The Little Theatre of Virginia Beach is conveniently located just 6 blocks from the oceanfront on the corner of 24th Street and Barberton Drive and easily accessible to Interstate 264.
Nestled in a residential neighborhood, LTVB is an all volunteer, not-for-profit organization that has been bringing live theatre to the community since 1948. Our mission is to educate and to provide our community with quality live theatrical experiences at affordable prices while developing and showcasing local talent. The Theatre operates Friday/Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons year-round with 5 productions in our regular season (September through early June) and a summer production in July, showcasing many of Hampton Roads' best local actors. We invite you to visit and help us commemorate the Beach's oldest continually-operating community theater.
The Little Theatre of Virginia Beach is funded, in part, by the citizens of Virginia Beach through a grant from the City of Virginia Beach Arts and Humanities Commission. Additional funding provided from the Hampton Roads Community Foundation on behalf of the Carol Chittum Endowment for the Theatrical Performing Arts and the Eugenia Smith Kennedy Fund and a grant from the Business Consortium for Arts Support.
From notes provided by the late Liz Sills
See also the Virginia Beach Public Libary's LTVB digital collection
In March of 1948, Carol Simpson and Liz Sills organized the Little Theatre of Virginia Beach at the old Community House, also known as the USO. At that time, Virginia Beach was a small town surrounded by Princess Anne County, depending largely on Norfolk for its culture. There had been attempts in 1930 and 1936 to get a little theatre going, and from time to time the Princess Anne Women's Club produced a well-received play, but it was the follies put on by the Junior Women's Club with help from the Cargill Company of New York that inspired the creation of LTVB. The first general meeting was attended by 150 enthusiastic volunteers at the Cavalier Hotel, most of whom ran when they found out how much work would be involved. With a loan of $300 from the Junior Women's Club, production got under way.
The first three years were hectic, busy, uncharted. LTVB held workshops, sponsored a radio script contest, entertained Broadway stars appearing in the Norfolk Drama Festival, presented members on numerous radio shows, created a children's theatre committee, sponsored speakers and helped the professional theatre-go-round get started. The first show, My Sister Eileen, had an ever-changing cast of twenty six, who rehearsed in offices and hotel lobbies. The show opened in the original W. T. Cooke School auditorium. The theatre survived several years at the Community House (the old USO), where the acoustics were awful, but they let the theatre use the bath houses for rehearsal.
After Carol Simpson retired, Ruth Mazury took over as director. She had been a Ziegfeld Follies girl for 17 years before switching to drama and had worked with many famous theatre personalities. Ruth Mazury directed four plays per year for 10 years. By this time some of the plays were being produced at the Roland Movie Theatre on 17th Street, where the actors could not get on stage without walking through the men's room, which then took them outside, down an alley and up some steps. LTVB performed at various other venues, including Virginia Beach High School, the Bay Harbour Club (a dinner theatre in the White Heron) and the Lake Wright Dinner Theatre. In 1972 LTVB moved into its present space at 24th Street and Barberton Drive.