The Footlight Players was ceremoniously launched in 1931 with a series of one-act plays directed by Lt. Commander Charles Russell Price at the Charleston Navy Yard. The series was such a success and drew such a following that The Footlight Players formally organized and incorporated in the fall of 1932.
In 1934, The Footlight Players purchased an old cotton warehouse (circa 1850) with the idea of eventually converting it into a finished playhouse. Yet until 1938, all productions were presented in a variety of spaces around the Holy City, including the Academy of Music (corner of King and Market streets), the Victory Theatre (85 Society St.), Hampton Park, The Citadel, and the Dock Street Theatre. During this time, the cotton warehouse was used for storage and scenery construction. In 1941, a shortage of performance space caused the Players to again turn to the warehouse.
Just a roof and four walls, 60 dedicated volunteers remodeled and renovated the old warehouse and converted it into an informal playhouse and workshop.
For the next 45 years, The Footlight Players continued to annually produce a number of regular season productions, both at the Dock Street Theatre and at Footlight.
In 1986, after another dramatic renovation, The Footlight Players moved into the old cotton warehouse at 20 Queen St., where it remains to this day.
What began as a small group has become for Charleston a theatrical tradition, built and strengthened over many years by hundreds of willing hands, the priceless gifts of time and toil, and by faith, enthusiasm and talent.