The mission of Lyric Theatre Company is to produce musicals and dramatic performances of professional quality for northern New England. We offer both members and the public opportunities for learning and growth by volunteering within the Lyric organization. As a community theatre, we are committed to keeping our programs affordable, offering educational and theatrical activities, sharing resources and working cooperatively with schools other community groups.
On May 1, 1974 at eight o’clock in the evening, the curtain rose for How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, marking the inaugural Lyric Theatre Company production on the historic, but largely neglected Flynn Theater mainstage. Now, forty-five years and nearly one hundred Lyric theatrical productions later, Lyric Theatre Company and the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts are enduring fixtures in the greater Burlington community, and constants in the lives of so many of its residents.
First conceived of 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 production in the coming months. The triumph of How to Succeed… and subsequent Lyric productions, caused the community to re-imagine what was possible in the historic art deco Flynn Theater. A community effort spearheaded by Lyric in 1980 led to the purchase and restoration of the Flynn, establishing a regional mecca for the performing arts.
From its beginnings as a group of around thirty friends, and less than ten thousand dollars to put up our first show, Lyric has grown to become one of the largest volunteer-based community theatre organizations in the United States. Today, each Lyric season represents the work of nearly 400 volunteers and 20,000 hours of their time. Audiences numbering 15,000 take in our productions, with a yearly community-wide economic impact measured in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. We are still proudly putting shows up on our beloved Flynn stage, but with many more friends by our side.
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. The Addams Family marks the first Lyric production to be designed, built, and rehearsed entirely in the Lyric Creative Space.
Like the rest of the world, Lyric had to suddenly, and dramatically change course in March of 2020, postponing a mainstage production for the first time due to the pandemic sweeping through the community and the globe. Within weeks, Lyric had become a volunteer hub and distribution center at the request of the City of Burlington, and over the coming months would go on to produce more than 24,000 face masks for the entire region. Lyric harnessed the same creative spirit to find new ways of producing meaningful theatre as the weather warmed and the pandemic ebbed in Vermont. The summer and fall of 2020 brought about three separate productions for socially-distanced and outdoor audiences, as well as virtual presentations that expanded the reach and diversity of Lyric productions.
Thank you for being a part of our story. We can’t wait to see you at the theater again!