The mission of the Douglas Morrisson Theatre is to involve and enlighten the community through the experience of live theater. We do this by providing the performer with an opportunity for artistic expression and social participation; providing the highest quality theater experience for our audiences; and providing a creative and supportive professional staff.
The Douglas Morrisson Theatre is owned and operated by the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District. The theatre's budget is supported in part by the property taxes of the residents of Hayward, Castro Valley, San Lorenzo and other portions of unincorporated Alameda County. Our 229 seat theatre has become a valuable resource for the entire Bay Area theater community. The theatre's extensive costume, scenery and property inventory is available for rent to the community at www.dmtrentals.org. From its inception in the 1960's as the HARD Community Players, the District's theater program has flourished. The HARD Community Players performed at Chabot College from 1967 to 1975.
Youth Programs were added in 1969 and operated out of the Carriage House Theatre on the grounds of the Meek Estate in San Lorenzo. The Carriage House Theatre produced plays by young performers ages 6 through 12 as the Katzenjammer Players. Teens performed as the Carriage House Masquers. Today local actors perform at the Douglas Morrisson Theatre, located near the Hayward Japanese Gardens. The District oversaw the development and construction of the theatre in 1977-78 and named it The Little Theater at its dedication on November, 1978. The theatre presented its first public performance in January, 1979, with a production of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic, The King and I. The theatre operated as the Little Theater until 2003 when it was renamed the Douglas Morrisson Theatre. The theatre produces a season of plays and musicals starting in September each year. The theatre also produces three concerts by the Morrisson Theatre Chorus each year. In the summer, children from 7 to 14 participate in one- and two-week Theater Camps. Adults and teens enjoy classes in voice, acting, scene study and other theater disciplines.