The Crystal Theatre has had many lives since it opened in 1913, drawing its first audiences with vaudeville shows, silent movies, and then talkies. It eventually closed and morphed into a coffee house and then a home for vagrants. The Crystal was reborn in the early 80’s and had a very successful 20-year run as a dinner theater. Local performers staged classics such as “Arsenic and Old Lace,” “Oklahoma,” “Grease,” and “Steel Magnolias.”
But due to the natural attrition of a completely volunteer organization, in 2002 the theater went dark for an extended intermission. No one knew if there would be another act.
In 2006 the curtain rose again for the historic playhouse. Harkening back to their roots by hosting visiting productions, and concentrating their local energies on youth and youth programming.
Today the Crystal Theatre’s Young Program is the only one of its kind in Texas, and perhaps the nation. Today, the Young Program is dedicated to providing arts-in-education opportunities for young people from all backgrounds. It now includes the year-round Shakespeare Ninja Project in conjunction with the University of Texas Shakespeare at Winedale Outreach Program, the Crystal summer youth workshop (now in it’s 27th year), and the performance of original Texas history ballads written for their Young Texians Troupe.