About Us

JustMaskA Brief History of Little Theatre

The theatre arts have long been a tradition at Canisius College. Drama was a part of the regular curriculum at most Jesuit Schools around the turn of the century. Canisius College gained fame by presenting “The Passion Play” to the community in 1914, and again in 1917, 1920 and 1923. These performances would draw thousands to the temporary, outdoor theatre behind Old Main, and were often done by classes or groups of students. A formal club was not created until 1934, when a group of students established “The Bard’s and Board’s Dramatic Society.” They would continue to serve the theatre art needs at Canisius until the creation of “Little Theatre” in 1946.

The first show to be performed by Little Theatre was “Libel!” on November 10, 1946 at Mt. St. Joseph’s School. The Little Theatre organization would continue to grow through the decades, establishing a body of work that included religious dramas, Shakespeare, musicals, and contemporary comedies.

As the oldest club on campus, Little Theatre saw several changes to its performance areas over the years. It wasn’t until Canisius College acquired the old Sister’s Hospital building (now the location of the Koessler Athletic Center) that the club would finally have a home to call its own. However, the building was deemed a safety concern and closed in 1958, leaving Little Theatre with an auditorium space in the Richard E. Winter Student Center that it would use from 1963-1994. This served as the club’s theatre space until the acquisition of Mt. St. Joseph’s School in 1994, when Little Theatre would return to the newly renovated and renamed Marie Maday Theatre.

Compiled by Daniel Kuether, edited by Josh Robinson.

Past Shows



    • Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (2009), Romeo and Juliet (2009), Pippin (2009), Twelfth Night (2009), The Complete History of America [Abridged] (2008), An Enemy of the People (2008), Smokey Joe’s Cafe (2008), Night Watch (2008), The Complete Works of William Shakespeare [Abridged] (2007), The Winter’s Tale (2007), Little Shop of Horrors (2007), As You Like It (2007), Painting Churches (2006), Absence of a Cello (2006), Album (2006), Bachelor Party + Marty (2006), Godspell (2005), Merchant of Venice (2005), A Night of One Acts (2005), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2005), Diegesis (2004), Hot L Baltimore (2004), I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change (2004), The House of Blue Leaves (2004), Once on This Island (2003), Blithe Spirit (2003), A Night of One Acts (2003), The Curious Savage (2003), You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown (2002), Two Gentlemen of Verona (2002), Leader of the Pack (2002), Done to Death (2002), Hair (2001), Twelfth Night (2001), Hamlet (2001), As I Was Melting (2000), The Mousetrap (2000), How to Eat Like a Child (2000), Arcadia (2000).


    • Other People’s Money (1999), Much Ado About Nothing (1999), Something Like a War (1999), Love’s Labours Lost (1999), Mirage (1999), Rumors (1998), Macbeth (1998), Life on the Front (1997), The Importance of Being Earnest (1997), Illusons: Believe in Magic (1997), Theatre Bits (1997), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1997), John Loves Mary (1996), Morning Announcements (1996), Something to Hide (1996), One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1995), Twelfth Night (1995), The Philadelphia Story (1994), Gallery (1994), Shadow Box (1993), Cinderella Waltz (1992), Fifth of July (1992), Screwtape (1991), Alice in Wonderland (1991), The Dining Room (1990), Crimes of the Heart (1990).


    • The Curious Savage (1989), The Curate Shakespeare: As You Like It (1989), The Gingerbread Lady (1988), The Lion in Winter (1988), Dracula (1987), Shivaree (1987), The Wayside Motor Inn (1986), Fieffer’s People (1986), NUTS (1985), Galeties (1985), The Hot L Baltimore (1984), The Man Who Came to Dinner (1983), Black Comedy, White Liars (1982), Exit the Body (1982), Dinny and the Witches, The Curious Savage (1981), Charley’s Aunt (1980), The Deceits of Scapin (1980).


    • Bus Stop (1979), Three One-Act Plays (1979), Who Are You Now, Alice? (1978), Our Town (1977), After the Fall (1977), George Washington Slept Here (1975), Who’s Poppa (1975), Three One-Act Comedies (1975), The Taming of the Shrew (1974), Three One-Act Plays (1974), Arsenic and Old Lace (1973), The Hostage (1973), A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1972), Barefoot in the Park (1971), Guys and Dolls (1971), Macbeth (1971).


    • Under Milkwood (1969), Take Me Along (1969), How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (1969), Much Ado About Nothing (1968), West Side Story (1968), A Streetcar Named Desire (1968), Candida (1968), The Student Prince (1968), Twelfth Night (1967), Look Homeward Angel (1966), Poor Richard (1966), The Bedtime Story (1966), Pygmalion (1966), The Laughing Wife (1965), Hamlet (1965), Escuriel (1965), The Fantasticks (1965), King Henry Part I (1964), Antigone (1964), Noah (1964), The Guardsman (1963), The Zoo Story (1963), Macbeth (1963), The Man in the Bowler Hat (1963), Impromtu (1962), Arms and the Man Man (1962), Same Time Tomorrow (1962), The Mad Woman of Chaillot (1962), Animal Farm (1961), Epitaph for George Dillon (1961), Fumed Oak,Red Peppers (1961), Three Men on a Horse (1960), Twelve Angry Men (1960), The Happy Journey to Camden and Trenton (1960).


    • Time Limit (1959), Liliom (1958), Murder in the Cathedral (1957), Vamp Till Ready (1957), Candida (1956), Our Town (1956), The Red Peppers (1956), The Caine Mutiny Court Martial (1955), Gray Fedora (1955), Rape (1955), Stalag 17 (1954), Triffes (1954), The Hasty Heart (1953), Where the Cross is Made (1953), Macbeth (1953), The Detective Story (1952), King Lear (1952), The Tagical History of Dr. Faustis (1951), Othello (1951), Harvey (1951), Inspector General (1950), Halmet (1950).


  • Laura (1949), The Miser (1949), Fatima (1949), The Man Who Came to Dinner (1948), The Girl (1948), The Game of Chess (1948), Yellow Jacket (1947), The Tavern (1947), Arsenic and Old Lace (1947), Brother Orchid (1947), Libel! (1946).