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AFD History

"Avenue Q" 2014

The Arlington Friends of the Drama, now known as AFD Theatre, was founded in 1923 and is one of the ten oldest continually operating community theatre groups in the United States. Incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation in the early 1930s, Arlington Friends of the Drama, Inc. outbid the Odd Fellows and came in with the highest bid for the St. John's Episcopal Church building, now our theatre. We bid $8,200.  More recently - and at an expense far exceeding its purchase price - our 194-seat theatre was extensively updated and made handicap-accessible.  With justified pride we can say that AFD Theatre is among the finest area playhouses for actors, directors, production designers and audiences to produce and enjoy live theatre.


Our first major musical, Iolanthe, was performed in our 12th season (1935). We currently design and produce a season of four shows every year, usually including comedy, drama, a "smaller" musical and a major musical.  The regional and national awards garnered by our productions are many, but we are most proud of the fact that year in and year out we entertain thousands of people, encourage local development and appreciation of the theatre arts, and provide a home for some of the most creative directors, designers and performing artists in New England.

As we advance in our own experience we have stepped up our commitment to developing the next generation of theater artists and audiences.  We are doing this in several ways, among them: the selection of productions in which youth may participate, both backstage and occasionally onstage; an annual scholarship donation to a worthy student at Arlington High School; providing Students the opportunity to attend final rehearsals of our productions at no charge.

Full list of AFD productions, 1923-2018

Community theater since 1923

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