE ROSE TATTOO

  • “Plays In Progress” began with a winter play reading series.
  • Held our first Dinner Dance Benefit at the Hall of Springs.
  • Acting Classes offered for children and adults.
1988-89: AH, WILDERNESS!
DIAL “M” FOR MURDER
LOVERS AND OTHER STRANGERS

  • Received Gannett Foundation grant for special performance of AH, WILDERNESS! for select community groups.
  • *”Plays in Progress” became “Theater in Progress” and TIPS continued with more stage reading.
  • Performed scenes from “LOVERS” for Art In The Park.
1989-90: THE MIRACLE WORKER
THE HOT L BALTIMORE
COME BLOW YOUR HORN

  • All performances of THE MIRACLE WORKER sign language interpreted.
  • Received a Gannett grant for tickets for the hearing impaired.
  • Participated in LARAC festival.
  • Signed a five-year agreement to use the Spa Little Theater.
  • Children’s acting classes continue to be very popular.
1990-91: THE GIN GAME
THE RED SHOES
ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST
STAGE DOOR

  • GIN GAME was selected to compete in a state-wide theater festival and won Best Production, Best Actor and Best Actress.
  • GIN GAME traveled to Union College for a special performance.
  • THE RED SHOES marked our first Theater for Children production.
  • “SHOES” was performed as part of SPAC’s Victorian Christmas Party.
  • Received a N.Y.S. Council on the Arts Grant.
1991-92: CORPSE!
ANDROCLES AND THE LION
OF MICE AND MEN
A COUPLA WHITE CHICKS SITTING AROUND TALKING

  • OF MICE AND MEN was presented at McGregor Correctional Facility through a grant from NYSCA.
  • A special performance of “MICE” was presented for students from four area school districts.
  • Classes continue; Acting and Scene Study for adults and children, a Director’s Workshop is added.
  • Received a N.Y.S. Council on the Arts Grant.
1992-93: GYPSY
A CHRISTMAS CAROL
EASTERN STANDARD
PICNIC

  • Our first musical, GYPSY, and A CHRISTMAS CAROL performed to sold out houses.
  • Classes continue: Acting and Scene Study for children and adults.
  • PIPS (Plays In Progress Series) resumed, presenting four original plays by new playwrights.
  • First Workshop Production by Children: Spring 1993 THE VELVETEEN RABBIT.
  • Received a N.Y.S. Council on the Arts Grant.
1993-94: THE SUNSHINE BOYS
THE SNOW QUEEN
STEEL MAGNOLIAS
A HATFUL OF RAIN

  • Classes continue: Acting and Scene Study for children and adults.
  • Received a multi year grant from The NYS Council on the Arts.
1994-95: A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE
ALICE IN WONDERLAND
ANGEL STREET
YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU
**10 YEAR CELEBRATION**

  • Home Made Theater Celebrated its 10th Birthday!
  • Multi year NYSCA Grant continues.
  • Plays in Progress Series presents two staged readings.
  • Class offerings are expanded – with classes for age 7 through adult.
1995-96: THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK
CHARLOTTE’S WEB
WRITE ME A MURDER
PLAZA SUITE

  • HMT hosted area students at two special daytime performances of THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK.
  • Home Made Theater held their first Murder Mystery fundraiser with a sold out crowd.
  • Classes continued for children and adults.
  • HMT’s Artistic Board was formed to take the place of an Artistic Director.
  • 1995-96 brought a record number of sold-out performances and HMT’s most successful season to date.
1996-97: THE DIVINERS
THE JUNGLE BOOK
THE DEAL
NOISES OFF

  • “HMT to Go,” a touring group bringing live theater into schools was created. Their mission is to introduce young people to theater arts through live performance.
  • Back by popular demand, HMT held a Murder Mystery fundraiser, this year including a dinner at Panzas Restaurant.
  • Adult and children’s classes continued including two new offerings – TECHNICAL PRODUCTION TECHNIQUES and IMPROV FOR ACTORS.
  • HMT produced the national award winning play, THE DEAL, written by Saratoga resident Matthew Witten.
1997-98: LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS
THE WIZARD OF OZ
ALL MY SONS
SLEUTH

  • HMT hits the world wide web with its webpage www.homemadetheater.org.
  • ACT, Acting Camp for Training is taught during Summer ’97 at The Arts Center.
  • HMT produces their second musical, LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS.
  • “HMT to Go” continues to be offered to elementary schools.
  • Children’s Classes offerings are expanded and now include Saturdays and Wednesday schedule.
1998-99: LETTICE & LOVAGE
THE STEADFAST TIN SOLDIER
THE GLASS MENAGERIE
RUMORS

