Lakewood Milestones

Our Mission
We inspire and nurture a love of theatre and the arts.




1952: a group of citizens organizes the Oswego Players, who perform in junior and senior high schools.

1961: The Company—now known as Lake Oswego Community Theatre—buys the vacant Methodist Church on Greenwood Road and converts it to a 100-seat theatre, where they perform 110 productions, in a facility with very limited rehearsal and storage space.

1979: Having outgrown the old church, the theatre company decides to buy Lakewood School and turn it into Lakewood Center for the Arts--a community arts center, complete with a gallery, classrooms for art, dance and music, and a 200-seat theatre.

1987: With funding from individuals, businesses, corporations and foundations—and with no public funding—Lakewood completes a $1.1 million capital campaign for the purchase and remodeling of the building.

1990: Lake Oswego Community Theatre becomes Lakewood Theatre Company, to identify more closely with all the programs at Lakewood Center and to reflect the increasing professionalism and quality of the theatre productions.

2003: Lakewood completes a $3 million project to build a new stage house with fly lofts and traps for the theatre, a remodeled 220 seat theatre with no seat further than 35 feet from the stage, and a new hearing-assisted sound system. Theatre programs now enjoy an average 85-90% sellout rate, mostly from subscriptions.

2012: Lakewood Theatre Company—the oldest continually operating non-profit theatre company in the Portland metro area—attracts more than 40,000 annually to its shows. The annual Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts—a joint project of Lakewood, the Chamber of Commerce, and the City of Lake Oswego—brings more than 23,000 to the Center and nearby George Rogers Park for performances, arts and crafts displays, and viewing of more than 1,000 pieces of artwork.

2015: Artist Training Facility is completed. Lakewood Center for the Arts is building for the future  with a new 40’ x 50’ building. The 1:1 ratio replicates the Headlee Mainstage footprint and will serve as a rehearsal hall and learning environment. This new facility is built in a portion of the playground at the north end of the current building. It is connected to Lakewood's main hall with a raised sidewalk.
 Current programs that access the playground will have a redesigned space to accommodate their needs.

The new Artist Training Facility addresses artistic and programming needs at Lakewood. Here are a few ways this new facility will help Lakewood serve the region:

  • Increase the quality of theatrical productionsView-from-parking-lot.jpg
  • Dedicated rehearsal space for actors, designers, technicians
  • Provide youth education and performance opportunities

  • New opportunities to be trained in acting, staging and design
  • Build capacity
  • Eliminate the need to rent outside rehearsal venues
  • Storage for sets and costumes

The new Artist Training Facility provides our theatrical artists and teachers a place to train with a space built specifically to their needs.

Part of a bigger plan - This project is the capstone project of Phase One, a $1.2 million dollar capacity building and program improvement goal adopted by our board of directors in our 5-year strategic plan. The initial components of Phase One that have been completed include:

  • Enhanced Art Studio Facility,
  • Expanded Office Space,
  • Remodeled Gallery and Entry,
  • Improved Sewer System

What else goes on at Lakewood?

  • The Community Arts Preschool, offering three- and four-year olds a program enriched with art and dance
  • The Rotary Club of Lake Oswego meets weekly in the downstairs Community Meeting Room, which is also used for cabaret theatre, wedding receptions, and conferences
  • ReRuns, a resale shop staffed by Lakewood Associates, a support auxiliary of the Center
  • Weekly classes in Danceaerobics, exercise, ballet, tap and jazz

As the company is set to begin its 63rd performance season Lakewood continues to operate in the black, and will continue to accomplish its growth without public funds. Come be a part of our success! We welcome your support

About Lakewood

Milestones and Interesting Facts about Lakewood

Early History of Lakewood 1978-1987!



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Season support for Lakewood is provided by:

  • Regional Arts & Culture Council
  • Work for Art
  • Oregon Arts Commision
  • Art Works
  • Oregon Live - Oregonian