The history of the
Forty-five years ago, a PTA group at Van Derveer Elementary School in Somerville started a thespian troupe; and in 1967 the curtain went up on the Somerset Valley Players (SVP). This group of volunteers put on one production a year in the beginning that increased to three shows, including their first musical, Guys and Dolls, performed in 1971.
Although being able to stage their productions at many temporary homes, having a theater of their own was a distant, yet tantalizing, dream. After a long search, SVP purchased the one-room schoolhouse on Amwell Road; and in 1980, along with all of their props, scenery, furniture, and costumes, they moved into their new home.
Over the next five years, members spent countless hours renovating the building. Finally, in January of 1985, SVP opened the doors of the Somerset Valley Playhouse to a full house. The first show in their new theater, mirroring their beginnings, was Guys and Dolls. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Now, to continue the story…
SVP, the theater in the little red schoolhouse, thrived, increasing the number of plays performed from one to nine a year with the help of a myriad of volunteers, members, casts, and crews. Over the past decade the well-worn theater was renovated and refurbished for the comfort of its patrons, actors, and production staffs. Again, without the help of members and volunteers, it would not have been possible.
SVP is still making history and going strong! Come join us and add your story to ours.