  • Home Made Theater reached a milestone with its 50th production, THE GLASS MENAGERIE.
  • Home Made Theater received the “Best Community Theater” Award for 1998 by Metroland Magazine.
  • Home Made Theater was listed in the 10 Ten Productions for 1998 by the Daily Gazette.
  • ACT, Acting Camp for Training was expanded to include both classes on Saturday mornings and two-week day camp for teens in the summer of ’98 at The Arts Center.
  • Children’s Classes continue to be a hit on Saturday mornings, with over 225 young people enrolled throughout the fall and spring.
  • New stage floor, back stage rigging, painting and carpeting take place as part of renovations to theater through the NYS Office of Parks and Recreation.
1999-00: WAIT UNTIL DARK
ALADDIN AND THE WONDERFUL LAMP
MARVIN’S ROOM
THE FOREIGNER

  • Home Made Theater celebrates its 15th Birthday!
  • Home Made Theater receives $10,000 grant from The Saratoga Foundation.
  • ACT, Acting Camp for Training was expanded to include both classes on Saturday mornings and two-week day camp for teens in the summer of ’99 at The Arts Center.
  • Children’s Classes on Saturday mornings top 200 students for the second season in a row!
  • 15th Birthday celebrations continue with a festive gala at the Canfield Casino.
2000-01: BILOXI BLUES
SANTA’S LIST
SHIRLEY VALENTINE
OUR TOWN

  • Home Made Theater received $1,500 grant from Target allowing HMT to offer half price tickets to students during the run of OUR TOWN.
  • Home Made Theater continues to offer Advanced Acting for Adults and adds a new class, Musical Theater Performance. These classes are so successful that they are added to the HMT summer class program at the Saratoga Arts Center.
  • Home Made Theater presents its’ first world premiere production, SANTA’S LIST, written by local playwright, Brenny Rabine. The show and premiere receive a large amount of press coverage.
  • Home Made Theater presents its’ first one-woman show, SHIRLEY VALENTINE. Reviews and audience response are exceedingly positive.
  • Home Made Theater and Wild Women Production co-produce WILD WOMEN SWING in January of 2001. The show was successful enough to bring the WILD WOMEN back to the Spa Little Theater for an encore weekend in April.
  • Home Made Theater schedules a daytime performance of OUR TOWN for an audience of school children. The theater is filled to capacity, with almost 500 children attending the show.
2001-02: LEND ME A TENOR
THE 13 CLOCKS
THE FANTASTICKS
DANCING AT LUGHNASA

  • Home Made Theater received $5,000 grant from Saratoga Springs Rotary for an upgrade to HMT’s sound system.
  • HMT received a $2500 grant from Niagara Mohawk for the purchase of some more efficient lighting equipment.
  • HMT presented the first New York production of THE FANTASTICKS following the close of a 42-year run in New York City.
  • Home Made Theater to present CATCHING BABIES a one-woman show by local playwright, Brenny Rabine.
2002-03: THE NERD
THE MASQUE OF BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
MACBETH
SOMETHING’S AFOOT

  • HMT started the new “THEATER CONSERVATORY FOR TEENS” for students ages 12-17. This total immersion program gives students the opportunity to experience being involved in a full production.
  • HMT co-presented the McKrell’s Christmas show at the theater in December.
  • Home Made Theater was approved to receive a Community Block Development Grant from the city of Saratoga Springs. The grant will assist HMT in bringing seniors citizens to their 2003-04 season productions.
  • Home Made Theater presented their first Shakespeare production. HMT’s MACBETH was popular with audiences and critics. Two sold-out weekday matinees were presented for area high school students.
2003-04: MOON OVER BUFFALO
A CHRISTMAS CAROL
THE LION IN WINTER
LAUGHTER ON THE 23RD FLOOR

  • Home Made Theater expends their summer program for children and teens. They were held at a new location – Off Broadway Theater & Grille. As a bonus students wrapped up their week with lunch and a movie on the big screen.
  • Seniors from three are facilities come to HMT productions with the help of a Community Block Development Grant from the city of Saratoga Springs.
  • HMT’s Youth Musical Theater Conservatory for ages 9-16 presents ANNIEjr.
2004-05: CABARET
CHARLOTTE’S WEB
PICASSO AT THE LAPIN AGILE
TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD

