ACT survives today thanks to the generosity
and insight of a woman who loved community theater, Dorothy
Esser was born in Kentucky and came to Hawai‘i as a military wife in 1965.
An operetta star, a classical vocalist, an actress, she was for years the general
manager of Atco, a theatrical supply and stage lighting firm still doing business
on Koapaka Street.
She loved the stage, and often expressed concerned about how ACT would survive
financially. She started the Dorothy J. Esser Foundation, a nonprofit charitable
entity, incorporated in Hawai‘i in June 1990 to provide centralized fund
raising and the economic advantage of centralized volume purchasing to enable
the performing arts community to get on with its real function, to entertain,
educate, and uplift.
While its main goal is to encourage and support the ACT, the Foundation helps
to provide financial support to all community theaters in Hawai‘i, none
of which can support themselves only on ticket sales.
ACT at Richardson Theatre Schedule
Once Upon a Mattress, Sept. 6 through 22
The Three Sisters, Sept. 9 through 23
Fiddler on the Roof, Nov. 15 through Dec. 1
The Wild Duck, Nov. 18 through Dec. 2
Aida, Feb. 28 through March 15
The Visit, March 2 through 16
Bye Bye Birdie, May 8 through 24
The Great God Brown, 11 through 25