South Bend Civic Theatre operates primarily out of our main building, 403 N. Main, which houses both the Wilson Mainstage Auditorium and the Warner Studio Theatre. Occasionally we produce shows, camps and classes off-site, so patrons are encouraged to check on location.
The mailing address is PO Box 1146, South Bend, IN 46624 - Mail is not accepted at the 403 N. Main address. The main phone # is 574-234-1112, which reaches the box office between noon and 6 PM on weekdays.
South Bend Civic Theatre was founded in 1957 by two University of Notre Dame graduates. SBCT staged most of its productions after 1968 at The Firehouse, a local historic landmark located at 701 Portage Ave., in the city’s historic Park Avenue neighborhood.
Beginning in the year 2000, SBCT began staging selected productions each year at Century Center’s Bendix Theatre, at the Morris Performing Arts Center, and for the first time in 2005, at the DeBartolo Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of Notre Dame.
Under the leadership of an incredible Board of Directors and then-Executive Director Jim Coppens, SBCT began exploring solutions for the need for more space. In January 2007, the beginning of SBCT’s 50th Anniversary year, Civic celebrated the opening of its new theatre home at 403 N. Main St. in downtown South Bend, in what was formerly the Scottish Rite Building. Through generous individual support as well as community and corporate underwriting, SBCT was able to complete construction on a new 3,500 square foot scene shop, renovation of a 209 seat Mainstage Auditorium and a 70 seat versatile “black-box” Studio Theatre in a span of time of little more than a year. In November of 2009, a special gift to SBCT eliminated the mortgage on the facility, the final chapter on the capital campaign that has allowed the organization to experience exponential growth in impact and production values.
South Bend Civic Theatre has grown dramatically in the past decade:
Programming has increased from 6 to more than a dozen productions annually, with more than 125 performances a year.
The audience has grown from 3,500 to 20,000. Hundreds of volunteers participate onstage, backstage, on the board and as ushers annually.
Contributions to our Annual fund have risen from $3,000 in 1995 to more than $180,000 annually.
Since 1996, thousands of area youth have benefited from SBCT classes and camps, attended or participated in SBCT productions, compared to just a handful in years prior. With the launch of the “Kids4Kids” program in 2009, thousands of K-12 students have the chance to see live theatre through SBCT’s daytime school performances.
SBCT has been recognized time and again through awards at state, regional, even national, competitions.
Individual, corporate and/or foundation sponsors help underwrite production costs of each SBCT production throughout the calendar year.