  • HMT celebrates its twentieth season.
  • HMT receives a grant from Niagara Mohawk, a National Grid company.
  • HMT’s Youth Theater Conservatory for ages 9-17 presents THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE in November 2004.
  • Home Made Theater presented TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. Three sold-out weekday matinees were presented for area high school students.
  • HMT’s Youth Theater Conservatory for ages 9-17 presents ALADDIN Jr. in May 2005.
2005-06: LOST IN YONKERS
THE BEST CHRISTMAS PAGEANT EVER
THE SANTALAND DIARIES
ALL IN THE TIMING
A MAN OF NO IMPORTANCE

  • HMT’s begins The Shuster Series – A series of play readings offered throughout the season.
  • HMT’s THE BEST CHRISTMAS PAGEANT is performed for students at a sold out weekday matinee.
  • HMT ads a holiday offer for adults to an enthusiastic response.
  • HMT hosts Saratoga Reads Event – author Gregory Maguire read from WICKED.
  • HMT presents the regional premiere of the musical A MAN OF NO IMPORTANCE.
  • HMT’s Youth Theater Conservatory presents INTO THE WOODS JR. in May 2006.
2006-07: URINETOWN, THE MUSICAL
ALICE IN WONDERLAND
WIT
I HATE HAMLET

  • HMT’s continued The Shuster Series – A full series of play readings offered throughout the season.
  • HMT presented Jonathan Whitton in Perfect Finite, A Contemporary Musical Theatre Song Cycle.
  • HMT was awarded a grant from The Saratoga Gaming and Raceway Foundation to offer free children’s tickets to their Youth Conservatory with the purchase of a “Grandparent” ticket.
  • HMT’s production of A MAN OF NO IMPORTANCE was named to The Troy Record’s list of Top Ten productions for 2006. It was “the only community theater effort to make this year’s list. Kudos to Home Made Theater for taking a risk on an unknown, neglected show and for doing it so well.”
  • HMT’s Youth Theater Conservatory presents SEUSSICAL JR. in May 2007.
2007-08: SIDE MAN
THE SNOW QUEEN
THE REAL INSPECTOR HOUND & THE FIFTEEN MINUTE HAMLET
HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING

  • THE SNOW QUEEN returns to the HMT stage for an extended run.
  • HMT’s production of WIT was named to the Schenectady Gazette’s list of Top Ten productions for 2007.
  • HMT’s continued The Shuster Series – A full series of play readings offered throughout the season
  • HMT’s Youth Theater Conservatory presented FIDDLER, JR. in May 2008
2008-09: INTO THE WOODS
A LITTLE HOUSE CHRISTMAS
SANTALAND DIARIES
BEYOND THERAPY
ENCHANTED APRIL

  • Jonathon Whitton returned to HMT for a special engagement of THE SANTALAND DIARIES in December of 2008.
  • HMT’s cast and crew of A LITTLE HOUSE CHRISTMAS is successful at Barnes & Noble for a community day out.
  • HMT’s continued The Shuster Series – A full series of play readings offered throughout the season
  • HMT’s Youth Theater Conservatory presented BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, JR. in May 2009
2009-10: CURTAINS
A CHRISTMAS CAROL
DEATHTRAP
NOISES OFF

  • Area premier of the Tony Award Winning Musical, CURTAINS in October 2009
  • HMT received a $5,000 grant from The Saratoga Foundation
  • Special STAGE TO STUDIO art exhibit in which HMT worked with local visual artists who created works of art honoring HMT’s 25 years
  • Reception in fall 2009 for all the volunteers from over the past 25 years
  • HMT’s cast and crew of A CHRISTMAS CAROL participated for the second year at Barnes & Noble for a community day out
  • David Hyde Pierce was the special guest at HMT’s Annual Benefit in March
  • HMT’s continued The Shuster Series – A full series of play readings offered throughout the season
  • HMT’s Youth Theater Conservatory presented THOUROGHLY MODERN MILLIE, JR. in May 2010
2010-11: THE 25th ANNUAL PUTNAM SPELLING BEE
RAMONA QUIMBY
THE MATCHMAKER
HARVEY

  • Over 20 audience members throughout the run of HMT’s THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE took the stage as guest spellers in the show
  • HMT presented Victor Cahn’s one man show SHERLOCK SOLO in November
  • HMT’s cast and crew of RAMONA QUIMBY participated for the third year at Barnes & Noble for a community day out
  • HMT had great success with the January 2011 Murder Mystery Dinner at Panza’s Restaurant
  • Chris Riggi was the special guest at HMT’s Annual Benefit in March
  • HMT’s continued The Shuster Series – A full series of play readings offered throughout the season
  • HMT’s Youth Theater Conservatory presented ANNIE, JR. in May 2011
  • HMT was a part of SaratogaArtsFest June 2011, with A Love Story…For Every Generation
  • Thanks to a generous donation from Marcia and Jerry MacDonald and the GE Foundation, HMT was able to update their sound system
2011-12: HAIR
THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE
AND THEN THERE WERE NONE
RUMORS

