Comedy and Camaraderie

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The Dramatic Club is the oldest continuing theater company in Indianapolis, tracing its roots to 1889 when 25 young women started the Matinee Club. The first play was performed in a residential ballroom located at 10th and Delaware Street. In 1890, membership was increased to 149 and by-laws were written, which specified a male president and female vice-president. Articles of Association were adopted on June 15, 1891. At this time, the group became known as The Dramatic Club, and some of the most prominent families of Indianapolis took part. Booth Tarkington was one of those members, and he was the designer of the Club logo.

 

By the early 1900′s, membership had grown to 400. The Club performed many of its plays as benefits for charities, such as the Red Cross and orphanages. The stages for plays were often set in private homes, and later the Propylaeum and Athenaeum.

 

In 1950, the Club sponsored its first Cotillion in which the daughters of members were presented to society. This event usually occurs in odd-numbered years around Christmastime and is an important part of Club activities.

 

The Dramatic Club has a rich history of social activities and camaraderie, all centered around its mission of giving “dramatic performance for the entertainment of its members and their friends,” as stated in the Articles of Association. The tradition continues today with the acceptance of new members who share a love of theater and a desire to move this established organization forward for another century.