Meet MACT member Albert Lea Community Theatre

Old photo of Albert Lea Community Theatre building.

Albert Lea Community Theatre (ACT) got its start in 1965, when Dr. John and Nancy Campbell, along with a dozen or so other citizens interested in theatre got together to discuss the possibility of organizing community theatre. The first play, “The Man Who Came to Dinner,” was done in the fall of 1965. The performance space at that time was the little theater in Southwest School, a part of local school district 241.

For the next 14 years, that space was used as the stage for the productions. Then, at the end of the 1970s, more and more events were scheduled for the school, so ACT went to the City of Albert Lea to try to locate an alternative space. After several locations were considered, the City decided that the Mason Building at 147 North Broadway offered the best possibility as theater space, and an agreement was made with the Masons to retain a long-term lease on the upper floor Lodge and the rest of the building would be renovated for theater use. At that time, the City had Federal Revenue Sharing money which was sufficient to pay for the $680,000 needed for renovation. $50,000 of this was donated by Albert Lea Community Theatre, as well as the lighting system, the curtain and a few other smaller items. Fortunately, at the time, funds were available and the City Council had a keen appreciation for the arts. The entire space, except the third floor of the Mason’s Lodge, was gutted. Into this empty space, a theatre was created.

ACT has celebrated 58 seasons as a community theatre in Albert Lea. We feel we have been blessed through the years with good audience support from the community, a good relationship with the City, who understands the importance of arts in the community, and a good talent pool to draw from. With this kind of support, ACT looks forward to many more years of offering quality theatre to the community.

The final show in ACT’s 2023-2024 season will be “Fiddler on the Roof” June 20 – 30. This show will be directed by MACT Board Member, Gordy Handeland.

Mission Statement

At Albert Lea Community Theatre, we strive to improve the richness of life in the region by consistently bringing quality live theatre and entertainment to our stage.