Formation of the Glade Outdoor Theatre

The Glade Outdoor Theatre was built to showcase Ramsey Yelvington's play the Texian Triology in 1968A grant $1,500 from the Texas Fine Arts Commission helped the SWT Drama Department begin plans for the production.  The theater was built on the land of the San Marcos Baptist Academy. Dr. Jack Byrom, president of the academy at the time, approved the construction to support his friend Yelvington. Mrs. Laura E.W. , benefactor to SMBA, also supported the Glade Theatre.  The outdoor theater was originally located behind the Academy, which now is San Marcos Hall. 

The Glade Outdoor Theatre has stone benches for the audience to sit. The front benches have wood planks on the back for support. The back rows are stone benches, but are missing the back support of a wood plank.  All the way in the back there is a wooden porch, with a roof, held up by four tall and sturdy wooden legs. This was used as a concession stand for a more enjoyable experience. The porch was not originally built with the Glade. It was constructed 1998 per request of  G.W. Bailey, who was seeking for a rebirth of the Glade Theatre. Next to the wooden porch is a storage house, also built in the reconstruction. Surrounding the whole ampitheater are steel scaffolds where lights were placed to provide stage lighting. The scaffolds are narrow with steps that are very thin. Due to the scaffolds, normal stage lighting was not able to be used. These scaffolds also risked students safety. That unfortunately brought complications for productions to be put on at the Glade.  The stage at the Glade Theatre is also built out of wood. Behind the stage there is a dip in height of the wooden platform, that was considered the backstage area. The dip helped students change costumes, run sound, or just hide the actors until it was their time to go on stage. The problem with the backstage area was that it couldn't maintain large productions as it would be crowded with the whole crew there. 

San Marcos Baptist Academy Uses 

After concluding the run of the Texian Trilogy, SMBA would use the Glade for events related to its school. There isn't much detail on the events, but here is a rough timeline. 

1968- The Academy holds a Founders Day event to celebrate the ground breaking for their new Jack and Florence Taylor Thomas Library. 

1968- The Glade Theatre is used read exercepts of the Texian Trilogy during SMBA homecoming week. 

1969- Homecoming at the SMBA gets a week long celebration concluding with coronation at the Glade Theatre. 

1971- Distinguished Alumnus Awards given to J.H. Maguire at the Glade Theatre. 

1978- a major production of The Book of Job by the Texas Association for the Performing Arts president Dr. John Clifford, also Southwestern State College theater director, was promoted at the Glade Theatre. The production was expected to be very big and run every summer for 9 weeks, it only needed funds to go under repairs. Clifford was asking for the community for donations in hopes to raise $50,000 for the advertising of the production and covering the expenses towards the repairs of the Glade. There was enough money raised, however, there was not enough time to finish the repairs on the Glade Theatre by opening day. Its opening was held at the Robinson Christian Center at the San Marcos Baptist Academy. Unfortunately, the plans of yearly outside production seems to never have been accomplished as there is no reports after 1978. 


Reconstruction of the Glade Theatre

Despite its purchase in 1979, the Glade Theatre ceased to be used by SWT for productions.  The Glade Theatre was used once again by SWT in 1996, after almost three decades. The play that brought the theater back to life was A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare. The one who suggested and initiated the revival was G.W. Bailey. Bailey went ahead and collected donations that totaled $185,000 that helped build a parking lot, lighting and ramps built for the Glade.  However, this did not cover the amenities Bailey envisioned, he needed another $185,000 to build restrooms and a concession stand. Before the reconstruction, the Glade was not adequate for productions as the lighting arrangement was poor and there was no stable sound system. With the new additions, it would make it possible for the Glade to once again hold productions and concerts. The reconstruction didn't do anything for the Glade Theater and it has been scarcely used until this day. 

Before its reconstruction and after the purchase from SMBA, SWT used the Glade for its entended purpose. It had been 14 yrs since the SWT Theatre Department had used the Glade Theatre, the last time was for the Texian Trilogy. In 1982, the Southwest Texas State University Summer Repertory Theatre Company put on a children's play Androcles and the Lion. It wasn't used again until 1997 after its reconstruction. 

Southwest Texas State University Uses 

1997- SWT hosts a carnival at the Glade Theatre. 

1999- SWT host a week long fine arts celebration and performs Round and Round the Garden at the Glade Theatre from Monday-Saturday. 

2002- Children's B-T-S Benefit Concert is held at the Glade Theatre by SWT. 

2003- The Child Development Center at SWT holds a fundraiser at the Glade Theatre showcasing a performance from Lucas Miller the Singing Zoologist. 

2003- The Winter's Tale by Shakespeare is perfomed by SWT Department of Theatre and Dance