The mission of Lyric Theatre Company is to produce musicals and other performing arts of professional quality for northern New England. We offer both members and the public opportunities for learning and growth with an emphasis on volunteerism within the organization. As a community theatre, we are committed to cultivating a culture of diversity, inclusion and belonging, making our activities and programs accessible and affordable, offering educational activities, sharing resources, and working cooperatively with schools and other community groups.
Lyric Main Stage Productions
1974 – How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying | Gypsy
1975 – Pajama Game | My Fair Lady
1976 – Guys and Dolls | Oklahoma!
1977 – The King and I | Mame
1978 – Gigi | Fiddler on the Roof
1979 – Hello, Dolly! | Camelot
1980 – Carousel | Kismet
1981 – The Music Man | Kiss Me, Kate
1982 – Annie, Get Your Gun | South Pacific
1983 – A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum | West Side Story
1984 – Brigadoon | Cabaret
1985 – The Sound of Music | Oliver!
1986 – Man of La Mancha | Funny Girl
1987 – Peter Pan | A Little Night Music
1988 – Annie | A Chorus Line
1989 – My Fair Lady | Jesus Christ Superstar
1990 – Anything Goes | Guys and Dolls
1991 – Li’l Abner | Babes in Toyland
1992 – 42nd Street | The Roar of the Greasepaint, the Smell of the Crowd | The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas
1993 – Fiddler on the Roof | Me and My Girl
1994 – Pippin | Finian’s Rainbow
1995 – West Side Story | The Music Man
1996 – Oklahoma! | Bye, Bye Birdie
1997 – Into the Woods | Show Boat
1998 – The Wizard of Oz | Annie
1999 – Crazy for You | Gypsy
2000 – Peter Pan | South Pacific
2001 – The Three Musketeers | Singin’ in the Rain
2002 – The Sound of Music | Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor® Dreamcoat
2003 – The Secret Garden | Jesus Christ Superstar
2004 – The King and I | Grease
2005 – Cinderella | A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
2006 – Seussical™ the Musical | Fiddler on the Roof
2007 – Guys and Dolls | West Side Story
2008 – Beauty and the Beast | A Chorus Line
2009 – Hello, Dolly! | The Full Monty
2010 – La Cage aux Folles | Peter Pan
2011 – Chicago | Hairspray
2012 – Titanic | RENT
2013 – Oliver! | Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor® Dreamcoat
2014 – Les Misérables | The Producers
2015 – Legally Blonde | White Christmas
2016 – Mary Poppins | The Who’s Tommy
2017 – 9 to 5 | A Christmas Story
2018 – Dirty Rotten Scoundrels | Annie
2019 – Mamma Mia! | The Addams Family
2022 – Matilda | Into the Woods
2023 – Shrek The Musical
The story of Lyric Theatre Company began in earnest on the evening of May 1, 1974, when the curtain rose for How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. This marked the inaugural Lyric production on the historic but largely neglected former movie house stage known as “the Flynn”.
First conceived at a December 1973 meeting between a small group of friends looking for a theatrical outlet, Lyric Theatre Company began the process of mounting that first show in the following months. The triumph of that production and subsequent Lyric outings at the Flynn spurred the community to re-imagine what might be possible in the historic art deco theater. A community effort spearheaded by Lyric in 1980 led to the establishment of the Flynn Theatre for the Performing Arts, resulting in the purchase and restoration of the property, and establishing what would become a regional mecca for the performing arts. Now, forty-nine years and well over one hundred Lyric theatrical productions later, Lyric Theatre Company and the Flynn are enduring fixtures in the greater Burlington community and constants in the lives of so many of its residents.
From its beginnings as a group of around thirty friends with less than ten thousand dollars to put up its first show, Lyric has grown to become one of the largest volunteer-based community theatre groups in the United States. Today, each Lyric season represents the work of nearly 400 volunteers who donate 20,000 hours of their time, alongside a small paid staff, robust Board of Directors, and a dynamic group of community partners who support the work of the organization all year long. Audiences numbering 15,000 now take in our productions, with a yearly community-wide economic impact measured in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. We are still proudly producing shows at the Flynn on our beloved Main Stage, but with many more friends by our side and many more opportunities throughout the year and across the region.
In 2019, Lyric marked another milestone with the completion of a years-long Capital Campaign to purchase and renovate a permanent home for its numerous creative efforts, ensuring that Lyric will remain a treasured resource to the community for generations. That year marked the first time a Lyric production was designed, built, and rehearsed entirely in the Lyric Creative Space in South Burlington.
Like the rest of the world, Lyric had to suddenly and dramatically change course in March of 2020. The global pandemic forced Lyric’s staff and Board to make the gut-wrenching decision to postpone its upcoming Main Stage offering for the first time in its history. Within weeks, Lyric became a volunteer hub and distribution center, producing more than 24,000 face masks for the region. Lyric harnessed the same creative spirit to find new ways of producing meaningful theatrical productions for socially-distanced and outdoor audiences, as well as virtual presentations that expanded the reach and diversity of Lyric productions. This era also saw Lyric embark on a host of new partnerships with local organizations and venues, including a proud new tradition of producing Theatre for Young Audiences programming every summer in the community, free-of-charge.
At the close of our first half-century, we are taking the opportunity to reflect on our past and work toward a more inclusive future. Various productions over the years have included outdated, offensive depictions of marginalized groups, cultural appropriation, and harmful stereotypes. We have chosen to let this spark meaningful change in our organization and community with investments to enhance the diversity of our membership and practices. The Lyric Theatre Company of the next 50 years and beyond will reflect our extraordinary community both on and off the stage, and we invite you to join us on that journey.
Thank you for being part of Lyric’s story — past, present, and future.