SHOWS AnD HISTORY

About Us

The West Virginia Charleston Light Opera Guild was founded in 1949 by area vocal teachers and a relocated former professional singer and actor, Leonard Stocker. The first production was HMS Pinafore. Early productions were operettas.

The Guild is a community theatre that strives to present quality classic, new, and cutting edge musical theatre to local area audiences at affordable prices and to provide an outlet for nurturing the talents of singers, actors, dancers, musicians, stage hands and crew, and behind the scenes volunteers.

As of the 2018 season, the Guild had produced 229 shows of 146 unique titles in it's 68-year history.

A production of Oklahoma! in 1960 introduced the Broadway musical.

All cast members are chosen in open auditions by the show directors and an audition committee.

Annually, Guild productions provide performance opportunities for over 200 singers, actors, dancers, orchestra members, and crew.

Over 14,000 audience members view a Guild production each year and co-productions with the Clay Center enable another 2,400 students to attend a performance.

Productions are mounted in the Charleston Civic Center Little Theatre, the Clay Center's Maier Performance Hall, Norman L. Fagan State Theatre at the Cultural Center, and at our own Charleston Light Opera Guild Theatre.

The Charleston Light Opera Guild owns and maintains its own theatre and workshop where costumes are stored, some sets are built, productions are rehearsed, and some smaller summer musicals are presented.

The Guild has an active summer theatre program that is nearly fifty years old. Summer theatre is (mostly) designed for older high school and college age students plus young adults.

The first Guild African–American musical, The Wiz, was mounted thirty years ago.

The Guild is governed by an elected Board of Directors and a contracted artistic and musical director.

The Guild has mounted a new production for FestivALL Charleston since FestivALL's origin in 2005.

The Guild credits many working professionals in theatre, dance, music and production among its alumni including Jennifer Garner, Kathy Mattea, Ann Magnuson, and Joe Chrest.

A gala benefit show and reception was hosted by Golden Globe winning actress and Guild alumna Jennifer Garner during the FestivALL 2009 production of Thoroughly Modern Millie at the Charleston Civic Center. The Charleston Light Opera Guild presented The Civil War at the Culture Center in June 2013 as part of the West Virginia Sesquicentennial Commission's official commemoration of West Virginia's 150th birthday. Guest artists included West Virginia native and noted actor David Selby who appeared as Abraham Lincoln on June 20 and Mountain Stage host Larry Groce. In February 2014 the Guild recognized 40 years of continual summer theatre for teens and young adults by reprising the first summer theatre production, Godspell. Many original cast members were present including Grammy winner and honoree Kathy Mattea.

The Charleston Light Opera Guild is the recipient of the Mayor's Award for the Arts, the 2016 Arts to the Max Award from Charleston Area Alliance and an award for Excellence in Support of the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts Organization Leadership Recognition presented at the 2016 Governor's Arts Awards.

Proceeds from ticket sales only cover a small portion of the cost of producing a musical. The Guild is very grateful for sponsorships, grants, and donations.

The Charleston Light Opera Guild was honored as the recipient of the Arts Organization of the Year at the 2018 Governor's Awards for the Arts.

Selected Early Show Photos

Show History

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Production

Bright Star

42nd Street

Mamma Mia!

Ragtime

The Little Mermaid

The Full Monty

My Fair Lady

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

The Addams Family

Anything Goes

Bridges of Madison County

Sister Act

A Christmas Story

Jesus Christ Superstar

Beauty and the Beast

The Wiz

Spamalot

A Christmas Story

Mary Poppins

Cabaret

La Cage aux Folles

Into the Woods

Miracle on 34th Street

Fiddler on the Roof

The Wedding Singer

Catch Me If You Can

9 to 5: The Musical

Godspell

Les Misérables

Chicago

The Civil War

Evita

Hello, Dolly!

Legally Blonde

Next to Normal

The Color Purple

Annie

Hairspray

Thoroughly Modern Millie

The Drowsy Chaperone

Dreamgirls

Hair

Barnum

Gypsy

Pirates of Penzance

Peter Pan

Rent

Curtains

South Pacific

HMS Pinafore

The Producers

Grease

Pump Boys and Dinettes

A Chorus Line

Cinderella

High School Musical

They're Playing Our Song

Ragtime

Into The Woods

Guys and Dolls

1940's Radio Hour

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

Beauty and the Beast

Anything Goes

I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change

The Wiz

The Sound of Music

Seussical

Little Shop of Horrors

Pippin

The Music Man

Babes In Arms

Smokey Joe's Cafe

1776

Chicago

Footloose

Tintypes

Annie

42nd Street

Fame

The Fantasticks

A Little Night Music

The Gift of the Magi

Fiddler On The Roof

Grease

Kiss Me, Kate

Peter Pan

A Chorus Line

Follies

Man Of La Mancha

Li'l Abner

The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas

Gypsy

The Sound of Music

Pippin

Hello, Dolly!

La Cage Aux Folles

Company

Cinderella

The Will Rogers Follies

Showboat

She Loves Me

Ain't Misbehavin'

Mame

Damn Yankees

The Goodbye Girl

Godspell

Dreamgirls

My Fair Lady

I Do, I Do

Annie

Guys and Dolls

Sugar

Into The Woods

Funny Girl

A Chorus Line

South Pacific

Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Gypsy

Pump Boys and Dinettes

Oklahoma!

Cabaret

Jerry's Girls

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum

Fiddler On The Roof

Anything Goes

The Robber Bridegroom

Leader Of The Pack

Evita

42nd Street

Little Shop of Horrors

Pippin

The Music Man

Sweet Charity

Grease

Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Annie Get Your Gun

The Wiz

A Chorus Line

Something's Afoot

Barnum

The Sound of Music

Life After High School

They're Playing Our Song

Guys and Dolls

Company

Annie

Rodgers and Hart

Carousel

Pirates of Penzance

The Apple Tree

Man of La Mancha

Chicago

On a Clear Day

Babes in Arms

The King and I

Grease

Cabaret

Diamond Studs

Unsinkable Molly Brown

Pippin

Side by Side by Sondheim

Li'l Abner

My Fair Lady

Oliver

Fiddler On The Roof

Shenandoah

How to Succeed In Business

Brigadoon

The Music Man

Jacques Brel

Promises, Promises

I Do, I Do

Gypsy

1776

Company

Godspell

Man of La Mancha

Applause

No, No, Nanette

Cabaret

Wildcat

Guys and Dolls

Fiddler on the Roof

Oklahoma!

Your Own Thing

Mame

Showboat

Most Happy Fella

Spoon River Anthology

Little Mary Sunshine

Ten Nights In A Bar Room

Hello, Dolly

West Side Story

Oliver!

South Pacific

Camelot

How To Succeed In Business

Kiss Me, Kate

My Fair Lady

The Music Man

The Sound of Music

Kismet

Damn Yankees

Carousel

Guys and Dolls

Brigadoon

Annie Get Your Gun

The King and I

South Pacific

Oklahoma!

The Firefly

Oh, Kay

Ruddigore

HMS Pinafore

Where's Charley

Countess Maritza

Mikado

Girl Crazy

Roberta

Carousel

No, No, Nanette

New Moon

Patience

Naughty Marietta

Pirates of Penzance

Red Mill

Chocolate Soldier

Mikado

Sweethearts

Gondoliers

HMS Pinafore