The History of The Granite Theatre
The Granite Theatre is a handsomely restored church designed in the popular Greek Revival style that was completed in 1849 at the foot of Granite Street in Downtown Westerly, RI for a congregation known as the Christian Chapel Society in Westerly that sits at the foot of Granite Street in downtown Westerly, Rhode Island. In 1876 the name was changed to The Broad Street Christian Church. The congregation moved elsewhere and by the 1960s, the building began to be used as a theatre.
In January 2000, the building was purchased for $150,000 by the late Paul D. Lynch, Thomas F. Black, III, President of the Horace A. Kimball and S. Ella Kimball Foundation (whose idea it was to
purchase the building), and Stewart Pucci of Pucci and Green, Ltd., CPA’s of Westerly. The Kimball Foundation also contributed more than $100,000 to the refurbish the building, installing
air-conditioning, stadium-style cushioned seating, new carpeting, as well as other cosmetic improvements.
In the fall of 2000, David Jepson became Artistic Director and along with his wife Beth Jepson as Assistant Artistic Director began producing a full season of eight shows annually. To date they have produced more than 160 shows.
In 2012, Renaissance City Theatre, Inc. was established as a non-profit organization as the producing entity of The Granite Theatre with a three-fold mission:
– Provide year-round, high-quality live theatre
– Develop and deliver theatre education for all ages
– Act as steward of the Granite Theatre building, to preserve this iconic and historic building.
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