  • HMT presented NYC’s Queens Shakespeare’s production of A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM  in November 2011
  • HMT’s cast and crew of THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE participated for the fourth year at Barnes & Noble for a community day out
  • An anonymous donor matched HMT’s mid season appeal donations up to $10,000
  • HMT had great success with two evenings of their annual Murder Mystery Dinner in January at The Gideon Putnam
  • HMT hosted its Annual Benefit in March 2012 with auctioneer and emcee Marcus Dean Fuller
  • HMT continued The Shuster Series – A full series of play readings offered throughout the season
  • HMT’s Youth Theater Conservatory presented GUYS AND DOLLS, JR. in May 2012
  • With the help of a SaratogaArtsFest program enhancement grant, HMT was a part of SaratogaArtsFest in June 2012 with YOU GOTTA HAVE FRIENDS
2012-13: 9 TO 5: THE MUSICAL
THE WIZARD OF OZ
THE SANTALAND DIARIES
THE 39 STEPS
LEADING LADIES

  • HMT hosted a fall Open House with STAR Radio
  • HMT’s cast and crew of THE WIZARD OF OZ participated for the fifth year at Barnes & Noble for a community day out
  • Jonathon Whitton returned to HMT for a special engagement of THE SANTALAND DIARIES in December 2012
  • HMT had great success with a sold out evening of their annual Murder Mystery Dinner in January 2013 at The Gideon Putnam
  • HMT’s continued The Shuster Series – A full series of play readings offered throughout the season
  • HMT’s Youth Theater Conservatory presented THE LITTLE MERMAID, JR. in May 2013
  • With the help of a SaratogaArtsFest program enhancement grant, HMT was a part of SaratogaArtsFest in June 2013 with STABLE CHAT: A COLLECTION OF SONGS AND STORIES STRAIGHT FROM THE HORSE’S MOUTH
2013-14: THE DROWSY CHAPERONE
CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY
WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION
BOEING BOEING

  • HMT hosted a fall Open House
  • HMT’s cast and crew of CHARLIE participated for the sixth year at Barnes & Noble for a community day out
  • HMT had great success with an evening of their annual Murder Mystery Dinner in January 2014 at The Gideon Putnam
  • HMT had great success with a sold out evening of their annual Murder Mystery Dinner in January 2013 at The Gideon Putnam
  • HMT’s continued The Shuster Series – A full series of play readings offered throughout the season
  • HMT’s Youth Theater Conservatory presented FAME, JR. in May 2014
  • With the help of a SaratogaArtsFest program enhancement grant, HMT was a part of SaratogaArtsFest in June 2014 with THEATRICAL THERAPY: A CABARET PERFORMANCE
2014-15: THE ADDAMS FAMILY
THE JUNGLE BOOK
THE COMPLETE HISTORY OF AMERICA (ABRIDGED)
THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER

  • THE ADDAMS FAMILY broke box office records with its well-received October run
  • With the help of an anonymous donor, HMT’s Perfect Match campaign raised over $34,000 to celebrate their 30th season
  • HMT had great success with a sold-out evening of their annual Murder Mystery Dinner in January 2015 at The Gideon Putnam
  • HMT’s 30th season celebration continued with a sparkling benefit headed by honorary chairs Bill & Susan Dake, which included numerous underwriters and honorary committee members, and a special musical number highlighting past HMT musical favorites
  • HMT’s Youth Theater Conservatory presented LEGALLY BLONDE, JR. in May 2015
2015-16: A CHORUS LINE
MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET
CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF
CALENDAR GIRLS

  • HMT hosted one of the first ArtsFestFridays in December 2015 with MIRACLE-themed activities
  • HMT’s cast and crew of MIRACLE participated for the eighth year at Barnes & Noble for a community day out
  • HMT had great success with a sold-out evening of their annual Murder Mystery Dinner in January 2016 at The Gideon Putnam
  • HMT was voted “Best Community Theatre in New York” by NY Theatre Guides’ Readers’ Choice Awards
  • HMT hosted a sparkling benefit headed by honorary chairs Ron & Michele Riggi
  • HMT’s Youth Musical Theater Conservatory presented INTO THE WOODS, JR. in May 2016