7242 Owensmouth Ave Canoga Park, CA 91303 • 818.884.1907
Our Beginnings In 1986, Jon Berry (professional actor and a member of Prince of Peace Episcopal Church) approached the rector, the late Fr. Jess Taylor, and asked for his permission to perform a one-act George Bernard Shaw play Village Wooing using the church hall. Fr. Taylor gave his okay and so started the Woodland Hills Community Theatre. Jon and another professional friend performed for two sold out weekends at the church site. This production was followed by another George Bernard Shaw production, Overruled. Once again the play was sold out. All profits taken in were donated to the West Valley Food Pantry, a local food bank serving the West San Fernando Valley and located at Prince of Peace. Jon noticed that several church members had previous theatrical experience and though they were not professional actors they were quite good! He got a book on how to start a community theatre. He checked with some of his legal friends on how to incorporate as non-profit. In 1989, Woodland Hills Community Theatre, Inc. was born. The first full production was Peg 'O My Heart. Over 75 actors turned out for the audition and many people wanted to get involved technically as well. The play ran only 2 weekends but it was the hottest ticket in town! The next two shows, Desperate Hours and Bus Stop were both played to packed houses. This time the production was done in Woodland Hills Elementary School since it became clear that the church space was not enough. In 1990, the performance schedule was expanded and moved to a small 87-seat Children's Theatre at Ventura Blvd. and De Soto. Witness for the Prosecution and The Oldest Living Graduate were performed in that theatre. When the owner of the Children's Theatre lost his lease, Woodland Hills Community Theatre moved back to Prince of Peace and during the summer of 1990 presented Gaslight. When the hall at the First United Methodist Church became available in late 1990, the theatre moved to that location. The West Valley Playhouse was inaugurated in Fall 2000 as the new home of WHCT! This state of the art theatre provides intimate theatrical atmosphere for our viewers to enjoy the wonderful plays of this prestigious Clyde Porters West Valley Playhouse.