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The BeeKay Theater was opened in 1936 by Louis Kanstein and Frank Baumgart. Harry Beauford was the main projectionist.

This year, Tehachapi Community Theater celebrates its 50th anniversary with 50 years of creative people planning, rehearsing, singing and joyfully presenting plays and musicals for the entertainment of our community. For many years, TCT continuously presented wonderful theater in such places as Wells Auditorium, Tehachapi Academy of Performing Arts, the Stallion Springs Community Center, Mama Hillybean’s Coffee House (now Red House BBQ) and even Jacobsen Middle School.

It was Dec. 6, 2008, when the ribbon-cutting took place for the BeeKay Theater, and during that month, TCT opened the theater with the musical “Oliver.” This wonderful, rebuilt building has become a beautiful, comfortable and prestigious venue to be the home for all of TCT’s productions.

Having a home has allowed TCT to be focused on bringing a variety of the most interesting plays to Tehachapi with an emphasis on finding the best cast, crew and creative talents to enhance each experience. The mission statement for TCT is “to serve our culturally diverse community with quality live theater for adults, teens and children; to provide dynamic personal development opportunities for all ages through productions, classes and workshops; to actively support other performing arts and to contribute to the health and vibrancy of downtown Tehachapi through the operation of the historic BeeKay Theater.”

The cost for production has risen over the years (as everything seems to do). Obtaining the rights to plays and music scores is quite costly. Building working sets for each production, costuming the actors, bringing in the right props, all cost money. We are proud of the support which we’ve had from our community. Fifty years is nothing to take lightly. However, we find that with the population growth in Tehachapi and the increasing sophistication of our residents, the demand for better-known productions and excellent quality theater grows too. Since we don’t have the ability to add more seats in the theater, we need to find other ways to fund our growing needs.

In that respect, we are asking for business owners, companies and individual or family donors to sponsor a play. The most recent production of "Young Frankenstein" was sponsored by The Tehachapi Apple Festival. As the organizer of that event, it gave me great pride to be able to put money into the arts and support one of the most fun, well attended and delightful productions from TCT.

Being a sponsor means your name and/or logo will be included in all advertising, posters and programs for the production. Your sponsorship will be mentioned at the beginning of each engagement of that show. But most importantly, you will be supporting the arts, which in turn supports the health and welfare of our community. As Oscar Wilde once said, “I regard the theater as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being.”

Your support, by sponsoring a play, offers a unique opportunity for our people, including your employees, to find more satisfaction by being a part of a community that offers live theater, a real cultural enhancement. It’s a chance for a very satisfying evening out with a long lasting effect. Laurence Olivier said, “I believe that in a great city, or even in a small city or a village, a great theater is the outward and visible sign of an inward and probable culture.”

We encourage you to reach out to us to become a sponsor of an upcoming production. If we reach out to you, we hope you will be receptive to our passion and pitch. The remaining production for this season is "The Foreigner," a fun, two-act comedy which takes place in a fishing lodge in rural Tilghman County, Georgia. Guests believing that one of the lodgers is a “foreigner” who does not speak any English begin divulging their secrets. The next season will include such productions as the musical comedy "Nunsense," "One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest," "Trip to Bountiful" and "Little Women" (not necessarily in that order).

Linda Carhart is a member of the Tehachapi Community Theater and organizer of the Tehachapi Apple Festival.